About this artwork

Although apparently abstract, Gear's works are normally based on landscape or interior motifs, as the title of this painting suggests. The plant-like forms emerging out of a web of black lines imply organic growth. The use of warm oranges and reds and the irregular black grid are typical of Gear's work of the period. The lines are reminiscent of calligraphy or stained glass. Gear himself stated that they were influenced by the structure of the Forth Bridge and the pitheads from the mining town in which he grew up.

  • title: Landscape
  • accession number: GMA 1300
  • artist: William GearScottish (1915 - 1997)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Abstract
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: March 1949
  • measurements: 73.50 x 92.50 cm (framed: 77.00 x 96.30 x 4.00 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1974
  • copyright: © The Artist's Estate
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

William Gear

William Gear

Gear was born in Methil, Fife, and attended Edinburgh College of Art. In 1937 he studied briefly under Fernand Léger in Paris. After the war Gear worked in Germany, mounting exhibitions for the Allies. From 1948 to 1950 he lived in Paris, where he became affiliated to the COBRA movement. The COBRA artists (the initials stand for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the home cities of many of the group's members), advocated a gestural, near abstract style of painting, influenced by primitivism and the art of children.