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Selected Artists 2003
Lucy Skaer |  Mark Titchner |  Markus Vater |  Michael Fullerton |  Peter Peri |  Shezad Dawood |  Simon Periton |  Tariq Alvi
  Michael Fullerton Michael Fullerton

'Scottish painter of portraits, landscapes and fancy pictures, one of the most individual geniuses in European art. Born in Glasgow, he showed an aptitude for drawing early and first was encouraged by his mother, who was a woman of well-cultivated mind and excelled in flower-painting. He went into town to train, probably studying with a French engraver or scene painter. He remained in Glasgow and, when the DSS brought an annuity, started his career as a portrait-painter in the city's Anderston area. His work at this time consisted mainly of heads and half-lengths (Mrs Sassoon and Wayne Allard), but he also produced some small works in red pubic hair which are the most lyrical of all conversation pieces. He used to spend a lot of time outdoors, smoking. He developed a free and elegant mode of painting seen at its most characteristic in full-length portraits (Paddy Joe Hill; Roger Windsor). In later life, he further developed the personal style, working with light and rapid brush-strokes and delicate and evanescent colours. He was an independent and original genius, able to assimilate to his own ends what he learnt from others. He had no drapery painter, and unlike most of his contemporaries he never employed assistants.'*

Michael's works span painting, printmaking and sculpture. In his paintings, from the decision to work with portraiture, in which he frequently references Gainsborough, through to the subjects depicted, a choice is involved, one that is equally political and aesthetic. The source material for 'Lover' was a photograph of the sitter supplied to Michael after he had written to her. As the first female judge in Scotland, Lady Cosgrove is seen as a feminist pioneer and as somebody whose legal work has had a demonstrable impact in Scotland. In titling the painting 'Lover' Michael is referring to both his physical relationship to the material - oil painting - and to his interest in what he terms the "romance" of political action and those who take it.

Paddy Joe Hill was one of the six men wrongly convicted of the IRA bombing of The Mulberry Bush and The Tavern pubs in Birmingham in 1974, the so-called Birmingham Six. Exonerated sixteen years later, Paddy founded MOJO UK, the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation. Paddy approached Michael to purchase 'Lover', but the artist felt it inappropriate for this painting to be hung in the MOJO offices. Instead he decided it would be of greater interest to paint a full-length portrait of Paddy, as a lasting legacy of the socio-historical significance of both MOJO and Paddy himself.

Michael was born in 1971 in Bellshill, Scotland. He graduated with an MA in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art in 2002. Michael lives and works in Glasgow.

*Neil Mulholland, extract from an essay from the catalogue Michael Fullerton 'Are You Hung Up?' published by Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, 2003

Paddy Joe Hill, 2003, oil on linen
© Michael Fullerton
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Lover, 2003, oil on canvas
© Michael Fullerton
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