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John McLean Biography

Born in Liverpool in 1939 and brought up in Scotland, John McLean is a painter, printmaker and sculptor who has been called “a self-propelled missile whose long career has been an unfettered exploration of abstraction and a unique journey into colour”.

It is the colour in his work which first hits the senses but equally important is the structure which tells a story of relationships. The way in which the elements talk to each other is critical.

Because John’s monotypes are generally printed with all the colours arriving on the sheet at the same instant, they co-exist with a naturalness which is quite at odds with a general understanding of what printmaking is about. They are very definitely hand-made but have no hint of assemblage: everything belongs with everything else.

John has won several awards, including an Arts Council Major Award in 1980, and has been guest artist at Emma Lake Workshop, and artist in residence at Edinburgh University. In a career spanning four decades he has brought an exceptional talent and intelligence to the pursuit of colour harmony and contrast in abstract painting, and has become internationally recognised as one of the foremost abstract painters.

His numerous solo exhibitions began in 1975 at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, and his work has since been shown around the world. His work is in numerous public, private and corporate collections worldwide, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries; the Hunterian Collection at Glasgow University, Edinburgh City Art Gallery, the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, South

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