Gillies’ subject is the Gala Water beneath Stow with rising hillside beyond, its fields and copses climbing to a high horizon and a typically dark sky. As with many of Gillies’ oils from the 1950s, his interest is in capturing a certain time and place, reducing the landscape in front of him to patterns of flat colour, without making the full leap into abstraction. This significant oil is one of the finest to come onto the market in recent years and places Gillies amongst his English contemporaries at the heart of British Modernism.
Signature: signed lower right
Ground Floor Gallery Opening, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 1981; A Dozen Paintings and Works on Paper, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 2016, ex cat
Private collection, Edinburgh