Scottish art has seen its fair share of dynasties: the Faeds, Nasmyths, Redpaths and Peploes. With the quiet emergence of Lachlan Goudie, son of Alexander (1933-2004) we have another.
I say quiet because he was never the latest wunderkind graduate of a Scottish Art College, creating a feeding frenzy at a degree show, as was the case with several generations of Glasgow graduating students from Peter Howson, to Stephen Conroy, Alison Watt and Jenny Saville in the Eighties. Like these estimable artists Lachlan Goudie is a painter; if he had attended the School of Art in the early Nineties rather than taking up a place to study English at Christ’s Cambridge, he might never have painted because the emphasis had shifted from easel to computer screen, from belle peinture to the conceptual.
The seeds were surely sewn growing up within a flamboyant but close family where art, opera, dance and literature meant something. His father’s early death in 2004 was a shocking blow and all the family worked hard to catalogue and memorialise Goudie, work and man.
Only after this perhaps was Lachlan able to emerge from his father’s shadow and pursue a dual career as writer, broadcaster and professional painter. The son is happy however to share many characteristics with the father: an enjoyment of the plastic possibilities of paint; strong colour construction, free drawing with the brush and significantly engagement with monumental, ambitious subject matter as well as the domestic and studio fare.
For Lachlan Goudie a project to ‘paint the shipyards’ provided the professional impetus to launch him as a painter. The cranes and derricks, the hulks of the giant ships, the shipbuilders as portraits or as ant-like workers in the towering complexity of the yards proved an inspiration. The ambition of this project also earned Goudie the right to look at the traditional subject matter of landscape, still life, the figure and interior. The paintings included in this exhibition were completed across the course of a year during which Lachlan’s different projects enabled him to travel widely. After recently becoming a father for the first time, he retreated with his family to Dorset for the summer. Here he found time to contemplate the immediate environment: a garden of flowers and a sun-drenched landscape.