Rhapsody
By Alastair Michie

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Year
1985
Media
Mixed Media and Collage
Subject Matter
Abstract
Reg. Number
L278
Size
61 x 71 cm

This mixed medium work by the Scottish artist Alastair Michie, is quite bold and confident in its approach. The painting certainly showcases Alistair's abilities as a colourist. What appear to be crudely shaped blue flowers in the foreground are immediately striking to the viewer. There are also some quite graphical black and white shapes that play a central part in maintaining the works almost harmonic composition. Layers of purple and gold brush strokes or marks cover much of the surface area. Cut out lines, illusionistic shapes and patterns are also compositional devices within the work.

The abstracted language that Alistair Michie makes use of is highly personalised and stylised. He was known to be influenced by the natural world, however the painting in question does not suggest many direct references to a natural environment. Rather the work's title, 'Rhapsody', is quite apt, suggesting connotations with free-flowing structures and improvisation. Michie was greatly inspired by American artists in the 1960's and it is possible to see many references that imply this throughout his oeuvre.

Alastair Michie studied architecture in Edinburgh and began his career as a freelance graphic artist, following the completion of War service as a pilot in the Royal Air Force. During the 1960's, he started to produce paintings and sculptures and consequently turned to working in acrylic and mixed media. In 1984 he was elected to the Royal West of England Academy. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy.

With thanks to the National Galleries of Scotland for artist information