Tim Cornwell, 'The master of many trades in a colourful career' (The Scotsman, 07/05/2010)

• Alasdair James Gray was born in Riddrie, east Glasgow on 28 December, 1934 • Aged five, Gray was evacuated to Lanarkshire, drawing on the experience in later fiction. • Graduated form Glasgow School of Art, 1957, and began staging his own exhibitions from 1959. • From the 1950s he painted murals in Glasgow homes, from churches and synagogues. His unfinished mural in Oran Mor’s auditorium is one of the largest works of art in Scotland. • He worked as a part-time art teacher and scene painter for the Pavilion and Citizens Theatres in Glasgow. • His best-known novel, ‘Lanark’, begun in his student days, was published in 1981. The four-part work has been hailed as a landmark of 20th century fiction and saw him compared to Sir Walter Scott. • After the publication of ‘Lanark’, he concentrated mostly on writing, designing and illustrating books. • Later writer-in-residence and Professor of Creative Writing, along with James Kelman and Tom Leonard, at the University of Glasgow. • A series of radio and television plays were widely produced by the BBC in Scotland and beyond. • His pamphlet ‘Why Scots Should Rule Scotland’ was published by Canongate in 1997. • In 2008 his work is shown at the contemporary Frieze Art Fair in London by Sorcha Dallas. • Work included in the British Art Show, which is touring Glasgow from 28 May. • His book ‘A Life in Pictures’ is due for publication in October.