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

Cr143 watersculpture 35tr cc

Water Sculpture

Catalogue No. 153

Artist's CR 143


Aspen, Colorado

Acrylic on aluminium

Collection: Private collection

A water-driven sculpture placed in the Roaring Fork River in Colorado that prefigures Laing’s later ‘sculptures in the landscape’.

Mechanical details arrived at after much thought, admiration at and involvement with the fast rocky river which tumbles and swirls down deep clefts in the pass here, fishing, skipping stones on lakes, consideration of surfboards, spinners, hydroplanes, shields, helmets, heraldry, Zeke Clumer’s auto gyro, uniforms, science fiction, and general wonder… Like spores from space - a whole army of bright-coloured gleaming ovals skipping their way endlessly across the living water, splashing sometimes and sometimes driving forward, full of mysterious purpose - going about their urgent business, striving upstream. I would like to put them in a lonely part of the river, in the wilderness, so that the traveller would be astonished to see them working away busily, oblivious of an audience or of the lack of one.

'Aspen Notebook', Gerald Laing, unpublished manuscript, 1966