There is much to applaud in this celebratory exhibition with a wonderfully exuberant collection of paintings and drawings.
Bringing together fine examples of Spencers prolific output, the works provide a powerful reminder of why the artist should be on the go to list not just for Spencer enthusiasts and art lovers but for anyone seeking agood excuse to celebrate.
For symbols of celebration abound.
The excitement of the festive season is perfectly captured with The Month of December: Fetching Holly (1926), while families with outstretched arms show intense joy at being reunited with loved ones in The Resurrection: Reunion (1945)
New to the Gallery, the Portrait of Rachel Westropp (1959) was commissioned as a birthday present. The sitter speaks to us directly in the audio guide as does the artist himself giving a precious intimacy to the painting.
Lavish landscapes, cascading with flowers and feeling; works marrying Stanleys spiritual love with his love of Cookham; glorious celebrations of the ordinary and everyday create a show packed with vision and vitality.
With Spencers love of workaday activities elevated to the unique and extraordinary he would have no doubt rejoiced at the Queens Award for Voluntary Service recently won by the Gallery.
So there is much for everyone to celebrate here: a Christmas outing for the family, a fun day out with friends and a wonderful exhibition to explore and enjoy.
Picture from The Resurrection: Reunion lent by Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collections © The Estate of Stanley Spencer All Rights Reserved, 2016 Bridgeman Images