Unseen paintings by Jack Vettriano will be featured in an exhibition at the gallery where he sought inspiration as a young artist.
The exhibition at Kirkcaldy Galleries in Fife will feature 12 oil paintings he produced in his early twenties and thirties, signed with his birth name, Jack Hoggan.
The works, painted before its international success in the 1990s, will be exhibited alongside pieces sold in five and six figures.
This will be the first retrospective of the 70-year-old artist since a major exhibition at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow in 2013 and the first to focus on his formative years and early career.
Although widely criticized by critics, Jack Vettriano has sold his paintings for hundreds of thousands of pounds and has an estimated net worth of Â£ 3.6million. Pictured: Vettriano’s Sweet Bird of Youth, which has been seen before
Vettriano, left school at age 15 to become a mining engineer, but began painting after a girlfriend gave him a box of watercolors for his 21st birthday. Pictured: Vettriano’s The Billy Boys, whose prints sell for hundreds of books
Self Portrait, a 2002 painting by Jack Vettriano which will be featured in an exhibition that will include previously unseen works, unlike this one, at the Kirkcaldy Galleries in Fife, where he sought inspiration as a young artist
Vettriano, from Fife, left school at age 15 to become a mining engineer, but began painting after a girlfriend gave him a box of watercolors for his 21st birthday.
The artist learned by copying Old Masters, Impressionists and Scottish artists, and was inspired by the works he saw in the Kirkcaldy Galleries, run by the OnFife cultural association.
He said: âI grew up admiring the work of so many great Scottish painters in what was then my local gallery.
Jack Vettriano (pictured) was once called ‘no 21st century Van Gogh’ but rather ‘the Tom Jones of art: tall, bold, brassy and devoid of inner truth’.
Vettriano’s most famous painting, The Singing Butler, of a couple dancing on a beach despite an approaching storm, sold for almost Â£ 750,000 at auction in 2004
âKirkcaldy has a superb permanent collection and a free admission policy, so I have to thank the galleries for starting my art education. “
The artist then adopted her mother’s maiden name to mark a break with the work sold under her last name Hoggan.
The new exhibition opens in June and will feature one of two paintings Vettriano presented for the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition in 1988.
Sculptor David Mach spoke out in favor of Vettriano, saying in The Scotsman: “If he was a fashion designer, Jack would be up there.” Pictured: Vettriano’s painting Mad Dogs. Images of the 12 previously unseen paintings featured in his exhibition have yet to be released
Mr. Mach added, âThis is just art world snobbery. Either way, whatever, he’s probably making more money than Damien Hirst anyway. Pictured: Vettriano at his home in Battersea, London
Both paintings sold on day one, a turning point that inspired him to become a full-time artist.
Among the 57 private loans will be pieces such as Billy Boys, Valentine Rose and Bluebird in Bonneville, while two works from the OnFife collection, including a self-portrait, will also be featured.
OnFife Curator Alice Pearson said: âThis is the first time that Jack has agreed to exhibit painted works simply as a hobby alongside later pieces that have won over sold-out exhibitions in London and At New York.
Painter Jack Vettriano, whose work has been labeled as “dim erotica” but sells for hundreds of thousands of pounds, criticized the art establishment for snubbing his work
“The exhibit will highlight the diversity of subjects and styles that Jack tackles while learning his craft, giving him the confidence and technical ability to develop his own identifiable style.”
Also included will be Long Time Gone, which takes place against the backdrop of the now demolished Methil Power Station, a once familiar landmark from Fife.
The exhibition, which covers the artist’s career until 2000, was originally scheduled for 2019 but has been postponed twice due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Who is Jack Vettriano and why do critics hate his work?
Despite his immense popularity with the public, Jack Vettriano has often been the recipient of more negative comments from art critics, and has previously been described as “the Jeffrey Archer of the art world”.
Over the years, his work has been described as twee and chauvinistic, with its material more erotically referred to as “pornography.”
However, his work has sold for thousands of dollars and he is considered the most reproduced British artist, making thousands of versions of his paintings. His net worth is estimated at Â£ 3.6million.
Scottish art historian Duncan Macmillan once said of Vittriano: âHe is welcome to paint as long as no one takes him seriously.
Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones said: “Jack Vettriano is not a 21st century Van Gogh. He is the Tom Jones of art: tall, bold, brassy, ââand devoid of inner truth. ‘
Jones added, “The world of Jack Vettriano is a crass male fantasy that could be straight out of Martin Amis’ Money.”
Sandy Moffat, responsible for drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art, said: “He can’t paint, he only colors”, while Richard Calvocoressi, former director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: “I am more than happy to say that we consider him to be an indifferent painter and that he is very low in our priority list (whether or not we can afford his work, which we obviously cannot. for the moment).
“His ‘popularity’ is based on inexpensive commercial reproductions of his paintings.”
Vittriano claimed that Van Gogh and Monet would have been in favor of the sale of reproductions.
Alice Jones wrote in The Independent that in Vettriano’s paintings “women are sex objects, often half-naked and vulnerable, always in stockings and stiletto heels.”
Still, sculptor David Mach spoke out in favor of Vettriano, saying in The Scotsman: âIf he was a fashion designer, Jack would be up there.
âIt’s just snobbery in the art world. Either way, whatever, he’s probably making more money than Damien Hirst anyway.