John Byrne (b.1940) grew up on the Ferguslie Park housing scheme in Paisley. He escaped work in a carpet factory to study at the Glasgow School of Art, and has since carved out a successful dual career as an artist and a writer. This is the first monograph to explore Byrne's remarkable artistic journey in both the visual and literary fields, and celebrates his contribution to contemporary Scottish cultural identity.
John Byrne's biography reflects his diverse talents. He has designed theatre sets and record covers. His play The Slab Boys (1978) won him the Evening Standard's most promising playwright award. The immensely successful, six-time BAFTA award-winning television series, Tutti Frutti, appeared in 1987. All these achievements have developed alongside Byrne's artistic career, which took off in 1967 when he assumed the identity of ‘Patrick’ for a solo show at the Portal Gallery, London. A prolific painter, illustrator and print-maker, Byrne today boasts a range of works held in prestigious public collections such as The National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh.
Including a valuable catalogue of Byrne's editioned prints, Robert Hewison's highly readable text provides a chronological, critical account of the work and life of the artist. The relevance of Byrne's art and writings to the cultural history of the UK since 1940 is also examined, so making this book essential reading for art and cultural historians and general readers alike.