The Vigorous Imaginationrevisited

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘The Vigorous Imagination: New Scottish Art’ presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1987 as the lead Edinburgh International Festival art exhibition.

It showcased the work of 17 young artists who were making waves on the international art scene. These included the ‘New Glasgow Boys’: Steven Campbell, Peter Howson, Ken Currie, Adrian Wiszniewski; sculptor David Mach; photographer-installations artists Calum Colvin and Ron O’Donnell, and painters Sam Ainsley, Philip Braham, Stephen Conroy, Gwen Hardie, Ian Hughes, Keith McIntyre, June Redfern, Mario Rossi, Joseph Urie & Kate Whiteford. It was a proud pronouncement that visual art in Scotland was vibrant, intelligent and in touch with the zeitgeist which swept across Europe during the 1980s. Since then, many of the artists have become household names.

This group came to influence the wider artistic landscape in Scotland and beyond and The Vigorous Imagination helped to pave the way for the current crop of international artists whose fame attests to the vibrancy of Glasgow as a pivotal centre for contemporary art.