Sandy Moffat made his career as a society portraitist, socialising with and capturing literary, cultural and famous faces. He was also a member of Edinburgh Printmakers and used the studio’s darkroom facilities.
His sitter, Ken Currie, was a student of Moffat’s at Glasgow School of Art. Currie studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1978-1983 and rose to attention within a generation of painters known as the "New Glasgow Boys" in the 1980s. Currie is now admired for his unsettling, haunting portrayals of the human body, including works such as the Three Oncologists in the collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Dr. Alexander Moffat, commonly referred to as Sandy Moffat, is a painter, author, philosopher, teacher and master of the fine arts. A Royal Scottish Academician and holder of an OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), Sandy’s works can be viewed in numerous galleries and public space including The National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Arts Council of Great Britain and in The Yale Centre of British Art. On the 15th of June 2018, in conjunction with David Harding RSA and Sam Ainsley RSA, Sandy received an honorary Doctorate from Glasgow School of Arts.
Born in Dunfermline, Moffat studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 64. Alongside his friend John Bellany, Moffat emerged as one of the Scottish Realists, so-called because of their social awareness and rejection of the decorative principles that defined much Scottish art during the first half of the twentieth century. Moffat was particularly close to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid and his literary circle. From 1979 Moffat taught at Glasgow School of Art where he encouraged a new generation of Scottish figurative painters including Peter Howson, Ken Currie and Steven Campbell. [National Galleries of Scotland]
Sandy is the current president of the Essential School of Painting, a former Head of Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art who is highly credited with encouraging and steering the resurgence of figurative painting at the GSA. He has been a visiting lecturer and external examiner to several schools of art including The Winchester School of Art, Croydon School of Art, Canterbury College of Art, Chelsea College of Art & Design, Gray’s School of Art and The University of Highlands and Islands.
He has had solo exhibitions in numerous places including “A View of the Portrait” at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, an exhibition at The Press Club Warsaw, “Images from Three Decades” at The Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh and very recently “Paintings as Arguments” at The Peacocks Visual Arts Gallery in Aberdeen.
He has over his long and illustrious career written, contributed to and edited numerous books and publications including the critically acclaimed ‘Arts of Resistance: Poets, Portraits and Landscapes of Modern Scotland’ and its sequel published in 2014 ‘Arts of Independence’.
He has works in significant collections including the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Arts Council of Great Britain and Yale Centre for British Art.