Steven Campbell was born in Glasgow and trained at Glasgow School of Art.
On Form and Fiction by Steven Campbell, 1989-1990
© the artist
- 9 acrylic paintings on paper and 105 ink drawings on paper
- Art Fund grant:
- £100,000 ( Total: £200,000)
- Acquired in:
- Carol Campbell
His neo-romantic paintings made him an important figure in the New Spirit in Painting movement of the early 1980s, and together with Adrian Wisziewski, Peter Howson and Ken Currie he became known as one of the New Glasgow Boys. Campbells On Form and Fiction was first created as an immersive installation at the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow in 1990. At that time the room was papered with 150 ink drawings and hung with 12 acrylic paintings. The installation featured museum benches and a soundtrack of Serge Gainsborough and Jane Birkins song Je taime... Moi Non Plus. The installation later toured to other venues across Britain. Many of Campbells themes and interests can be seen in the work. Among the references are the architecture of Le Corbusier, the writings of John Ruskin and Italian scenery from Campbells holidays. Knowing and ironic references to art history, including titles for each of the paintings (Portrait of a Nude Encouraging Significant Form, for example), identify the installation as a work of Post-Modernism. Three of the original acrylic paintings were sold during the 1990 tour and some of the drawings were cut down or given away. The remaining nine paintings and drawings were then placed in storage and remained untouched until 2014. In that year the work was re-installed as part of a major exhibition in Edinburgh to celebrate 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. On Form and Fiction has now been acquired jointly by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Life, which represents Glasgow Museums. Research has been undertaken to assess how the work was originally installed and Campbells wife has been consulted. Although both organisations own works by the artist, this is the last remaining installation by Campbell in existence and therefore a highly significant acquisition. The work will now be shown in venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh and on tour.
The artist; thereby to the artist's estate