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Glasgow boy's return

ARTIST Simon Laurie returns to his home city of Glasgow to exhibit in a newly reopened gallery that once showed works by the Impressionists.

The exhibition of recent work by Simon Laurie is the first solo show in Leiper Fine Art since the gallery's reopening after 82 years.

The city centre space is the former gallery of Alexander Reid, Scotland's greatest art dealer, which 100 years ago displayed works by Degas, Monet and also Van Gogh.

It is now the home to Laurie's first solo exhibition in Glasgow since 2007 and features 28 recent paintings by him.

The show is something of a homecoming for the 49-year-old artist from Dennistoun who studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1982 to 1988.

He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Watercolourists in 1991 who, in 2000, was elected a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute, where he was twice convenor - in 2005 and 2011.

Laurie said: "I had a great affection for the gallery the first time l stepped through the door. I thought, 'Now here's a space that would show off my work to great effect.' It has the feel of a gallery that you would find in London's West End, with real style, not to mention its historic grounding which also appealed to me."

In its previous incarnation, some of the greatest artists of the 19th and 20th centuries were represented at the gallery of Reid, whose Société des Beaux-Arts was based at 117 and 121 West George Street from 1904 to 1932.

As one of the most influential art dealers in Europe and North America, Reid dealt in works by many of the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Glasgow Boys and Scottish Colourists. He died in 1928 but the gallery remained open for another four years. Since then the premises have had a mixed history as a fishing tackle shop, among others.

The gallery is housed in a spectacular A-listed building designed by William Leiper, whose designs included the purpose-built gallery space. Built in 1889, its architectural achievements were recognised at the 1900 Paris International where it was awarded Silver Prize.

The show runs until June 1.

Picture: Colin Mearns

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