With over fifty-five years as professional artist, Charles MacQueen is still very much still at the peak of his artistic creativity. He left Glasgow School of Art in 1963. This is a stunning exhibition of MacQueen's latest work which brings to us glimpsed worlds seen through portals, and energised with MacQueen's incredible use of colour and composition.
An artist should look for magic, for this is what connects us with intangible worlds: places of secrets where time is pocketed or stretched, and mysteries promised. For Charles MacQueen magic is found behind the forgotten doorways of Rajasthan - portals which once led into majestic ‘haveli’ courtyard houses, shops and shrines. Or looking through dark doorways into Marrakech souks and gardens; and gazing into the candled interior of a cathedral from its oak doors. They are the connections to a world before combustion engines and computers pushed much of the ancient wisdom away.
MacQueen, with over fifty years as a professional artist (he graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1963,) has some spells of his own. His compositions are honed with a balance and poise which draw you into the painting, towards colour and light. His latest works (Night Garden, Evening Glow and others) take this further to reveal what could be a figure, a guardian of MacQueen’s portals. MacQueen is equally masterful with colour. The achievement here is his ability to set elements alight. The reds in ‘Jodhpur Heat’ burn, the blues of ‘Reflections Venice’ are powered by the sun and the yellows of ‘Window Venice’ radiate with flame. Paintings like these take a lifetime to master and will be a joy to hang in the enchanted space of Kilmorack Gallery.