London, South Kensington
27 February 2013
WILLIAM JOHNSTONE (1897-1981)
Romantic Blue Landscape
signed, inscribed and dated 'Romantic Blue landscape/William Johnstone/1969' (on the reverse)
oil and resin on canvas
54½ x 96 in. (138.5 x 244 cm.)
With Hayward Gallery, London, 1980.
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Hayward Gallery, London 1980, Restrospective Exhibition, Catalogue 83.
Country Life, 1 February 2012, p. 80.
Edinburgh, The Scottish Gallery, William Johnstone (1897-1981), Marshland, 11 January 2011-3 March 2012, p. 48.
Dr. William Johnstone OBE (1897-1981) was a Scottish artist and writer. He became determined to be a painter encouraged by the watercolourist Tom Scott. He trained at Edinburgh College of Art and then in Paris under André Lhote. He travelled in Spain, Italy, North Africa and California before settling in London in 1931. Here, he dedicated himself to art education and became Director of Camberwell College of Art from 1938 until 1946 and then Director of the Central School of Arts and Crafts from 1947 to 1960. He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to art education on 1954. William Johnstone returned to Scotland in 1960 to paint and to farm. Throughout the 1970s he produced a large body of work and in 1980 he received an Honorary Doctorate for artistic achievement from the University of Edinburgh. Christie's held two posthumous sales dedicated to his work in 1990 and in 1996. While the artist defined himself as a landscape painter, his work is grounded in Cubism and Surrealism, which he encountered early on in Paris. He also had a great appreciation for literature, which at times led to a blurring of the boundaries between image and word, most noticeably in the collaborations he made with Hugh MacDiarmid and later with Edwin Muir, which combine lithographs and poems. William Johnstone's was a life dedicated to art: when Sir Michael Culme-Seymour asked him how long a painting had taken to be completed Johnstone answered, 'only ten minutes, I suppose, but it's taken me seventy years of looking.'
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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