John Houston


Distinguished Scottish painter John Houston was born in Fife in 1930. A talented footballer, he represented Scotland under-21s against England and played for Dundee United whilst at art school, but footballs loss was arts gain when a knee injury cut short his career and left him free to focus wholly on painting. He trained at Edinburgh College of Art, and went on to teach there, ending up as Deputy Head of the School of Painting and Drawing. It was at Edinburgh that he met Elizabeth Blackadder, a fellow student who was to become, in 1956, his wife. He was a member of the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours, and a Member of the Royal Glasgow Institute and in 1990 was awarded an OBE.

His work was described by William Packer as, “…characteristic of modern Scottish painting, direct in the statement, rich in colour and the actual stuff of the paint as it rests on the surface. It is a natural, sensual, almost hedonistic expressionism, yet it is in no sense indulgent…”

Solo Exhibitions
1958 57 Gallery, Edinburgh
1960, 62, 65, 67, 71, 75, 80, 90, 93, 97, 03 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
1966, 68, 70, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81, 84, 89, 92, 95, 98, 00 Mercury Gallery, London
1969 Wusthum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin
Johnson Foundation, Racine, Wisconsin
Lane Gallery, Bradford
1970 Cerberus Gallery, New York
1970, 72, 74, 76, 79,86 Loomshop Gallery, Lower Largo, Fife
1974 Oban Art Society
Glen Pavilion, Dunfermline
1976 Scottish Arts Council, Gaelic College, Skye
1978 Lamp of Lothian Collegiate Centre, Haddington
1979 Middlesbrough Art Gallery and Museum
1983, 85 Mercury Gallery, Edinburgh
1985 Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
1985-6 Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh,
Portraits of Sir Alexander Gibson
1987 Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh,
Works on Paper 1962-1987, and touring
1994, 99 Corrymella Scott Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne
1996 McGeary Gallery, Brussels
Roger Billcliffe Fine Art, Glasgow
Macaulay Gallery, Stenton, East Lothian
1999 Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames
Glasgow Print Studio, Monoprints
2004, 10, 14, 16 Browse & Darby, London
2005 The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
2009 The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, Memorial Exhibition