EXHIBITION – Edwin G. Lucas is not a name familiar to most, nor is the phrase ‘Scottish Surrealist’.
But the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has just
acquired five 1940s works by this little-known Scottish painter
who, if not committed to the movement, certainly flirted with
surrealism for over a decade.
"They are impressive because they are inexplicable," said
Patrick Elliott, senior curator at the Scottish National Gallery of
"I've not seen anything quite like them before in my 20 years at
the gallery: there's a bit of Picasso, but overall he's got nothing
in common with anyone painting in Scotland at the time - or in fact
Born in Leith, Edwin George Lucas (1911-90) was
talented from an early age but was discouraged from becoming a
painter as his uncle, although a successful artist, had struggled
to make a living from painting.
He studied law then worked in the civil service, but always
thought of himself as an artist with a day job.
Although self-taught, he took evening classes at Edinburgh
College of Art and, in the late 1930s, he associated with some
innovative students there, including Wilhelmina Barns-Graham from
whom he rented a studio in 1939.
This is when Lucas became interested in Surrealism and over the
next 12 years he produced an unusual body of work, initially
inspired by Magritte but later developing a more individual
The 11 paintings currently on show at Bourne Fine
Art in Edinburgh are from this period, consigned to the gallery
by the artist's estate in the wake of the national gallery
The works, on view from March 27 until April 17 at 6 Dundas
Street, Edinburgh, have been kept in storage since Lucas's last
major solo exhibition in 1951.
Prices range from £2500 to £5500.
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