I popped into the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow yesterday for the first time in ages not expecting much new. However the video installation ‘Gobstopper’ by Roderick Watson always lifts my spirits. It’s footage of kids holding their breath in the back seat of a car as said car is driven through the Clyde Tunnel. The rules are you hold your breath as you enter the tunnel and try not to exhale until you’re out the other side. I hope this doesn’t sound weird or even cruel as it is utterly joyful and it transports you back to the simple things that used to seem so exciting in childhood.
But there was something else to recommend. There is an exhibition of art work that is owned by the BBC and used to be hung in their old premises on Queen Margaret Drive. The artists on show include some of the best known painters from the 1980’s and 90’s, as well as less well known but fascinating work. The focus is on the figurative and it does appear that the collection was put together with some thought and taste. There are works by Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Will Maclean, Elspeth Lamb and a quite beautiful self portrait by Alison Watt.
It’s a terrific snapshot of Scottish painting from the end of the last century and always worth your time if you’re in Glasgow city centre and find you have 40 minutes to spare .