RSA Lower Galleries | Free entry
The Royal Scottish Academy to pleased to present Leon Morrocco: Long Road Home.
Timed to coincide with the artist’s 80th birthday, this major survey exhibition of one of our longest-standing Academicians celebrates the breadth of Leon’s prolific career. Although Leon was born in Edinburgh he has not lived in Scotland since 1979. This exhibition charts the ‘long road home’ to showing in the capital this summer.
Leon Morrocco RSA was born in Edinburgh in 1942. The son of Scottish-Italian artist Alberto Morrocco RSA OBE (1917-1998), Leon spent his childhood in Aberdeen and Dundee where his father taught at the art colleges. On family holidays to Italy Leon and his father would go out into the hills around Rome and Alberto would paint whilst Leon would draw. In 1959 Leon enrolled at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, before continuing to the Slade School of Art, London (1960-61), and Edinburgh College of Art (1961-65). After art school, he was awarded the Andrew Grant Scholarship and an Italian Government Scholarship to the Accademia di Brera, Milan. Allowing him to travel around Greece, Turkey and Italy, these awards catalysed the itinerant lifestyle that would define his career.
Elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy at the unusually young age of 29, Leon was Lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1965 to 1968 before taking up a similar position at Glasgow School of Art from 1969 to 1979. Driven by a desire for travel and adventure, in 1979 he left Scotland to become the Head of Fine Art at the Chisholm Institute, Melbourne. Leon and his family would live in Australia for 12 years. Buoyed by gallery support, in 1984 he left academia and for the first time focused solely on his own practice. Following several successful exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney, in 1991 Leon and his family returned to the UK, settling in North London.
Highlighting lesser-known aspects of Leon’s long career, this exhibition begins with early drawings from the 50s, continues with monumental yet intimate portraits of his family, before looking at grand tabletop still lifes from the late 60s and 70s. Continuing to focus on Leon’s prolific travel-led work, the exhibition charts projects undertaken in Greece, France, Italy, Morocco, Malta, India and Australia. The exhibition culminates with paintings and drawings from an ongoing series addressing the dramatic landscape of the Alpes-Maritimes. This recent divergence from the figurative painting for which he is best-known, into a purer investigation of landscape, shows Leon continuing to push his practice unceasingly into his ninth decade.
View the exhibition online