Gray, Alasdair

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Gray, Alasdair

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23 Dec 1934-29 Dec 2019


Alasdair Gray was born in Riddrie in Glasgow in 1934. He studied at The Glasgow School of Art from 1952 to 1957. As an artist, he specialised in mural, narrative paintings, still life, figurative subjects and portraits and worked in oil and the occasional watercolour. His murals are shown at the Oran Mor venue and in the Hillhead Subway Station, both in Glasgow.

The main themes in his paintings were the Garden of Eden and triumph of death. He published numerous forms of literature including novels, short stories, plays, poetry, essays, and translations. He wrote about politics and the history of British literature including realism, fantasy, and science fiction. As a prolific author and illustrator, his best-known book titled 'Lanark' (1981) is seen as a landmark in Scottish literature. He won various awards for his typography, illustrations, and written works. Since 1979, he exhibited three times at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in Edinburgh and the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts 29 times.

Considered a polymath, he suffered from bad eczema and asthma. Politically, he was Left and supported Scottish independence. In 1961, he was married to Inge Sorensen until 1970. In 1991, he married Morag McAlpine who died in May 2014. In 2015, he had a bad fall and was confined to a wheelchair for a time. Gray passed away in 2019 the age of 85; he left his body to science. He is survived by his son, Andrew, and a granddaughter. His work has been exhibited in Glasgow Museums, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Library of Scotland, and the Hunterian Museum.


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