Artist | Craigie Aitchison (1926 - 2009)

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Artist Portfolio Catalog Overview\ 26

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Portrait of Chris Ogidih1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Holy Island1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Michael Mohamid1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Easter Egg1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Portrait of Nelson Woo1994
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Chris Ogidih1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Chris Ogidih1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Georgeous Macaulay1963
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Green Butterfly, Red Tree1992
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Vase with Lily1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Italian Easter Egg1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Chris Ogidih1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Royal Mail II1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Royal Mail III1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Anemone Still Life1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Religious Painting1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Landscape I1963
    • Craigie Aitchison

      Landscape II1998
    • Craigie Aitchison

    • Craigie Aitchison

      Holy Island1998



Craigie Aitchison was born in Edinburgh in 1926, the younger son of a leading Scottish lawyer and a mother who from an early age encouraged Craigie's artistic interests. After initially following in his father's footsteps and spending time training to become a lawyer he abandoned this career and entered the Slade School of Art in 1952; fellow students included Myles Murphy and Euan Uglow. Aitchison's work was first shown in a group show at Gimpel Fils in 1954, and his first one man show was at the Beaux Arts Gallery in 1959. Since then he has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and overseas in locations as diverse as Tokyo, Delhi and Jerusalem.
In 1953, during his second year at the Slade he won the prize for the best still life and two years later he was awarded a British Council Italian Government Scholarship to Rome. In the intervening years he has received many awards, most recently the Jerwood Prize in 1994.
Today Craigie Aitchison is well known for his landscapes, his portraits and his still lives, and notably for his Crucifixion paintings the first of which was executed in 1958. At the age of 73 he remains very much at the height of his powers, having recently completed a major commission for Truro Cathedral, and he is currently working on a number of other projects.

Timothy Taylor Gallery and Waddington Galleries are delighted to announce that with effect from 1st March 1998 they have reached an agreement with Craigie Aitchison to jointly represent his paintings worldwide on an exclusive basis.

1926 Born 13 January at 12 India Street, Edinburgh. Younger son of Craigie Mason Aitchison KC and Charlotte Forbes Aitchison née Jones. Baptised by his grandfather, the Revd James Aitchison, a minister in Falkirk.
1929 Father appointed Lord Advocate for Scotland, first Labour politician to hold the post; elected MP for Kilmarnock and made Privy Counsellor.
1930s Holidays with family on the Isle of Arran.
1933 Father raised to bench and appointed Lord Justice-Clerk of Scotland.
1936 Attends Loretto School, Musselburgh, as a boarding pupil along with elder brother Raymund.
1939 - 40 Family moves temporarily to manse near the "Dunmore Pineapple" on mother’s family estate near Stirling.
1941 Father, Lord Aitchison PC KC, dies. Leaves Loretto School. Attends Basil Paterson & Ainslie, Tutors, Edinburgh.
1943 Leaves Basil Paterson with average grades in English Language, English Literature, French, History and Religious Knowledge; achieves credit in Latin enabling future study of law.
Conscripted but immediately discharged on medical grounds.
1944 Enrols at University of Edinburgh to study law. Studies British History and Jurisprudence until 1946.
1948 Moves to London and takes lodgings in Montpelier Walk. Enrols at Middle Temple, City of London, to study law. Sits examinations in British History, Public International and Roman Law.
1950 Converts mews house in Church Lane, Edinburgh, behind family home in India Street into studio. Paints mostly still-lives. Shows very first pictures at Elizabeth Bell Flower Shop next-door to studio.
1951 In London takes private tuition from artist Adrian Daintrey. Copies Augustus John portrait in Tate Gallery.
1951 - 52 Moves into lodgings at 19 Adam’s Row, Mayfair. Copies painting of a view of Dieppe by Fauvist master Albert Marquet.
1952 Takes private tuition from artist Gerald Frankl. Applies to the Slade School of Art to study as part-time fee-paying student in August. Accepted at Slade School and begins attending classes three days per week in October. Frequents Orange Street pub along with Euan Uglow, Myles Murphy and friends.
1953 Moves from Gloucester Place, Marlyebone, first to Portobello Road and from there to Gower Street. Increases study at Slade School to six days per week. Moves to Slade Hostel, Cartwright Gardens, near Euston. Eighteen months later moves with fellow students Myles Murphy to 22a Lower Marsh, near Waterloo Station, London.
Wins Slade School prize (the book Artists on Art, compiled by Robert Goldwater and Maria Treves) for still-life painting, Scissors and Pink String. Subsequently destroys painting.
1954 Wins Italian Government scholarship to travel in Italy. Spends two-and-half months travelling first to Rome, and then through Tuscany and Umbria to Venice, returning home via Munich, Amsterdam and Brussels.
1956 Shows in Gallery One, London, in exhibition entitled Three Romantic Painters. Leaves Lower Marsh and returns to Scotland.
1958 - 63 Paints series of landscapes at Tulliallan, near Kincardine-on-Forth, Fife.
Paints first Crucifixion, the beginning of an ongoing series of works on this theme.
1959 On recommendation of painter Michael Andrews, taken up by dealer Helen Lessore and shows for first time at Beaux Arts Gallery, Bruton Place, London.
1960 Shows for second time at Beaux Arts Gallery.
1962 Meets professional model Georgeous Macaulay while teaching part-time at Regent Street Polytechnic. Begins extended series of nudes and portraits lasting until 1976.
1963 Returns from Scotland with mother, Lady Aitchison, to live full-time in London. Moves to 32 St Mary’s Gardens, Kennington.
1964 Shows for third and final time at Beaux Arts Gallery. Gallery closes down a year later.
1965 Lawrence Gowing, Principal of Chelsea School of Art, allows Craigie to use large studio in school during the summer. Paints large-scale nudes. First works, Nudes against a Blue Background, purchased by Arts Council of Great Britain.
1968 Begins teaching part-time at Chelsea School of Art. Meets model Daphne Charlton and begins series of nudes and portraits.
1970 Mother dies in London. Awarded Edwin Austin Premier Scholarship for Painting.
1971 Sees first Bedlington terrier at Crufts and buys Wayney.
1975 With help from writer John McEwen, acquires SPACE studio on fifth floor of building overlooking Cambridge Circus. Introduced to American writer and journalist Lendel Scott-Ellis by friend Ann Barr. Begins series of nude studies and portraits of her.
Acquires a house at Montecastelli near Siena. Spends eighteen months working in Italy.
1977 Meets eighty-five-year-old retired boxer, David Smith, known as Chicago, and begins series of portraits.
1978 Elected Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
1981 - 82 Arts Council of Great Britain holds retrospective exhibition of work at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Subsequently tours.
1982 Painting Chicago, a film about Craigie Aitchison produced to coincide with retrospective at Serpentine Gallery.
1986 Designs neckties and ceramics for the Royal Academy of Arts.
1987 Meets Naaotwa Swayne, wife of friend, composer Giles Swayne, and begins extended series of portraits.
1987 - 9 Exhibits at the Albermarle Gallery, London.
1988 Elected Member of Royal Academy of Arts.
1993 Returns for the first time since childhood to Isle of Arran and begins large landscapes.
1996 Craigie: The Art of Craigie Aitchison held at Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. Commissioned by National Portrait Gallery, London, to paint portrait, possibly of athlete Linford Christie.



1953 The Slade School annual prize for best still-life
1955 British Council Italian Government Scholarship
1965 Arts Council of Great Britain purchase award
1970 Edwin Austin Abbey Premier Scholarship
1974 Prizewinner John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
1974 - 75 Lorne Scholarship
1976 Arts Council of Great Britain bursary
1984 First Johnson Wax Prize, Royal Academy of Arts
1989 Korn Ferry International Award, Royal Academy of Arts
1994 The Jerwood Prize

Solo Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

1959 Beaux Arts Gallery, London
1960 Beaux Arts Gallery, London
1964 Beaux Arts Gallery, London
1968 Marlborough Fine Arts Ltd, London
1970 Compass Gallery, Glasgow. Catalogue introduction by Helen Lessore
1971 Basil Jacobs Gallery, London
1975 Rutland Gallery, London. Catalogue introduction by Helen Lessore
1976 Craigie Aitchison: Recent Paintings, Scottish Arts Council, Edinburgh. Catalogue introduction by Helen Lessore
1977 M. Knoedler & Co. Ltd, London
1979 Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge. Catalogue introduction by John McEwen
1981 David Grob Fine Art, London
1981 - 92 Arts Council Retrospective Exhibition, Serpentine Gallery, London; Midland Group, Nottingham; City Museum and Art Gallery, Old Portsmouth; Central Library Exhibition Gallery, Milton Keynes; Museums & Art Gallery, Bolton. Catalogue introduction by Helen Lessore; essay by John McEwen
1985 Artis Monte Carlo, Monaco
1987 Albermarle Gallery, London. Catalogue introduction by Patrick Kinmonth
1989 Craigie Aitchison: Recent Paintings, Albermarle Gallery, London. Interview by Andrew Lambirth
1993 Craigie Aitchison, New Paintings, Thomas Gibson Fine Art, London. Catalogue introduction by John McEwen
1994 Spirit of Lamlash: The Paintings of Craigie Aitchison 1954-1994, Terrace Gallery, Harewood House, Leeds. Catalogue essay by Mary Sara
1996 Craigie: The Art of Craigie Aitchison, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

Group Exhibitions (selection)

Group Exhibitions (selection)

1954 Six Young Contemporaries, Gimpel Fils, London
1956 Three Romantic Painters, Gallery One, London
1958 - 61 New Paintings, Arts Council Touring Exhibition
1964 Gulbenkian Foundation, Tate Gallery, London
1967 Il Tempo dell’Imagine, Second International Biennale, Bologna
1969 Modern British Painters, Tokyo
1969 - 70 Cunard Marlborough London Gallery (on board QE2)
1974 British Painting ’74, Hayward Gallery, London
1975 Contemporary Art Society Art Fair, Mall Galleries, London
1975 23rd Salon Actualité de l’Esprit, Centre d’Accueil de l’Université de Paris
1979 Artists’ Market, London
1982 Prophecy and Vision, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol
1984 The Proper Study, British Council Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Dehli
1984 - 85 The Singular Vision, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
1985 The Hard-Won Image, Tate Gallery, London
1987 The Glass of Vision: Seven Artists in a Christian Context: Craigie Aitchison, Jane Dowling, Donald Johnson, John Piper, Michael Renton, John Skelton, Richard Webb. Foreword by The Very Revd Robert Holtby, Dean of Chichester, Chichester Cathedral
1988 Graven Images: Art, Religion and Politics, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston Jeffrey Camp: A Personal Choice, Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London
1989 Faces of Britain: An Exhibition of Figurative Painting 1949-89 for China, British Council
1989 New Ikons, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick touring exhibition
1989 A Spiritual Dimension, Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery touring exhibition
1991 Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
1991 Art in Worship, Catalogue essay, Seen and Unseen, by Don Cupitt; Commentaries by Sister Wendy Beckett
1991 Tewkesbury Abbey, Worcester Cathedral
1992 British Figurative Painting of the 20th Century, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, British Council
1993 Images of Christ, Arts Council touring exhibition, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery; St Paul’s Cathedral, London
1994 Five Protagonists: Craigie Aitchison, Anthony Eyton, Patrick George, Myles Murphy, Euan Uglow, Browse & Darby, London. Catalogue essay, A Common Pursuit, by Andrew Lambirth

Public and Corporate Collections

Public and Corporate Collections

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum
The Arts Council of Great Britain
The Contemporary Art Society
The Central Selling Organisation (De Beers)
Robert Fleming Holdings Limited
The Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries
Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool
Harewood House, Leeds
The Jerwood Foundation
The National Art Collections Fund
Newcastle Region Art Gallery, New South Wales, Australia
Newport Art Gallery
Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery
The Royal Academy of Arts
Rugby Borough Council
The Scottish Arts Council
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
The South African National Gallery
The Tate Gallery
University College, London
University of Liverpool Art Gallery and Collections

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Exhibition History 

Exhibition History

SUMMARY based on artist-info records. More details and Visualizing Art Networks on demand.
Venue types: Gallery / Museum / Non-Profit / Collector
Exhibitions in artist-info 23 (S 10/ G 13) Did show together with - Top 5 of 293 artists
(no. of shows) - all shows - Top 100
Euan Uglow (6)- 18
Michael Andrews (4)- 18
Lucian Freud [Lucien Freud] (4)- 87
Roger Hilton (3)- 22
Frank Auerbach (3)- 68
Exhibitions by type
23:   19 / 2 / 1 / 1
Venues by type
15:   11 / 2 / 1 / 1
Curators 4
artist-info records Apr 1964 - Apr 2015
Countries - Top 4 of 4
United Kingdom (14)
United States (2)
India (1)
Germany (1)
Cities - Top 5 of 6
London (16)
Edinburgh (2)
New York (2)
Frankfurt am Main (1)
New Delhi (1)
Venues (no. of shows ) Top 5 of 15
Timothy Taylor Gallery (4)
Browse & Darby Gallery (3)
Beaux Arts London (2)
Waddington Galleries (2)
Ingleby Gallery (2)
Curators (no. of shows) Top 4 of 4
Alan Bowness(1), Lawrence Gowing(1), Philip James(1), Andrew Lambirth(1)
Offers/Requests Exhibition Announcement S / G Solo/Group Exhibitions   (..) Exhibitions + Favorites
Deutsche Bank Collection - Artists S Apr 2015 - Apr 2015 Frankfurt am Main (1) +0
Browse & Darby Gallery G Jun 2014 - Jul 2014 London (70) +0
Browse & Darby Gallery G Jun 2012 - Jul 2012 London (70) +0
Browse & Darby Gallery G Apr 2010 - May 2010 London (70) +0
Lambirth, Andrew (Curator)       +0
Timothy Taylor Gallery S Jul 2009 - Aug 2009 London (96) +0
Ingleby Gallery G Nov 2005 - Jan 2006 Edinburgh (125) +0
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