The paintings of Scottish artist Liz Knox contain colours that express a whole world. Yellow heals and there is an incredible red that warms. We teeter before a blue-black which swallows us into to unknown darkness. Little bits of gold bring joy and the green of plants appear organically. Here, colour is an object. It is as tangible and touchable as the real things she paints; a clutch-bag, child’s shoes and the Amsterdam she first visited, just before going to Edinburgh College of Art in 1967. They are things that tie her to a receding world.
‘Live a good life’ the Dalai Lama is purported to have said ‘Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.’ I see this in Liz Knox’s work. Time is a two-way road, one direction for travellers and the other for reflection, and Knox is looking back on a life lived. Her paintings are memoirs, and she is at the peak of her artistic powers. Knox is Scottish with the clear influence of her tutors Sir Robin Philipson and David Michie which she has swallowed hole and made her own. I also see the absorption of great European painters – Max Beckmann and others – which gives her compositions an encyclopaedic awareness of what has gone before. This, with Knox’s unsurpassed handling of every line, shape and dot of living colour, has earned her a place not just at the Scottish top table of painters, but at one far beyond.