'Echo Basin' is a contemplative screen print which invites the viewer to appreciate its simple colour statement while simultaneously enjoying the construction of the complex layering process involved in the making of this work. When looking at this print it is evident that nothing is sharply defined -both atmosphere and ambient colour are suggested at times but are blended into one another in transparent stages.
Ian works within the field of Scottish abstraction, producing images that derive ultimately from the landscape around him. He depicts the essence of his surroundings, moving from recording what he sees to presenting a metaphor of his subject through the use of colour and form. Ian's works show his enduring commitment to his distinctly personal brand of abstraction and his subtle, evocative way of working inarguably owes something to his influence of Eastern traditions. This is particularly evident in the black character present in this screen print. This screen-print is an original piece created by the artist to raise funds for Art in Healthcare and offered to the charity as a limited edition of 75 impressions. Each edition is signed and numbered by the artist and is printed by hand from 9 silk screens.
Ian McKenzie-Smith was born in Montrose in 1935 and studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen and at Hospitalfield in Arbroath from 1953-58. A travelling scholarship in 1959 took him to Paris where he met the Japanese artist, Kenzo Okada, and encountered Zen philosophy. An oriental sense of balance and calligraphic finesse has been a feature of his work ever since. He later went on to become Director of the Art Gallery in Aberdeen from 1968 to 1989. He took part in Compass Gallery's inaugural exhibition in 1969 and has been a regular exhibitor throughout the past 40 years. He became Aberdeen's City Arts and Recreation Officer from 1989 to 1996. In 1992 he was awarded the OBE for his services to Art. From 1988 to 1998 he was President of the Royal Society of Watercolours and in 1991 up until 1998 he became Secretary of the Royal Scottish Academy. He is currently President of the Royal Scottish Academy. He has work in several public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Aberdeen and Glasgow. Now retired he continues to live and paint in Aberdeen. His work, although based on landscape and other forms, is broadly abstract.
With thanks to Gerber Fine Art for artist information
With thanks to Education Scotland for artist information