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Talbert McLEAN
Born Dundee, 1906-1992

Reflection circa1952-58

Oil on board
Purchased 1959
Museum number 2-1959

McLean studied design at Dundee College of Art. From 1933 until 1937 he lived in London where he established himself as a successful cartoonist. During the war he served with the Royal Tank Regiment of the 10th Battalion. He was transferred to the Royal Engineers and posted to the Ordnance section, at Ruabon, north Wales where he became friends with the artist William Scott, before serving in North Africa.

'Reflection' reveals McLean’s considered exploration of abstraction. Its formality and disciplined handling reveal his sympathy with the art of painters such as Scott, Cowie, Edward Bawden and the English artist Ben Nicholson. The flat planes of colour contrast with the implied volume of the reflected lemon and the booklet behind it, in a work characterized by order and serenity. The painting is difficult to date any more precisely than 1952-58.

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