The Major Periods

1962 – 1965: Early Pop Paintings

As one of the original wave of Pop artists Gerald Laing produced some of the most significant works of the British Pop movement. His paintings reproduced images of popular heroes such as starlets, film stars, drag racers, astronauts and skydivers. His 1962 portrait of Brigitte Bardot is an iconic work of the period and regularly features in major Pop retrospectives alongside Lincoln Convertible from 1964, a commemoration of the assassination of JFK.

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1965 – 1970: Utopian Abstract Sculpture

From 1965 Gerald Laing's painting evolved into abstract sculptures using the techniques and materials of car customisation - lacquering, spray-painting and chrome-plating on metal.

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1970 – 1973: Sculpture In The Landscape

A move from New York to the Highlands of Scotland in 1970 saw Gerald Laing's sculpture respond to the beauty, roughness and power of the surrounding landscape.

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1972 – 2010: Public Sculpture

Public sculptures include the the Bank Station Dragons; the Rugby Sculptures at Twickenham Stadium; the Cricketer at Lords; the Highland Clearances Memorial in Helmsdale, Sutherland and Axis Mundi in Edinburgh.

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1973 – 1980: Galina Series

Inspired by the figurative sculpture of the First World War Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, in 1973 Gerald Laing began to model in clay and cast in bronze. The Galina Series and associated sculptures were his first works from this period.

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1982 – 2007: Portrait Heads

Gerald Laing's portrait work includes heads and reliefs of Luciano Pavarotti, Andy Warhol, Paul Getty and Sam Wanamaker.

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2002 – 2005: War Paintings

The Iraq war and the publication of images of torture at Abu Ghraib prison drew Gerald Laing back to painting for the first time in over three decades. The War Paintings series sees the starlets and all-American heroes of his early paintings take on new, more sinister roles.

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2004 – 2011: New Paintings

Returning to the style and subject matter of his early pop art paintings, Gerald Laing's latest paintings feature media images of contemporary celebrities including Amy Winehouse and Kate Moss.

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Search the Catalogue

War Paintings 2002–2005

The Iraq war and the publication of images of torture at Abu Ghraib prison drew Gerald Laing back to painting for the first time in over three decades. The War Paintings series sees the starlets and all-American heroes of his early paintings take on new, more sinister roles.

These new paintings for modern times treat the canvas as a flat plain on which colours and forms are clearly arranged. little attempt is made to create atmospheric space by moduation of the paint colour and tone, and accident is kept to a minimum.

Within the paintings there are games for the eye and the mind; visual paradoxes, puns and metaphors, deeply layered. This strengthens and indeed sustains them.

As in my earliest paintings of the 1960s, the chief compositional opportunity lies in the dichotomy between the monochrome drawing of halftone and the hard edge flatness of the coloured areas.

I can get more detail, more information, more drama and more mystery in the black and white passages which are literally paintings of newspaper photographs, and I tend to use them to convey emotionally charged ideas. They depend on optical effects, such as the persistence of the visual image on the retina, and our ability to understand certain visual conventions that are part of the shorthand of image transmission which we have learned in the modern environment. If you look closely at the cnvas, the surface disintegrates and becomes abstract, displaying its digital system of transmission; from further away, it resolves into an image. Both qualities are part of the painting; combined, they are unique to our age.

On the other hand, the coloured areas are stark, clear and sharp. They reiterate the fact that the paintings are flat, decorated surfaces, relating to what used to be called, but are no longer, the Italian primitives. in other words they are more like Cimabue and Uccello than Turner or Rothko. They are objects, not windows; icons, not landscapes. These qualities are abstract. They sustain the paintings and give them stamina.

To Discuss the content of these paintings is to enter another arena. |It is the role of the artist to reiterate humanist concerns by pushing aside the veil of history which, cobweb-like, obscures the living past, and comment on them for his generation. The paintings show us the dance of our own modern times, in a modern manner. The events are essentially commonplace, ordinary joys and sins, though their effect is often devastating.

Gerald Laing, 2008




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The Arrow Hides Behind Its Point (Emma with Cupid)

Artists CR 605a

2004

Scotland

Oil on canvas

48x60inches/122x152cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004

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The Silent Sullen People Shall Weigh Your Gods and You

Artists CR 606b

2004

Scotland

Oil on canvas

60x48inches/152x122cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005

Literature: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, 2004; Keith Bruce, All Fired Up Again, , Herald, 2004; Jeremy Watson, ‘Immoral’ War Inspires Art Legend, , Scotland on Sunday, 2004; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004; Iain Gale, Pop Goes the American Illusion, , Scotland on Sunday, 2004.

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Only One of Them Uses Colgate

Artists CR 607

2004

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, 2004; Keith Bruce, All Fired Up Again, , Herald, 2004; Mark Sheerin, Pop Art, politics and painting the Iraq war: Culture24 interviews artist Gerald Laing, , Culture24.org.uk, 2010; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004; Iain Gale, Pop Goes the American Illusion, , Scotland on Sunday, 2004.

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American Gothic

Artists CR 608

2004

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, 2004; David Eb, Gerald Laing at Spike, , Art in America, 2005; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, 2016; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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L’Après Midi D’un Faune

Artists CR 609

2004

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, 2004; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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Caryatid

Artists CR 610

2004

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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Awe Shucks

Artists CR 611

2004

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

48x70inches/122x178cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, The Fine Art Society, London, 2016

Literature: Keith Bruce, All Fired Up Again, , Herald, 2004; David Eb, Gerald Laing at Spike, , Art in America, 2005; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, 2016; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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The New American Tourist

Artists CR 612

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, The Fine Art Society, London, 2016

Literature: Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, 2016; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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US on Top

Artists CR 613

2004

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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noimage

Study for Look Mickey

Artists CR 614

2005

Kinkell

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Collection: Private Collection

Provenance: (Galerie Salvador, Paris) Private Collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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noimage

Study for Homage to Josef Albers

Artists CR 615

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on Canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Collection: Private Collection

Provenance: (Galerie Salvador, Paris) Private Collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005

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Look Mickey

Artists CR 615

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

72x64inches/183x163cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

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Capriccio

Artists CR 616

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

72x64inches/183x163cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Diana Newall/Grant Pooke, Art History: The Basics, 2008, p.172-173; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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Repetition

Artists CR 617

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Collection: Private Collection

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: From 1963 to the Present, Bourne Fine Art, Edinburgh, 2004; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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See What Beauty He Hath Wrought

Artists CR 618

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Mark Sheerin, Pop Art, politics and painting the Iraq war: Culture24 interviews artist Gerald Laing, , Culture24.org.uk, 2010; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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Truth or Consequences

Artists CR 620

2006

Scotland

Oil on wood

49.5x104x3.25inches/126x264x8cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing: New Paintings for Modern Times, 2008; Michael McNay, Gerald Laing obituary, , Guardian, 2011.

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Common Decency

Artists CR 621

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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noimage

Only One of Them Uses Colgate II

Artists CR 622

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Provenance: Private collection, 2005?;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

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Chevelere Assigne

Artists CR 623

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x32inches/91x81cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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They Make a Desert and Call it Democracy

Artists CR 624

2005

Kinkell, Scotland

Oil on canvas

32x36inches/81x91cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

Literature: Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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The Great War Leader - Homage to Jean Paul Goude

Artists CR 625

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

36x60inches/91x152cm

Provenance: Private collection;.

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Galerie Salvador, Paris, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2007

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Catechism

Artists CR 626

2005

Scotland

Oil on canvas

120x60inches/305x152cm

Collection: Artist's estate

Provenance: .

Exhibitions: Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Kings College, Cambridge, 2005; Gerald Laing: Iraq War Paintings, Spike Gallery, New York, 2005; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, The Fine Art Society, London, 2016

Literature: David Eb, Gerald Laing at Spike, , Art in America, 2005; Mark Sheerin, Pop Art, politics and painting the Iraq war: Culture24 interviews artist Gerald Laing, , Culture24.org.uk, 2010; Gerald Laing 1936–2011: A Retrospective, 2016; Gerald Laing, Artist’s Notes on War Paintings, 2004.

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