Highlands & Islands

American Expressionist's love of Scotland celebrated

Jon Schueler in Mallaig Image copyright Robert Bernhard
Image caption Schueler in Mallaig in 1957

The life and work of an American Expressionist painter is being celebrated at Skye's Gaelic college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO).

Jon Schueler, who died in New York in 1992 at the age of 75, created many of his pieces from a studio in Mallaig in the Highlands.

He was inspired by views of the Sound of Sleat and also of Skye, which lies across the stretch of sea.

An arts symposium and exhibition at the college runs from Friday to Sunday.

Image copyright SMO/Jon Schueler Estate
Image caption The painter in his studio Mallaig

Called An Linne: Echoes, Reflections and Transfigurations, the events mark the centenary of the artist's birth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1916.

The painter, who served as a navigator on US bombers flown out of England during World War Two, moved to Mallaig in 1957 and he continued to visit and work in the village in the north-west Highlands throughout his career.

Many of his pieces were influenced by the changing weather on the west coast and the effect the conditions had on the sea.

Magda Salvesen, curator of the Jon Schueler Estate, said: "The Sound of Sleat became to Schueler a place of experience, memory and mood.

"The specificity of this body of water fed Schueler's paintings - their imagery enlarged through layers of memory.

"How appropriate and challenging that the symposium celebrating the artist's centenary should be held on Skye, an island seen through changing weather from his studio in Mallaig."

Image copyright SMO/Jon Schueler Estate
Image caption Schueler continued to visit and work in the Highland throughout his career
Image copyright Dudley Gray
Image caption Schueler at work in a studio in New York

The celebration at SMO - Scotland's National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, and which offers a Jon Schueler Residency scholarship - includes talks on Schueler's life and work and an exhibition of selected pieces from his time in Mallaig.

Donnie Munro, director of development, fundraising and the arts at SMO, described the artist as having a "profoundly deep experiential affinity with the Sound of Sleat".

He said this connection led Schueler to create some of his most celebrated works.

Image copyright Robert Bernhard
Image caption Decades of Schueler's work will be celebrated during the events on Skye

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