23 Facts About Alexander Stoddart


Alexander "Sandy" Stoddart was born on 1959 and is a Scottish sculptor, who, since 2008, has been the Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland.

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Alexander Stoddart says of his own motivation, "My great ambition is to do sculpture for Scotland", primarily through large civic monuments to figures from the country's past.

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Alexander Stoddart was born in Edinburgh and raised in Renfrewshire, where he developed an early interest in the arts and music, and later trained in fine art at the Glasgow School of Art and read the History of Art at the University of Glasgow.

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Alexander Stoddart's grandfather was an evangelical Baptist preacher, and his parents met through that church.

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Alexander Stoddart was born in Edinburgh, though his father, an artist, moved the family to the village of Elderslie in Renfrewshire, where the young Stoddart immediately noticed the monument there at William Wallace's purported birthplace.

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At school Alexander Stoddart became interested in music but decided he was not good enough to become a professional.

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Alexander Stoddart went, aged seventeen, to train in fine art at the Glasgow School of Art where he studied from 1976 to 1980.

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Alexander Stoddart wrote his undergraduate thesis on the life and work of John Mossman, an English sculptor who worked in Scotland for fifty years.

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Alexander Stoddart graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class, though he was demoralised by his peers' ignorance of art history: "the name Raphael meant nothing to them".

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Alexander Stoddart went on to read History of Art at the University of Glasgow.

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Alexander Stoddart is an Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland.

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On 30 December 2008, it was announced that Alexander Stoddart had been appointed Her Majesty's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland.

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Alexander Stoddart is deeply critical of modernism and contemporary art, and scornful of "public art", a phrase which makes him search for "a glass of whisky and a revolver".

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Alexander Stoddart has repeatedly criticised winners of the Turner Prize, such as Damien Hirst "there's plenty of them", and Tracey Emin, whom he calls "the high priestess of societal decline".

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Alexander Stoddart said of his own repeated public denouncements, "Somebody will be exhibiting a bunch of bananas in a gallery, and they'll [radio producers] get me on to talk dirty about it".

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Alexander Stoddart has characterised modern art as dominated by left-wing politics, to the extent that "certain artistic forms likewise became suspect: the tune; the rhyme; the moulding; the plinth" as coercive and overly traditional.

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Alexander Stoddart argued that an equestrian statue of the Mariner King, William IV, should be placed on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, as originally intended.

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Alexander Stoddart developed an interest in music at school, where he learned to play the piano, which he still does daily.

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Alexander Stoddart called his own medium, sculpture "an art inferior to the super-art of music" and nominated Wagner as the greatest composer.

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Alexander Stoddart developed his theme on the quietism of monumental art and its relation to Schopenhaurian resignation in a lecture to the Wagner Society of Scotland on 2 March 2008.

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Alexander Stoddart has made sculptures of David Hume and Adam Smith, philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, which stand in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

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Alexander Stoddart's hand, resting on a globe, is obscured by the gown: a literal presentation of Smith's famous metaphor of the invisible hand.

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Alexander Stoddart has worked on busts of living figures whom he admires, often fellow-classicists including Roger Scruton, a philosopher, Robert Adam and John Simpson, architects, the architectural historian David Watkin, and Tony Benn, the politician.

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