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

Cr001 lolita bwp rgb

Lolita Through the Keyhole

Catalogue No. 4

Artist's CR 001


Saint Martin’s School of Art

Oil on canvas

48 x 42 inches / 122 x 107 cm

Collection: Unknown

The first of the half-tone paintings. The subject was a still from the film of Lolita - a shot of Lolita taken through a keyhole, supposedly Humbert’s view of her undressing in a motel. I remember choosing the dot interval - 3/8” vertically, I think - and having great difficulty in ruling parallel lines on a sagging canvas (later I ruled the canvas before I stretched it, or supported it in the middle, or perhaps just got better at ruling delicately). I never thought I would finish the painting. It seemed an impossible undertaking, and required great concentration. Sometimes I could not get lines of dots to meet up properly with other lines - I would, for instance, have three rows advancing steadily to meet four rows and have to lose one row somewhere. The painting was very uneven but somehow was finished, and I discovered that the ‘tonal pointillism’ it involved did everything I required; it enabled me to paint figurative paintings with a modular mechanical approach that still involved skill, and drawing; a method which necessitated a slow deliberation but produced a cohesive whole.

'Aspen Notebook', Gerald Laing, unpublished manuscript, 1966