Magazine article The Spectator

Double Vision

Magazine article The Spectator

Double Vision

Article excerpt

There were two Joan Eardleys, according to a new biography of the Scot t i sh pa inter by Ch r i stopher And reae . There wa s 'the tender and gentle Joan', as revealed by her bosom friend Audrey Walker, and 'the tough, cussing, swearing, bulldozing, indomitable creator of what may be masterpieces'. Both are reflected in the Portland Gallery's new exhibition of drawings and paintings from the last 20 years of her short life (until 17 May).

The tough Joan cho se the challenging subject matter, dividing her time between the rotting tenements of unreconstructed Gla sgow and the leaky f i sherman's cot tages o f Cat terl ine , south o f Aberdeen. Her restless eye was irresistibly drawn to moving targets, whether swarms of street urchins in clashing hand-me-down clothes or crashing breakers under granite sk ies , see 'Todhead Point ' above (during one blizzard her easel had to be secured with an anchor). …

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