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Crane Abstraction

Collection: Gray's School of Art Collection
Object Type: Painting
Artist/Maker: Maclean, William James
Date: 1966
Media/Materials: oil on board
Dimensions: overall: 74.3 cm x 94.6 cm

Born in Inverness in 1941, Maclean was a midshipman (1957-59) before attending Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen (1961-65). He was awarded a Gray's Travelling Scholarship in 1966, which allowed him to travel to the British School in Rome. He returned to the sea in 1968 as a ring net fisherman, which led to a major bursary in 1973 to study ring net herring fishing.

This early oil painting was created prior to the development of his construction-based compositions which evoke the sea, emigration, arctic exploration, whaling and fishing.

The critic and writer Duncan Macmillan writes in his introduction to the monograph on Maclean 'Symbols of Survival':
"Will Maclean is one of the outstanding artists of his generation in Scotland... his art is rooted in his knowledge of the Highlands, the Highland people, their history, and his own early associations with sailors and the sea."
Object Number: ABDRG134