Bruce McLean

Landscape Painting (1968)

About this artwork

This is one of a group of photographs which record 'sculptures' made at Largybeg on the Isle of Arran in 1968. They all feature a huge roll of photographic paper on which McLean spilt water-based paint, so that he was literally 'painting' on the landscape. Deliberately undermining the self-importance of much contemporary art, these ephemeral works were thrown away after being photographed. They also make a witty comment on Land Art, which was becoming popular in the late 1960s. The long roll of paper is reminiscent of land artist Richard Long's use of the line in his photographs.

  • title: Landscape Painting
  • accession number: GMA 3572
  • artist: Bruce McLeanScottish (born 1944)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Photograph
  • subject: Rocks
  • materials: Colour photograph with transfer-text
  • date created: 1968
  • measurements: 31.20 x 31.00 cm (framed: 32.70 x 32.70 x 0.70 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1990
  • copyright: © Bruce McLean. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016.
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Bruce McLean

Bruce McLean

Born in Glasgow, McLean studied at Glasgow School of Art and, from 1963 to 1966, at St Martin's School of Art in London. Influenced by tutor Anthony Caro, McLean experimented with making formalist, floor-based sculpture in materials such as steel and fibreglass. However, by 1967 he was beginning to satirize such work, placing bits of junk in tasteful compositions on the pavement or in his sitting room. These works led to others, in which mud and ice were arranged to form abstract sculpture. These now survive only in photographs - as, indeed, they were meant to. In later years, McLean became interested in social issues, such as wealth and class. His oeuvre comprises sculpture, painting, printmaking, pottery and performance art.