Douglas Swan 1930-2000

Douglas Litterick Swan was born in Connecticut, USA to Scottish parents, though moved to Carnoustie on the east coast of Scotland at the age of six. After completing his National Service, Swan studied at the Dundee College of Art (1943-53), where his teachers included the landscape painter James MacKintosh Patrick and Hugh Adam Crawford. Swan took a brief residency at Patrick Allan Fraser's Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, where he studied under Ian Fleming and received a Postgraduate Diploma. He also studied at Trinity College of Music, London.

Swan began exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy, and was awarded their scholarship in 1954 to study in London. It was there that he met the artist William Scott (1913-89), with whom he formed a lasting bond. While studying, the two painted together in Somerset and Cornwall. In 1958 he was awarded a British Council Scholarship to study in Italy. While in Milan, Swan enjoyed the vibrant contemporary art scene of the city, provided by figures such as Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Roberto Crippa.

In the late 1960s Swan moved to Switzerland with his wife Barbara, nee Kückels, and established himself as an important abstract painter. By the mid-70s the couple had moved to Bonn, living at first in Mozart and then in G. Throughout his life, Swan would often return to his parental home of Carnoustie where he continued to produce work and draw inspiration. In 1986 he was awarded the Art Prize of the city of Bonn a major award that is still given today.

During his career, Swan showed at the Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Young Contemporaries; London Group; Gimpel Fils; Artists International Association; and had a series of one man shows in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. His time spent in Carnoustie resulted in a series of solo exhibitions in the UK, most significantly with the Stone Gallery in 1964. His works are held in public and private galleries and collections in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Douglas Swan died in Germany on 7th June 2000, a result of a traffic accident.