Craigie Aitchison was born in 1926 and was brought up in Scotland, full name John Ronald Craigie Aitchison. He adopted his father’s name when he became an artist. Studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1952-4, having rejected law as a career. In 1955 he received a British Council and Italian government scholarship to study in Italy, where the different light and landscape made a marked impression on his work. Aitchison’s work took on a strong pastel colouring and he adopted a few simple shapes, such as a figure, a tree or a bird, which were to be his trademarks. His apparently simple pictures can be comical or sad, but are always original. He has had a series of shows at the Beaux Arts Gallery, 1954-64, also showed with LG, Compass Gallery in Glasgow, Knoedler & Co and abroad. Notable exhibitions were held at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, in 1979, and at the Serpentine Gallery in 1981, with a retrospective at Harewood House, Leeds, 1994, and a major show at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, in 1996. Was made an RA in 1988 and recently made CBE.
Caroline Wiseman Modern & Contemporary