Alexander Moffat RSA
Alexander Moffat RSA's early work was shaped by a keen social consciousness and whilst a student he staged open-air exhibitions at the Edinburgh Festivals of 1963, 1964 and 1965 with John Bellany HRSA. His main body of work comprises portraits of the Scottish Renaissance poets (Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, Robert Garioch, Norman MacCaig, Iain Crichton Smith, George MacKay Brown and Edwin Morgan) first shown at the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow in 1981 and which now hang in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. In 2014 Peacock Visual Arts, Aberdeen, staged a retrospective exhibition of his work along with a publication Paintings as Arguments – Five decades of political and cultural change in Scotland. Recent exhibitions include Landmarks, Lillie Art Gallery, Milngavie and Montrose Museum and Art Gallery, 2018; and A View of the Nation, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, 2018.
Moffat has also curated several important exhibitions of contemporary Scottish art including New Image Glasgow at the Third Eye Centre in 1985 and Scotland in Europe/Europe in Scotland in Scotland House, Brussels, celebrating the 80th birthday of Richard Demarco in 2011. Over the last decade he has collaborated extensively with Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. Their books Arts of Resistance: Poets, Portraits and Landscapes of Modern Scotland and Arts of Independence, take the form of conversations about the impact of the arts on 20th-century Scotland. With Alan Riach, Moffat edited and annotated a new edition of JD Ferguson’s Modern Scottish Painting. Facing the Nation by Bill Hare, a survey of Moffat’s portraits from the 1960’s to date was published by Luath Press in 2018.
Moffat was born in Dunfermline in 1943 and studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art (1960-1964). He became Chairman of the New 57 Gallery in Edinburgh in 1968, a position he held until 1978. In 1979 he joined the staff of Glasgow School of Art where he was Head of the Painting Department from 1992 until his retirement in 2005. His paintings are represented in many collections in the UK and in the Yale Centre for British Art, USA, and the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. He was awarded an OBE for his services to the arts in 2006.