John Byrne RSA 1940-2023

  • Overview

    "He was too tall, too handsome and too stylish. He was so clever. He was unique. He was wonderful. He is irreplaceable." - Gordon Brown

    John Byrne MBE was born in Paisley, 1940. He studied Painting at Glasgow School of Art, where he was awarded the Newberry Medal. In 2007, Byrne was made a full member of the Royal Scottish Academy. His work is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the Gallery of Modern Art and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery in Glasgow.
    John Byrne was a natural storyteller, whether it be through script on the stage, or through brushwork on paper or canvas. He conjured paintings and drawings from a wealth of experience and knowledge, gained over a lifetime involved in the demanding worlds of both painting and theatre. Byrne was at his best when he treated us to a pictorial autobiography of sorts - a heddy mix of images that constantly surprise and delight, exploring the joys and the dangers that make up the journeys of a life. John delivered us to places and emotions that most people shy away from, preferring not to hide.
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