Craigie Aitchison: Paintings 1953–81

Serpentine South Gallery 1 December 1981 — 24 January 1982 Free

A retrospective of Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison, including 85 oil paintings.

This exhibition was the first London retrospective of Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009). Eighty-five oil paintings in the show were divided into three categories: crucifixions, portraits, and still lifes.

The crucifixions were symbolic rather than illustrative, while the portraits were unusual in contemporary British art of the time and primarily depicted West Indian and African sitters. The still lifes reflected the artist’s taste for bric-a-brac and fantasy, the objects in them often seeming to be endowed with life, like characters in a children’s story.

This exhibition provided an opportunity to assess Aitchison’s production and development during more than a quarter of a century.

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