Born and raised in Glasgow, the only child of a Russian emigre, painter Yusef Szafki was much influenced by literature in his visual artwork. In an endlessly creative life, he published two literary works, including one on engaging with the Russian/Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol (60’ N (1996) ). Arguably the bold dreamlike, exaggerated style of Szafki’s work is influenced heavily by Gogol’s character, and his writing in such famous stories as ‘Diary of a Madman’ and ‘The Nose’. Johnny Rodger reviews this retrospective as the first exhibition to attempt a survey across his life’s work, and appreciates Szafki's experimentation and his ever-developing concerns with form, tone and texture.
What Should an Art School be? by Murdo Macdonald