Sunday, February 28, 2016
Robert Colquhoun (1914 – 1962) was a Scottish painter, printmaker and theatre set designer.
Colquhoun was born in Kilmarnock and was educated at Kilmarnock Academy. He won a scholarship to study at the Glasgow School of Art, where he met Robert MacBryde with whom he established a lifelong gay relationship and professional collaboration, the pair becoming known as "the two Roberts". He joined MacBryde on a travelling scholarship to France and Italy from 1937 to 1939, before serving as an ambulance driver in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the Second World War. After being injured, he returned to London in 1941 where he shared studio space with MacBryde. The pair shared a house with John Minton and, from 1943, Jankel Adler.
Colquhoun's early works of agricultural labourers and workmen were strongly influenced by the colours and light of rural Ayrshire. His work developed into a more austere, Expressionist style, heavily influenced by Picasso, and concentrated on the theme of the isolated, agonised figure. From the mid-1940s to the early 1950s he was considered one of the leading artists of his generation.
Colquhoun died, an alcoholic, in relative obscurity in London in 1962.