About this artwork

During the 1980s Sandy Moffat made a number of paintings of young Scottish artists, including Ken Currie, Peter Howson and Gwen Hardie. Each sitter was depicted alongside their own work and all the paintings were painted directly onto the canvas with little or no preparatory sketches. This is the second of two portraits Moffat made of Gwen Hardie and as a result, Moffat explained, ‘I could be more ambitious, more certain about things. Gwen was able to find a more natural pose, one which she felt very positive about.’ Hardie’s painting ‘Venus with Spikes’ is shown in the background - its confrontational imagery of a female body decorated with internal spikes reflects the artist’s own relaxed but defiant posture. Hardie is from the town of Newport-on-Tay in Fife.

  • title: Gwen Hardie
  • accession number: GMA 3454
  • artist: Alexander (Sandy) MoffatScottish (born 1943)
  • depicted: Gwen Hardie
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Visual arts
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1987
  • measurements: 152.50 x 122.00 cm (framed: 168.30 x 138.50 x 5.50 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1989
  • copyright: © Alexander Moffat
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Alexander (Sandy) Moffat

Alexander (Sandy) Moffat

Born in Dunfermline, Moffat studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 64. Alongside his friend John Bellany, Moffat emerged as one of the Scottish Realists, so-called because of their social awareness and rejection of the decorative principles that defined much Scottish art during the first half of the twentieth century. Moffat was particularly close to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid and his literary circle. From 1979 Moffat taught at Glasgow School of Art where he encouraged a new generation of Scottish figurative painters including Peter Howson, Ken Currie and Steven Campbell.