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Born in Forfar in 1941, John studied at Dundee College of Art (Duncan of Jordanstone) from 1959 to 1964 under David McClure and Alberto Morrocco and was highly commended, receiving a major travelling scholarship to visit European capitals. He later returned to teach life drawing classes to a generation of artists such as Joseph Urie, Ian Hughes and Michael McVeigh who have gone on to forge their own successful careers.
John has had a number of critically acclaimed exhibitions in Dundee and London and his work appears in collections both at home and abroad.
Being an insatiable drawer, alongside working in oils and watercolour, John found etching to be the perfect medium to accommodate his imaginative narrative and fantastical caricatures. These etchings remain an important and popular part of his work today
Johnstone’s work has always been popular, surreal and naïve in style, the details, the colour and observed storytelling appealing to a wide audience, however in this exhibition there is also an opportunity for the viewer to look more deeply at the more thoughtful and expressive side of his work and his raison d’etre as an artist.