Hugh Byars

In our age of conceptualism and disingenuous sarcasm, when students seem to emerge from Glasgow School of Art every year without even the most basic drawings skills, Hugh Byars is that rarest of things: a real artist, a real painter. I’m lucky enough to have some of these paintings on my own walls, and I should really also have photographed them close-up in detail from the side: because the paint on them is often inches thick. Anyone who’s visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam will know what I’m talking about here. Hugh puts massive elemental emotion into his work, and expresses this in the paint itself. The effect is visceral, powerful, and conveys a sense of profound integrity and honesty. Hugh Byars the person, is exactly the same. There is no vain artifice or tongue-in-cheek here, no self-consciousness. Hugh’s subject is ordinary people and ordinary life, and the dignity they deserve, which is so often denied them. As far as I know, Hugh doesn’t even have internet access, never mind a website. Nonetheless, once all the tittle-tattle of fashion has blown away, perhaps after we’re all dead, I predict that these paintings (and their like) will be seen as precious and unique, and their creator given his due as the real thing in an age of pseuds.

Hugh Byars at Lena Boyle Fine Art:
And at the Pollock-Krasner Foundation:

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6 Responses to Hugh Byars

  1. Hugh Byars says:

    Just to say you’re book Ultrameta is fantastic and thanks for the blog thing. I am actualy on the web now in cyberspace! How are you and Ally haven’t seen him for a long is he still painting.

    Good luck from Hughie

  2. Thanks. Good to hear you there, Hugh! There was me mistakenly painting you as a tragic technophobe working by candlelight! I also subsequently found a couple of galleries on the web blowing your trumpet, so I’ll add those onto my blog post to help people find you…

  3. Hugh Byars says:

    thanks douglas from hugh , your book ultrameta is wonderful.

  4. louise adair says:

    I am privilidged to own a wee hugh byars oil which i love it’s similar to the 5th picture above(bottom one) who is the woman or man??? and douglas i missed one of your paintings at great western auctions a while back, need to save some more pennies. Both of your work is amazing and i,m thrilled to hang it on my walls( well when i get one of douglas thompson’s that will be the wall complete)!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks for getting in touch, Louise. That picture is a woman of course, and lucky you for owning one. I think you must be referring to my brother Ally Thompson though, about the auction thing…. I am a writer only. Or alternatively to Douglas Thomson (note: spelling different). Come to think about it, I only ever painted two pictures myself, and if you ever find one of those you are seriously off the beaten track…

  5. A Legend. Hugh Byars is the Leon Kossoff of Kelvinbridge

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