A new exhibition, “Demon Drink” has just opened at Glasgow’s Hunterian Gallery, and features new art by comic artist Frank Quitely, curated by Laurence Grove and Joseph Sharples.
This fascinating new exhibition explores the theme of alcohol in art and the contradiction of the positive and negative consequences of the “demon drink”.
Blending items from The Hunterian collections with the artwork of internationally renowned graphic artist Frank Quitely, “Demon Drink” examines themes including the consumption of alcohol, the Temperance Movement, indulgence and the overlap between high art, popular culture and marketing. It also explores the process of making art.
The one-room exhibition connects works made at different periods in time and for very different purposes, ranging from mythological prints such as ‘Venus, Bacchus and Ceres’ by Hendrik Goltzius (1595) which shows drink as a convivial aphrodisiac, to raucous everyday scenes like ‘The Drunken Couple’ by Cornelis Dusart (1685) and William Hogarth’s moralising ‘Gin Lane’ (1751).
As well as these historical depictions, “Demon Drink” also features stunning new artwork of the Devil on Islay, created for Bowmore whisky by Glasgow-based comic artist Frank Quitely. The exhibition presents this popular art form in a “high art” setting and includes preparatory sketches that show Frank Quitely’s creative process.
Other highlights include 19th and 20th century Temperance Society medals, a cup from Miss Cranston’s tearooms in Glasgow, a silver flask owned by the American artist James McNeill Whistler and a 1980 image of street drinkers in Glasgow by renowned MAGNUM photographer Raymond Depardon.
At the heart of the University of Glasgow since 1807, The Hunterian connects people with stories, individuals and ideas found in stunning collections of objects, belongings and artworks.
Today The Hunterian is a space for questioning and experimentation, for enjoyment and enrichment, for connection and collaboration and for reflecting on the role museums and individuals can play in furthering equity, justice and diversity in our society.
• Demon Drink is at the Hunterian Art Gallery until 18th September 2022 | University of Glasgow, Gilmorehill campus | Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm. Closed Monday
With thanks to John Owens and John Chalmers (Metaphrog) for permission ton use their photographs of the opening event