Vettriano says it would be “foolish” to wait for the National Galleries

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A SCOTTISH artist has hit out at the National Galleries saying it would be “foolish” to sit about and wait for them to host his exhibition.

Jack Vettriano, was famously snubbed by the National Galleries after they declined to exhibit a series of his work over a row about the quality of his paintings.

The 61-year-old is regarded as one of Scotland’s most famous living artists.

The artist’s comments come ahead of his latest exhibition which will be held at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

More than 100 of Vettriano’s most famous paintings will be hung at the gallery between September and February 2014.

In 2011, Vettriano’s self-portrait, The Weight, was hung in the National Portrait Galleries. This is the only painting of his that has been displayed by the National Galleries.

Vettriano said that it would be “foolish” to wait about for the National Galleries to host one of his exhibitions.

He said:  “I can only look at it as first come, first served. I think that anybody in my shoes would be foolish to say it’s got to be the National Galleries or nothing at all.”

He added: “When I was first asked to contemplate a retrospective in Glasgow I was absolutely overwhelmed by it. You’ll be aware I have had my issues over the years with public spaces. People tend to forget the four exhibitions I’ve had have exhibited only in London and Kirkcaldy, rather than any other galleries.”

Vettriano’s work is owned by celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Zara Phillips and Sir Alex Ferguson.

Despite the popularity of his work, some in the art world have been critical of his paintings.

Richard Calvocoressi, former director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, previously said that Vettriano was a “media creation” whose “popularity rests on cheap commercial reproductions of his paintings.”

While Sandy Moffat, former head of painting at the Glasgow School of Art, once said: “he can’t paint; he just colours in.”

Asked whether a Vettriano retrospective was something that National Galleries would consider, a spokesperson for the National Galleries of Scotland said: “We have no active plans, but it isn’t something that we would rule out for the future.”

 

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