Lanark 1982
an unofficial Alasdair Gray website

Five Scottish Artists: Retrospective Show (1986)

Snakes and Ladders (1973)

With the proceeds from the book Lean Tales, Gray put foward most of the funding for an exhibition of contemporary artists he felt deserved more exposure: Carole Gibbons, John Connolly, Alan Fletcher, Alasdair Taylor and Alasdair Gray.

Gray's catalogue records, in chronological order (as far as the artist could remember), 148 of his pictures in the exhibition, along with brief autobiographical notes about what occasioned some of the works.

Reproductions of Gray's work (reproductions are full colour, unless stated):
A Self Portrait (B&W, in introduction)
The Cowcaddens In The Fifties (1964)
Eden And After (1966)
Snakes And Ladders (1973)
Dawn Firth (197?)
Janet On Red Felt (1980)

Janet on red felt (1980)

The catalogue consists of 5 folded sheets (about 4 x 1' when fully spread) printed on one side only. Each artist has a sheet to themselves, giving a potted biography, listing their works in the exhibition and reproducing selected works. The sheet for Alan Fletcher ends with the poem 'Lamenting Alan Fletcher', later to appear (slightly altered) in Old Negatives.

Along with the artists' sheets, the pack includes an 8-page introduction, printed on cream paper and written by Gray. This introduction places Gray and his fellow artists within Scotland's 20th century Art History. It also includes some poignant comments, for example:

Alan Fletcher is the only artist I know who naturally looked like the Bohemian artist of legend. He was the free-est soul I ever met, and impressed me so mightily that a diminished version of him has been a main character in all the novels I ever wrote. He had to be diminished, or he would have stolen attention from my main characters, who were versions of me.

The whole package was sold in a transparent plastic wallet, slightly bigger in size than a sheet of A4 writing paper.

Alasdair Gray's books are sometimes difficult to get hold of. Where they are available, I have included links below to the amazon sites in the UK and the USA. Where a record is on their database, they will usually include links to used-book sellers who can offer the title, even if it is not available direct from amazon themselves.

Not on Amazon UK. Try Bookfinder (see links page) or Morag McAlpine.

Not on Amazon USA. Try Bookfinder (see links page) or Morag McAlpine.

Alternatively, you can try emailing Morag McAlpine, who can send you a list of available titles. She usually has a variety of out-of-print books, often signed, and also a selection of prints of Gray's artwork, also signed.