Art by Alasdair Gray
October 20, 2009 9:37 AM   Subscribe

Alasdair Gray is best known as a novelist but his illustrations of his own books have long fascinated and delighted. Here you can see hundreds of artworks by Alasdair Gray, including some book illustrations, from 1950 through 2009. Here are a few of his works that I like: unfinished Scottish Society of Playwrights poster, Nina Watching the Simpsons, Erics Watching Television, Ice Age and Babylonian Science, theatre poster for A Clockwork Orange and the Scots Hippo series. Also on the website there are a lot of articles about and by Alasdair Gray reposted from various publications. And finally, here's a podcast of a talk Alasdair Gray gave called The First Pictures I Enjoyed.
posted by Kattullus (18 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, and this is the website of Alasdair Gray's art dealer, Sorcha Dallas. And, via this Rumpus interview.
posted by Kattullus at 9:38 AM on October 20, 2009

He painted a number of wall murals in his youth - one of which was discovered under wallpaper by a lucky couple who had just purchased an old apartment in Glasgow.

For the uninitiated, his first and most famous novel, Lanark, was 22 years in the making and, in it's full printed form, is accompanied by a wealth of his own illustrations.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:51 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

I believe this is his famous Triumph of Death mural (mentioned both in the interview and the talk).
posted by Kattullus at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2009

I am always surprised to learn how old Mr. Gray is. I kind of think of him as a young turk, but he was already well established when I hear about him, which was a while ago now. Basically, I think of him and Iain Banks as being the same age, which is totally wrong.

posted by GenjiandProust at 10:17 AM on October 20, 2009

I only know Gray's art from his own illustrations in his books, but this stuff is great.
posted by kenko at 10:20 AM on October 20, 2009

How wonderful! I really enjoy his books and illustrations, and had no idea there was such a wealth of his art.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2009

Lovely! My dad introduced me to Alasdair Gray and what I've read is wholly different from any other novels I've read before. There's something very sweet about him in that mural documentary. Thanks for posting this.
posted by serazin at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2009

Brilliant! My ex is a mensch for a lot of reasons, the number one of which may be that he's the person who first introduced me to Alasdair Gray. Thanks for the post.
posted by scody at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2009

Seems to turn up around once a year on here.
posted by fire&wings at 10:52 AM on October 20, 2009

If you ask me, fire&wings, that seems the very least we could do. Also, these old threads are worth revisiting. Here's a great comment by Len about the time he found himself in Alasdair Gray's bedroom.
posted by Kattullus at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

One of these days I'll need to compare The Six Days of Creation (1959) to the mural in Lanark.
posted by Kattullus at 11:34 AM on October 20, 2009

It should also be pointed out that two of the articles in that list you linked are by MetaFilter's Very Own jack_mo.
posted by Len at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2009

Lovely stuff. Alasdair Gray is awesome.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2009

OMG for a second I thought he was dead and my heart skipped.

The fact that Alasdair Gray was at one of my shows AND was mildly, charmingly disruptive, stands as the highpoint of my entire life so far.
posted by The Whelk at 4:03 PM on October 20, 2009

Seconded the Whelk's first sentence.

I believe Gray to be the inheritor of Blake. Not only can he both write and paint/draw exquisitely, but his drawing style ain't a million miles away.

And I try to:
Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.

In fact, it's inscribed on my office.
posted by imperium at 4:23 PM on October 20, 2009

Well, I never knew he was still alive (I read the wonderful Lanark), so I'm happy.

Will look at his art when I get off work!
posted by kozad at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2009

In Lanark Book 2 there is an extensive description of the creation of a mural in a church by Gray. In fact this mural "The SixDays of Creation" did actually exist until the church was demolished. Gray lists this - amongst his other murals - in his CV. Here- from Katullus' link - is what it looked like
posted by rongorongo at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2009

Lanark is one of the best books ever. Alasdair Gray makes me happy to be alive.

I have the mouths!
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:03 PM on October 20, 2009

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