Peter Thomson – Cobalt Wall

04-04-2013 - 27-04-2013

Twenty-eight years ago, Compass Gallery first presented in the New Generation Show the talented new graduate of Glasgow School of Art, Peter Thomson. His creativity and imagination was immediately evident. His first solo show in 1995 was followed by several successful Compass exhibitions including a collaboration with Piccadilly Gallery, Cork Street, London.


Peter continues to work steadily, further cementing his reputation as one of the most imaginative and significant artists living and working in the UK today. Although he has shown consistently with Compass Gallery over the years, this is his first major solo exhibition in Scotland since 1995(?). The appreciation of an artist’s home audience is extremely important, so Compass is proud to have this opportunity of presenting his newest body of work.


A studio visit to Peter is always thought-provoking and invites discussion. The paintings offer a glimpse into his personal observations and triggers of inspiration. Thomson is a serious minded and responsible artist who has always reflected on a variety of contemporary issues through his paintings.


Influenced by his commitment to his own conscience and political ideologies, Thomson believes that “For some considerable time much of the Arts establishment has consigned painting, particularly figurative painting to the margins of what is considered credible art practice. The established orthodoxy is now what is widely referred to as conceptual art. To my mind this is as much a triumph of marketing rather than a general recognition and acceptance that the more established traditions are of little contemporary relevance. In my own practice I have been unable, or rather unwilling to stray from the influences that initially provoked me to lift a paintbrush. The post impressionist era provided the most sophisticated and beautiful examples of painting which in my opinion remain unsurpassed. Vuillard, Bonnard, Vallaton, Redon, Suerat, Sickert and Gwen John. Followed in the 20th century by William Orpen, Roger Fry, Balthus, Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious & Edward Hopper. In the 21st century we have the astonishing painting of Lucien Freud, Peter Doig and Goran Djurovic who have progressed in the traditions of these artists. I could add to these lists without limit. Their importance to me is that I consider these painters to have regarded their subject matter as being equally crucial as exploring the inherent qualities and possibilities of the materials they used. This crossover or fusion of content and aesthetics is what fascinates me most and what I attempt to address in my own work.”


Thomson’s works are painted with great intensity and integrity as he quietly works away with complete dedication, tenacity and passion. He brings to his practise the knowledge, skill and background, which enable him to explore and express his deep feelings and thoughts. The works sit on the wall with quiet determination, they speak for themselves and hold their own in many major public and private collections sitting comfortably alongside the masters that Peter cites as his greatest influences.