This artwork is a mixed media drawing on paper, incorporating bodychalk, gouache and acrylic paint. It concentrates on architecture and accuracy, conveying the depth in the main focus of the piece; the two tower-like structures depicted in blacks and greys, highlighted by white paint and chalk, side by side and asymmetrical. Also depicted are some bowls, a spiral labyrinth and geometric shaped people. Ian's work plays upon the opposition between good and evil, with subtle symbolism and precision. He has a long standing interest in alchemy and hermetic thought, constructing hidden shapes and symbols in largely abstract forms.
Ian Howard is renowned for his precision and for his interest in science and the early Renaissance artists, which he incorporates into his work. He deals with symbols and imagery from medieval and Renaissance art, including dragon-like creatures. The image of Carpaccio's Dragon is a recurring motif in many of Ian's paintings and prints. His subject matter has varied from archaeology to architecture to alchemy, always playing upon opposition and contrast, creating weird and wonderful abstract compositions.
Ian's work has striking visual appeal and a deep intellectual content. Orthodoxy and heresy, magic and reason, order and disorder are among his themes and demonstrate his unusually fertile mind and creative ability.
Ian Howard graduated in Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art. He won the Andrew Grant Postgraduate scholarship in Painting and obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Painting from Edinburgh in 1976. A Helen Rose travelling scholarship then allowed him to travel and study in Italy for a year. Ian lectured in the painting department at Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen from 1977 until 1986, when he was appointed Head of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee. He was appointed Professor of Fine Art in the School of Fine Art in 1995. He was elected as an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1983 and has played a very active role on committees of the academy since that time. He won the Sir William Gillies bequest scholarship in 1990 which allowed him to travel to India and Thailand. His work is shown widely in Europe and America and examples are held in many public collections.