Glasgow – Gallery of Modern Art (Works by Beryl Cook)

I didn’t find much that I could engage with in the Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow, but more of that in another riveting (ahem, well maybe….) blog post later today.

These were the highlights of the collection for me, the easily identifiable works by Beryl Cook (clicking on the images enlarges them). The one on the left is ‘By the Clyde’ painted in oils in 1992 (acquired by Glasgow Museums in 1993) and the one on the right is ‘Hen Party II’ painted in oils in 1995 (and acquired by Glasgow Museums in 1996).

I have little art knowledge (well, actually, I suppose I have no art knowledge, but I won’t let that stop me here) but there’s something really quite timeless about the ‘By the Clyde’ artwork. Cook (1926 – 2008) noted about this artwork:

“I liked this view of the bridge and the bus, and added a girl I had seen at Glasgow Railway Station.”

It’s not actually of a specific place in Glasgow, just a collection of images that Cook had remembered. There’s an offensive word on the bridge, which is deliberately shown to suggest that it is partly painted out. Like with works by Lowry, these are images of everyday people in what could be seen as a random street scene. The artwork was commissioned by the gallery and they noted that Cook debated whether or not to put that offensive word in the image.

As an aside, it’s a snapshot of the American Dunkin’ Donuts brand that closed 30 outlets in the UK in the 1990s when the concept just didn’t work here. Although tastes must have changed, as twenty years later they started opening outlets up again in the UK, but that’s probably not relevant here.