This print is unusual due to its monochrome pallet. the style and subject matter seem to hark back to the art of the Anasazi tribe; the ancient inhabitants an area that is now of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. It is a contemporary reimagining of their ‘primitive’ monochromatic art.
Barbara Rae (born 1943) CBE RA is a Scottish painter and printmaker. As a student of painting at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1961 to 1965, she also worked as a grouse-beater in the Scottish Highlands. “I loved being up there walking the hills, seeing the landscape, drawing it.” “Geography was really important to me and it still plays a huge role in my art.” After graduating, Rae received a travel scholarship that allowed her to spend time painting in France and Spain, an experience that, along with her later travels, greatly shaped her artwork, which largely focuses on landscapes. According to Rae, her travels have “generated a body of work which indicated a deep interest in the history as well as the aesthetics of landscape”.
She exhibited in her first solo show in 1967 at the Edinburgh’s New 57 Gallery. In 1975, she became a lecturer in drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art, where she worked until 1996. In 1980, she was elected as an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy; she became a full member in 1992. In 1983, she was elected president of the Society of Scottish Artists. She was appointed as a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland in 1995. Rae also became a member of the Royal Academy of Art in 1996. In 1999, she was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She is also a Royal Etcher, a Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Rae’s work is held by institutions including the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, British Museum, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and Whitworth Art Gallery. The first monograph on her work was in its third printing as of 2013.
The Royal Academy of Arts’ magazine RA has described Rae’s works as “intense colour bursts that evoke dramatic landscapes but remain resolutely abstract”, “distil[ling] the colour, light and forms of nature into dazzling visions”. Rather than mixing paints on a palette, Rae applies unmixed acrylic paints to the canvas itself and then pours fluid over them to blend them. Rae has said that she does not regard herself as a Scottish artist, though her “relationship with the landscape and history of the west coast of Scotland” has inspired much of her art.