Ian Hamilton Finlay


The late Ian Hamilton Finlay is a modernist artist whose work is fundamentally carried through poetry. This month on the one-year anniversary of the artist’s death Victoria Miro Gallery in London will present “The Sonnet is a Sewing-Machine for the Monostich,” which will be the largest exhibition of the artist’s neon works to date. For the length of Finlay’s career, almost 40 years, he created work rooted in philosophical text, literature and historical content. While based in text, the materials of Finlay’s work included stone and wood carvings, silk-screen prints, landscape design and neon lights. Among the artist’s many achievements are the Turner Prize, presented by the Tate in London (1985), and awards from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (2002) and the Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland (2003). Finlay also held honorary doctorates from Aberdeen University (1987), Heriot-Watt University (1993) and the University of Glasgow (2001).