Steven Campbell

1953 - 2007

Artist. Born and brought up in Rutherglen, Campbell attended the Academy until he was sixteen. He went to work in the steelworks at Cambuslang but was inspired towards art when given a book on the French painter Toulouse-Lautrec by his aunt. Campbell continued his education at the Glasgow School of Art (1978-82) and was dubbed one of the 'New Glasgow Boys', having studied with Ken Currie (b.1960), Peter Howson (b.1958) and Adrian Wisniewski (b.1958), although Campbell always resisted this description. He was soon described as one of the leading young Scottish artists of the modern school and his international reputation was cemented when a Fulbright Scholarship allowed him to work in New York (1982-86). His early work was included installation and performance art and this influence extends into his distinctive paintings. These reflect his character, regarded variously as enigmatic, theatrical and highly original, often painted at speed with considerable improvisation and evidence of quickly changing ideas. His narrative paintings involve surreal figures in bizarre landscapes drawing on an eclectic range of personal, literary and historical subjects.

He spent much of the 1990s in self-imposed exile but emerged to stage a celebrated exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh. His work is included in many public collections, such as the Glasgow Museums, the British Council, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery in London.

Since 1989 Campbell had lived and worked in Kippen and he died in Stirling following complications from a ruptured appendix.

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