Goldwag’s isolated, out-of-service wheel is typical of her distinctive, often somber depictions of urban Glasgow in decay, which brought her critical acclaim in her later years. The flat technique is achieved by applying oil on board with a palette knife.
Hilde Goldwag was born to a Jewish family in Vienna, where she studied art, leaving for England in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution (her family, who remained behind, all perished). She moved to Glasgow in 1940, initially working in a variety of jobs but resuming her painting career in the 1950s, when Glasgow itself became the central theme of her work. Later, she also painted energetic flower pieces, rural scenes, figurative works and watercolours. She was a member of the Scottish Society of Women Artists, the Paisley Art Club and an honorary member of Visual Arts Scotland, and held two major Glasgow shows in 2003 and 2005.