the two roberts

Although relatively little known, the Two Roberts (Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde) took the London art world by storm in the 1940s. The Roberts’¬†relationship began when they met at Glasgow School of Art in 1933, and by¬†1950 they were among the most famous artists working in Britain. But as abstraction became the dominant force in European art in the late 1950s, and as their drinking increased, their popularity suffered. Colquhoun died penniless in 1962, aged just 47; MacBryde was knocked over by a car and died in 1966. Few artists have catapulted to celebrity or descended into obscurity so swiftly: their remarkable careers lasted scarcely twenty years.

In this film, produced for the National Galleries of Scotland, curator Patrick Elliott, and friends of the Roberts, Fiona Green and Christopher Barker discuss the partnership that lasted almost three decades, and the influence it had on the Two Roberts’ work.

Produced by Becky Manson and Rapid Visual Media.