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Cheyne, Ian

Ian Alec Johnson Cheyne (1895-1955) was born in Broughty Ferry on the east coast of Scotland, near Dundee. He studied at the Glasgow Academy (the oldest continuously fully independent school in Glasgow) and later attended the Glasgow School of Art between 1921 and 1923. (It is not known if it was the war that delayed his start at art school or another reason).

He was originally a painter and didn’t begin to exhibit colour woodcuts until he joined the Society of Artist-Printmakers in Glasgow in 1926 (founded in 1921 by young Glasgow printmakers). Cheyne’s wife, Jessie Isabel Garrow (who he had met at the Glasgow School of Art) made colour woodcut prints for publishing – she was an illustrator and writer for Glasgow Evening News and for magazines, including The Lady – and this may have encouraged Cheyne to experiment with woodcuts.

His prime interest became colour woodcuts of Scottish, Spanish and French landscapes. He used flat planes and curved forms, giving his work an Art Deco feel. Japanese woodcuts were also an influence, particularly their lack of tonal depth and treatment of perspective.

Cheyne exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy from 1920 until the end of his life. He was a member of the Colour Woodcut Society and was treasurer of the Society of Artist- Printmakers. He exhibited with the Society of Graver Printmakers in Colour and in London at the Redfern Gallery and Colnaghi Gallery. His last known woodcut was produced in 1947. He died in Glasgow in 1955.

‘Arran Landscape’ depicts the view up Glen Sannox. The palette of this work is in two colours, green and brown, and is executed in an expressionistic manner.

Cheyne seems to have issued very low numbers of editions of his prints right through to the end of his life , generally only twenty of each image, and this explains why his prints are very hard to come by today.


National Gallery of Scotland:

The Modern Printmakers blog

Collections of Aberystwyth University

Ian Cheyne entry on William Carl Fine Prints

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