Above and Below the Blue

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Dennis Buchan
Born Arbroath, 1937

Above and Below the Blue, 1975

PVA and collage on canvas
Scottish Arts Council Bequest 1997
Museum number 1998-13

Buchan studied at Duncan of Jordanstone, where Alberto Morrocco encouraged a love of rich colour. In the 1960s Buchan was one of a group of young Scottish painters who embraced the possibilities offered by Abstract Expressionism, in particular its painterly freedom and un-fettered use of colour.

Many of Buchan’s works express his personal and sensuous experience of the North Sea. 'Above and Below the Blue' was influenced by Buchan’s then studio’s proximity to Arbroath Harbour. Buchan resists overly literal interpretations of his images. In this painting he regards the blue as metaphorical rather than actual. A sense of a moment being captured, of contrasting speed and a medley of sounds are communicated, playing on the viewer’s senses. The work is characteristic of Buchan’s oeuvre in its energy and dynamism, seen both in his exuberant use of colour and in the spontaneity and generosity of his brush-strokes.

Above and Below the Blue
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