Alexander McNeish (1932-2000)

Alexander McNeish (1932-2000), otherwise known as Mac was a Scottish artist who was an inovative figure in the 1960's Edinburgh art scene. Alexander McNeish was born at Bo'ness, near Linlithgow on the Firth of Forth, Scotland, the son of a coal miner. He attended Edinburgh College of Art from 1952 to 1957, studying under John Maxwell. In 1960 he exhibited with Albert Irvin at Galerie Im Griechenbeisl. Mac invited Irvin to stage an exhibition at the 57 Gallery. It marked a turning point in Irvin's career and the two developed a life-long friendship. McNeish played a extraordinary role as an exhibition's organiser, staging shows in disused shops and offices. Like Many Scottish artists such as William Gear McNeish moved south and taught at Wolverhampton College of Art in 1962 and was head of painting at Exeter College of Art and Design from 1965 to 1980. In 1963, 10 of his lino prints illustrated a Gael Turnbull book of poetry called A Very Particular Hill, a lino cut of his also illustrated a William McGonagall poem in the British periodical Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. His work can be found in the collections of the Manchester Art Gallery. the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, the Arts Council and the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. McNeish was one of a group hard core Scottish art teachers known as the Scottish Mafia. His best work was a combination of spontaneous brushwork coupled with vibrant colour.