Fife artist Jack is back where it all started



An exhibition of the early work of Jack Vettriano opened in Kirkcaldy today in the gallery which inspired him.  In the days when aspired to be an artist Jack was a regular visitor there  to study the works and took out books from the library there to learn how to paint.

Jack, 70, who grew up in Methil and later lived in Kirkcaldy, says of the exhibition, “It’s very, very fitting because this is where I started and here is where I end.”

In fact, he was so much of regular in his early days that he thinks the assistants must have thought he was hanging about to steal a painting.   It’s fair to say the former miner never looked back after winning a local art contest which propelled him towards a professional career. 


‘Jack Vettriano: The Early Years 2022’, co-curated with the artist, is a celebration of that extraordinary career and brings together works he painted in his younger days. 

The exhibition has generated worldwide interest as it features early paintings by Vettriano, including nearly a dozen produced before he decided to become a full-time artist, that are signed Jack Hoggan, his birth name.  

You will also get to see Vettriano’s more famous works: ‘Billy Boys’, ‘Bluebird at Bonneville’, ‘Valentine Rose’ and ‘Mad Dogs’ plus a rejection letter he received from art school.  The paintings show the diversity of subject matter and styles tackled by the young artist in learning his craft, eventually giving him the confidence and technical ability to develop his own identifiable style.  

The majority of the exhibition is devoted to work from Vettriano’s exhibitions in Edinburgh, Newcastle and London from 1990 – 2000 and included are a number of the artists most definitive and best loved works which were produced during this period.   All the paintings are on loan from private collections and many of the paintings have never been on public display. 

Jack said, ‘l’m delighted to be returning to my former home town of Kirkcaldy for a major exhibition of my early work which is fitting as its where my formative years as an artist began’.  The exhibition runs at Kirkcaldy Galleries until 23rd October.

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