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Ken Currie was born in 1960, and Graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 1983. It was therefore natural that Industrial Glasgow was the subject for his early work, with paintings that were linear in style and modelled in block-like forms. He was labelled as one of the New Glasgow Boys along with Peter Howson, Adrian Wisniewski and the late Steven Campbell who studied together at the Glasgow School of Art.
Deeply affected by political and humanitarian events in Eastern Europe, Currie began to depict decaying and damaged bodies as a response to what he felt was the sickness of contemporary society. In 1987, on the 200th anniversary of the Calton weavers Massacre, Currie was commissioned to paint a memorial which is displayed on the ceiling of the People’s Palace.
Currie was commissioned by the University of Edinburgh to paint a portrait of Peter Higgs, the theoretical physicist, which was unveiled in 2009. He is a “reluctant portraitist”, and this was only his second portrait. He said, referring to the Higgs boson, “I am very interested in Peter’s work. I don’t for one second claim to grasp the theory, but I do understand the sublime, and there is a sublime quality to it all, a beauty, an awesome quality. In some respects, the subject is quite terrifying. ”
Currie’s paintings remain primarily concerned with the human condition even though many of the images dealing with, for example, metaphysical questions do not feature figures a human presence is nevertheless always suggested.