Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan was born in Edinburgh in 1964 and graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Drawing & Painting from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College, Dundee in 1988. Since completing his post-graduate diploma in 1989, his work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout the UK and in New York, Hong Kong and Holland.

About the Work

Mangan’s figurative work is particularly distinctive, with an otherworldly feel. Favourite themes include race courses, train stations, beaches, harbours, fairgrounds, cafes and theatres, where the busy scenes are almost eerily calm, with each figure engaged in their individual, quiet contemplation.

Mangan said, “I’m interested in the relationship between people in certain leisure environments; how they, or we fit into the world. I seem to be drawn to people in group situations, yet I paint them as separate individuals who do not look as though they are with other people. Its an odd type of interaction.”

Mangan’s style is methodical, with careful consideration given to composition. Razor-sharp lines, as seen in boat-masts, racing posts, beach huts and horizons, create a pleasing geometry to guide the eye, and provide balance to the roundness of the main figures – for example the boats, horses and people.

Mangan’s use of chiaroscuro (light/shade) technique emphasises the atmospheric feeling in his work. He said: “It’s a slow process, where the paintings are carefully planned, built up thinly and glazed often. I use light to create depth, shadows and contrasts.” This technique echoes the geometric elements, for example, in light coming through a window or in shadows cast diagonally across a scene.

Collections:

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Midlothian NHS Trust, Edinburgh; Prudential Corporation, London; Watson Phillips, Dundee; Munich Reinsurance Company, London; Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Edinburgh; Walter Scott Edinburgh: Watson Phillips, Dundee

Awards and Scholarships

Dalgetty-Dunn Award; Miller Homes Young Artist of the Year; Saltire Society Purchase Award, (RSA); John Murray Thomson Award, (RSA); the Guthrie Award, (RSA); City Sites Estates Art Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI)