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W.G. Gillies

W.G. Gillies

W.G.Gillies PortraitGillies was born in Haddington, East Lothian. He had just enrolled at the Edinburgh College of Art, when he was called up for service in World War I with the Royal Engineers. After the war, he returned to the College, and after graduation taught there for over 40 years with other notable Scottish artists including Adam Bruce Thomson. He was Principal of the College from 1959 until his retirement in 1966.

In 1922 along with nine fellow students, including William Crozier, William Geissler and William MacTaggart, he founded the 1922 Group, an exhibition society which promoted their works at the New Gallery in Edinburgh for the next ten years. Assisted by a travelling scholarship, Gillies studied under André Lhote in Paris in 1923 and he went on to visit Italy in 1924.

For a brief period after these experiences he worked in a cubist manner, but would later revert to a more traditional style. His cubist influenced works are typified by the 1933 still life, Two Pots, Saucer and Fruit. The arrangement of the objects, which are close together on a tilted table top, are influenced by Cézanne, whereas the understated colours and textures are reminiscent of Braque and Picasso.
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