We were only in Glasgow for half a day and it wasn’t the best half-day of the trip by any means. It was our last day in Scotland and began with a long drive up the motorway in fairly heavy rain. The rain started clearing as we wandered around the city, but we had to keep an eye on the clock so that we got to the airport with time to drop off the hire car and go through airport check-in. Nevertheless, the city itself seemed pleasant enough – by no means the tough, poverty-stricken, grimy industrial city that it apparently used to be. That said, it’s not all glowing with wealth and enthusiasm. I took the photo below because I liked the tiger but the buildings behind the wall could do with some attention.
The Gallery of Modern Art wouldn’t have been my first choice amongst the city’s galleries and museums (I would have preferred the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, with Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work in mind) but it was the only one we could get to in the time available – and it rewarded us with a personalised tour of the Niki de Saint Phalle collection, thanks to an enthusiastic member of the curatorial staff we started chatting to in the lift.
We learned that Saint Phalle had great problems overcoming childhood traumas. In spite of her bright palette there is a strong current of alienation in her work. It is especially apparent in this face when one examines the right side in detail.
This very large work dominates the exhibition and apparently represents the artist’s father towering over Niki and her brother.