About this artwork

Currie described the 'Glasgow Triptych' as showing the 'story of the Scottish working class in the 20th century, as reflected in the relationship between an old shop steward and political activist and a young unemployed man.' He explained that the left-hand panel 'recalls the moment of the Labour victory in 1945, as remembered by the old activist and retold to the young man in the City Bar.' The central panel, 'The Apprentice', treats the early 1980s as years of decay, while the third, 'Young Glasgow Communists', shows a group of young activists planning for the future. The triptych is inspired by the work of Fernand Léger, the Mexican mural artists and the German Neue Sachlichkeit art of George Grosz and Otto Dix.

  • title: Glasgow Triptych
  • accession number: GMA 3012
  • artist: Ken CurrieScottish (born 1960)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Political reform Working classes
  • medium: Oil on canvas
  • date created: 1986
  • measurements: Panels: 214.00 x 272.30 cm; 217.60 x 277.80 cm; 207.00 x 278.10 cm
  • credit line: Purchased 1987
  • copyright: © KEN CURRIE

Ken Currie

Ken Currie

Scottish artist Currie studied at the Glasgow School of Art. He used industrial Glasgow as the subject of his early work, with paintings that were linear in style and modelled in block-like forms. In the early 1990s, Currie was much affected by political and humanitarian events in Eastern Europe. He began to depict decaying and damaged bodies as a response to what he felt was the sickness of contemporary society. Although still as socially aware as in his earlier work, his style became less linear. From the mid-1990s, Currie's paintings became simpler. He focused on individuals instead of crowds and painted in haunting, luminous colours.