The top 20 of Scottish art

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1 CLAIRE BARCLAY, 36, lives and works in Glasgow: Fresh from being selected to represent Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale, Barclay is currently showing in New York. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art, she describes her work as "hovering in between" sculpture and installation. She has also had a solo show in Tate Britain.

2 JOHN BELLANY , 62, lives and works in Edinburgh, Cambridge and Italy: Studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art under Sir Robin Phillipson from 1960-1965. Bellany is noted for his intense, highly-coloured works, filled with symbolism. These include The Obsession (1966) and Time and the Raven (1982), which inspired a piece by composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Bellany’s portrait of actor Sir Sean Connery can be seen in the National Gallery for Scotland. Bellany produced several disturbing works following a visit to the former concentration camp at Buchenwald in 1967. His work starts at 6,000-8,000. Highly collectable, he has many celebrity fans and from an investment point of view, is still an artist to watch.

3 ELIZABETH BLACKADDER, 73, lives and works in Edinburgh: A major figure of the second-generation Edinburgh School. During her career, she has experimented with a range of printing media, including lithography, etching, aquatint, drypoint, woodcut and screenprint. Her first prints were published in 1958, but in recent years her work has become widely known for her watercolours of cats and flowers. Small pieces go for as little as 600 but prices can go as high as 20,000. However, with a style that is now proven, speculators say from an investment point of view she still has further to go.

4 CHRISTINE BORLAND, 39, lives and works in Kilcreggan, Helensburgh: Borland’s work asks us to consider the ways in which social systems and institutions exploit and devalue life. Her installations explore the traditional theme of mortality; they are both seductive and repellent, exerting a morbid fascination. In 1997, for example, she made Phantom Twins, based on leather dolls used in the 18th century to demonstrate childbirth to medical students. The tiny skulls clearly visible beneath the stretched leather have a painful poignancy. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997.

5 RODERICK BUCHANAN, 39, from Glasgow: Won the prestigious Beck’s Futures prize in 2000 for his 14-minute film Gobstopper. This video shows a series of children attempting to hold their breath as a car passes through the Clyde Tunnel. It remains one of the artist’s most famous works, and has a special resonance in his home city. His work was shown at the Venice Bienalle in 1999 and 2001.

6 NATHAN COLEY, 37, Glasgow-born but based in Dundee: Has built a reputation as one of Scotland’s most original and engaging talents with his work on the meaning we attach to buildings. He has re-created the courtroom at the Lockerbie trial, with an eerily life-sized model of the witness stand, and famously created scale models of Edinburgh’s places of worship from plain brown cardboard.

7 GRAHAM FLACK, 42, lives and works in Edinburgh: Flack’s distinctive paintings of heads have caught on. Since he graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2002, he has been working steadily and now has a waiting list for commissions. The actor Robert Carlyle saw his work in that year’s RSA show and visited the studio with his wife, Anastasia, to buy a painting for their home. Flack has also painted David Beckham for a charity auction at Christie’s, where his work will appear alongside that of Tracey Emin, Anthony Gormley and Peter Howson.

8 DOUGLAS GORDON, 38, Glasgow-born and studied at Glasgow School of Art: A Scottish video and installation artist. In the 1994 sound installation Something Between My Mouth and Your Ear, he played, in an entirely blue room, 30 popular songs that were current in the six months preceding his birth. In 24 Hour Psycho, he slowed down Hitchcock’s film so it lasted an entire day. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1996, the Premio 2000 at the Venice Biennale in 1997 and the Hugo Boss Prize in 1998. Only for the wealthy collector.

9 PETER HOWSON, 46, lives and works in Glasgow: Howson arrived in Scotland aged four. His powerful figurative work has made him one of the foremost British artists of his generation. Famous for his portrayals of Glasgow’s down-and-outs, he has gained a vast amount of public and media attention which has resulted in his work being bought by the world’s leading galleries and collected by a starry list of private clients, including Madonna (his nude portrait of the singer sold for 100,000) and David Bowie. Many say his day has come and gone after great success in the Eighties, but his work has recently fetched record prices again and there is a feeling in the market that he could be due a second wind.

10 JOLOMO, (John Lowrie Morrison), 56, lives and works in Argyll: He studied drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, graduating post-diploma in 1972. Painting in oils, he uses high key colour and expressionist brushwork to capture his unique vision of Scotland. His paintings range from light, airy beach scenes of Iona to intimate moody paintings of Knapdale, where he lives. Having taught for many years, Morrison became a full-time artist in 1996 and has become one of the most successful painters in the UK Although some items sell for several thousand pounds, it is still possible to own one for under 1,000.

11 JIM LAMBIE, 40, lives and works in Glasgow: Lambie studied at Glasgow School of Art and his involvement in the Glasgow music scene has had considerable influence on his work. Like music, visual art can fill a space and change the way we perceive our surroundings as well as ourselves. It can produce altered states of mind. Using vibrantly coloured tapes that follow the contours of a room, Lambie’s installation transforms and energises the gallery space.

12 JENNY MATTHEWS, 40, studied at Edinburgh College of Art: Has established her reputation as an accomplished Scottish watercolourist. Matthews’s paintings can be seen in galleries around the UK as well as in the private collection of author Ian Rankin and companies such as Adam and Co, Brodies WS and Hewlett Packard. From 350 upwards.

13 PATSY McARTHUR, 28, graduated from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen in 1998: McArthur spent five months drawing and painting in Italy after art school. In 2001, she completed a masters degree in European fine art at Winchester School of Art. Her work is now exhibited around the country and is a popular choice on www.scotlandart.com, with prices starting from just 290.

14 GABRIELLE REITH, 28, brought up in Aberdeenshire, graduated from Gray’s School of Art: Inspired by landscape in all aspects of her work, including drawings, paintings and pieces constructed in textiles. She also finds inspiration in the colours and shapes of much of the 1950s, 60s and 70s art and design, collecting china from that period. Very affordable 250-500.

15 STEPHEN SHANKLAND, 33, lives and works in Aberdeenshire: Shankland, who shares a studio with his wife, Kelly, near Cruden Bay in Aberdeen, came to prominence this year when he won the BP Portrait Award. Judges were impressed by his oil-on-board painting entitled The Miracle, which shows Kelly and the couple’s son, Connor, who was born with a life-threatening condition. Shankland studied at Aberdeen’s Gray’s School of Art and now works as a full-time painter. He has exhibited widely, including the 1999 BP Portrait Award show and at galleries in Aberdeen.

16 LUCY SKAER, 29, lives and works in Glasgow: Much of Skaer’s work consists of her interacting with, and changing, public spaces. In Public Project, she left a diamond and a live scorpion side by side on an Amsterdam pavement. She has also hidden moth and butterfly pupae in criminal courts in the hope they will hatch in mid-trial. In 2003, Skaer was short-listed for the Beck’s Futures.

17 SIMON STARLING, 37, lives and works in Glasgow: Starling likes a challenge. His work is labour intensive and forces him to learn new skills, from mechanic to horticulturist to aviation engineer. In the decade since completing his studies at Glasgow School of Art, he has driven a Fiat 126 halfway across Europe and replaced half its body parts, rebuilt a grand piano to reverse the high and low notes, and built a radio-controlled aeroplane to carry an aerial camera. Based in Glasgow, he has shown work all over the world and is highly respected for his originality and inventiveness. A recipient of the 30,000 Paul Hamlyn Award in 1999, he also teaches at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, and in Malmo, Sweden.

18 BLAIR THOMSON, 24, works in Glasgow: Thomson is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and a keen student of Eastern philosophy. Since graduating from Glasgow School of Art, Thomson has made the transition from student to commercially successful artist, selling every piece in his degree show for a total of 13,000. Unashamedly ambitious, he now sells four or five canvasses a month through commercial galleries. His work can be picked for between 180-2,000.

19 CHARLES MONTEITH WALKER, 47, lives and works in Dundee: After attending Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1978-1982, Walker concentrated mainly on landscape drawings in soft pastels. In the mid-1990s his style began to change after several visits to Italy, Spain and Portugal. The warmth of light and colour, the piazzas, churches and towns provided Charles with a new, rich source of inspiration.

Since 2000, he has worked on larger scale pieces that are highly distinctive both in style and subject matter. His work is in private collections around the world. 300 - 3,000.

20 KIRSTY WHITEN, 27, lives and works in Edinburgh: Whiten paints portraits, but not in the conventional sense. Flat surfaces and brightly coloured backgrounds give way to meticulous detail. A synthesis of caricature and portrait, she captures a gesture, a moment in thought, and each has a quirky edge. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1999, she has shown nationally and internationally. In 2002, she landed her first major solo show at the Collective Gallery which saw a development from high-gloss portraits to a series of drawings of the residents in the Dumbiedykes area of Edinburgh. Her work typically sells for 500-1,000.