This is a still life composition drawn in pastel on dark paper and signed by the artist. The fruit appears to have a luminous quality; the density of pigment and richness of colour is striking against the background, intensified in some places with black pastel. Cordelia Oliver said of Knox's work ''When Jack Knox paints a coloured canvas tent on a sunny beach, a basket of fruit or a heap of succulent cherries, his images are more 'real' than anything seen in life, just as a stage queen can be far more queenly than any actual monarch''.
The artist has eliminated unecessary detail from the drawing. Two horizontal lines are enough to suggest a shelf or the surface of a table. The glass preserving jar is outlined with the bold, confident strokes of a skilled draughstman who observes accurately whilst working quickly and expressively. The soft, velvety texture of the pigment can be seen clearly on the grain of the paper.
Jack Knox's inspirations include Braque, Abstract Expressionists, Uccello's painting 'The Rout of San Romano' and 17th century Dutch Still Life paintings.
He has painted a series of still lives incorporating familiar domestic items such as a bread basket, fish, cheese, a slice of cake or a hat. The Cyril Gerber Fine Art: Compass Gallery exhibition catalogue says of Knox ''..he somehow discovers the 'personality' of these objects and breathes life into them, then stands aside allowing them to talk for themselves''.
Jack Knox was born in 1936 and studied painting at the Glasgow School of Art and the Andre Lhote Atelier in Paris. He was Lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee from 1965 to 1981 and Head of the Painting Studios at Glasgow School of Art from 1981 to 1992. He has since retired and now concentrates solely on his painting. His work is exhibited in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and has been displayed in numerous galleries across the UK, including the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Civic Arts Centre in Aberdeen. He currently lives in Broughty Ferry, a suburb of Dundee.
With thanks to the National Galleries Scotland for artist information
With thanks to Artlink Central for artist information