An early morning visit organised as part of London Art Fair, saw art enthusiasts brave the cold January weather to reach Piano Nobile’s gallery spaces in Holland Park for a welcome warm drink or glass of champagne and to explore the work of Scottish painter Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009) who grew up in Edinburgh then moved to London as to study art at the Slade School (having first studied law).
Aitchison stayed in London, combined with regular visits to Italy of which he had a great love, and is best known for his characteristic stripped-down crucifixes and studies of his dogs (he had four which he loved), along with Italian landscapes and portraits. I can remember when his paintings were on sale at affordable prices at gallery exhibitions in London.
The Piano Nobile gallery, with two spaces facing each other in Holland Park, is showing the work of Craigie Aitchison starting with his early work and that of his contemporaries and friends with whom he studied including Michael Andrews. Andrews recommended him to Helen Lessore who had established the Beaux Arts Gallery in Bruton Street and exhibitied artists such as Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Euan Uglow.
In the second gallery space Aitchison comes into his own. It is many years since we have had such a rich and comprehensive exhibition covering the different aspects of his work in London. This is an exhibition which should really have been held at one of the Tates (but their representation of Scottish works apart from Eduardo Paolozzi at Tate Modern is not good).
All credit to Piano Nobile for organising this and for bringing visitors from the London Art Fair to see it.