SCOTTISH ART NEWS
George Ridgway Rhona Taylor
Ones To Watch Selected by James Knox, Vincent Honoré, Susanna Beaumont, Julie Anne Delaney, Sara Barker
Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites Susan Mansfield
A Blaze of Glory James Knox
Marj Bond Martine Foltier Pugh
VENICE SPECIAL 4
Spite Your Face Rachel Maclean’s dark Venetian fairytale for Scotland + Venice Neil Cooper
Tremble Tremble Ireland at Venice Kathryn Lloyd
Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice Kathryn Lloyd
12 Scotland and Venice timeline 14
A Scot in Venice: Charles Hodge Mackie Remembering the forgotten man of Scottish art history Pat Clark
Scottish Modernism in Venice When Alan Davie, William Turnbull and Eduardo Paolozzi exhibited in Venice Bill Hare
Anne Redpath in Venice Patrick Bourne
Private View The Reverend Robert Walker remonstrates with Raeburn Lindsay Errington
Polygraphs Neil Cooper
The Weaver’s Apprentice Susan Mansfield
Eduardo Paolozzi Matthew Macaulay
Scottish Art News The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, 15 Suffolk Street, London W1J 8DU United Kingdom T: (0)207 042 5730 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Scottish Art News is published biannually by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, London. Publication dates: May and October.
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NEWS 23 News
Cover Image Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017. Courtesy of the artist
Scottish Art News Diary Perrine Davari
The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation pursues a programme of cultural diplomacy furthering an understanding and appreciation of Scottish art and creativity outside Scotland through exhibitions, events, publishing and education. The Foundation also owns the finest collection of Scottish art outside institutions comprising over 600 works from the seventeenth century to the present day. The Foundation has established a ‘museum without walls’ strategy using its collection to initiate exhibitions of Scottish art outside Scotland. It is a registered charity in England and Wales (No.1080197).
ISSUE 27 / SPRING/SUMMER 2017 DIRECTOR’S NOTE
Scottish artists have always made great travellers, escaping the chill northern climes and Presbyterianism in search of fresh ideas, inspiring subject matter, colour, light and la vie Boheme. To celebrate Scotland’s presence at the 2017 Venice Biennale with Rachel Maclean’s installation at the Scotland + Venice exhibition at Chiesa di Santa Caterina, this issue has a special focus on Scottish artists’ fascination with La Serenissima in the 20th century. For some, such as the mid-20th century tyros, Allan Davie, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull, contact with the city launched their international careers. Davie’s first visit in 1948 coincided with the Venice Biennale and the showing of Peggy Guggenheim’s radical collection including works by Jackson Pollock. Later that year, the impresario of American expressionism went on to buy one of Davie’s American-inspired paintings and her support secured him shows in London and New York. Venice was also the making of the two Scottish experimentalists, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull, whose work was included in the 1952 British Pavilion’s ground-breaking exhibition ‘New Aspects of British Sculpture’. The impact on their careers was life-changing although Turnbull was unable to bask in the glory, recalling: ‘I was completely broke and working the night shift at a Lyons Maid ice-cream factory and couldn’t afford to go to Venice.’ Our survey of Scots in Venice includes two quieter artistic personalities, the neglected Edwardian swagger painter, Charles Hodge Mackie, and Anne Redpath, both of whom have important works in the Fleming Collection; and in a display of Celtic solidarity, we also introduce the Welsh and Irish artists showing in Venice. In an issue which shines the spotlight on Scots artists abroad, what better moment to celebrate the opening of Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection at the Granary Gallery in Berwick-upon-Tweed. This exhibition marks the first UK initiative of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation’s ‘museum without walls’ strategy, which signals the start of a touring programme to other institutions at home and abroad.
1 Camille Bernard, Harvest, courtesy of the artist
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A taster of the works on show is published on page 38. It highlights the influence of cutting edge French painters on SJ Peploe, JD Fergusson and George Leslie Hunter, and – in FCB Cadell’s case – the revelation of his 1910 trip to Venice. Fergusson also had form in Venice, first showing at the biennale in 1907. The brilliance of the Scots at surfing the zeitgeist is exemplified by the Colourists which saw Fergusson and Peploe mixing with the likes of Picasso and the Fauves in Paris in 1907; and George Leslie Hunter befriending the surreal cook Alice B Toklas and, I like to think, her lover, Gertrude Stein, with her unrivalled collection of modern art. Gertrude Stein was the Peggy Guggenheim of her day – both women explored the frontiers of contemporary art, where intrepid Scots artists are invariably to be found. The Fleming-Wyfold Art Bursary continues to seek out innovative work by the best young artists to emerge from the Scottish art schools. The choice is made from a selection from the degree shows exhibited at RSA New Contemporaries in Edinburgh. This year’s winner is Glasgow School of Art graduate, Camille Bernard, who was awarded a bursary of £10,000, with an additional £4000 to support production costs in the year ahead, making it the most generous award of the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition. Narrative painter and filmmaker Bernard, born of a French father and Scottish mother, is just the latest in a stream of Scottish-trained talent to reflect the potency of the ‘Auld Alliance’.
Closer to home, this year is the 250th anniversary of the founding of Edinburgh’s New Town. To mark the occasion, The Scottish Gallery, which celebrates its own 175th anniversary, is staging an exhibition by one of Scotland’s outstanding water colourists, Hugh Buchanan, who has long been inspired by Scotland’s architecture. His monumental work, Cadell’s Orange Blind, pays homage to FCB Cadell’s sense of design and colour, famously expressed in the decoration of his exquisite studio in the New Town’s Ainslie Place which was depicted by the artist in Interior: The Orange Blind (1927). Like all fine Scottish painters, Buchanan’s take on the subject has a contemporary twist: ‘It is at the same time a tribute or perhaps just a nod to Rothko,’ he writes ‘designed to slightly unsettle the viewer by removing the tapering perspective so that although one sees the underneath of the balcony one also appears to be floating in mid air.’ Another example of a Scots painter using international precedent to push against the boundaries of his art.
Kate Downie Anatomy of Haste 3 August — 2 September 2017 www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/katedownie Image: Tokyo (The Hand), oil on canvas, 110 x 200 cms (detail)
2 Hugh Buchanan, Cadell’s Orange Blind, 1927, watercolour, 152.4cm x 76.2cm. Courtesy Scottish Gallery (see Diary for exhibition dates)
3 John Duncan Fergusson (1874–1961), Blue Nude, c.1912. On show at the Granary Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed
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Scottish Art News | DIRECTOR’S NOTE | 3
SP IT E YO UR FA CE
When Edinburgh-born Rachel Maclean (b.1987) was chosen to represent Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale, the world appeared to have just been turned upside down, writes Neil Cooper. So-called ‘fake news’ dominated the discourse of a post-Brexit world and the election of Donald Trump as US President appeared to have been countenanced by misinformation on a grand scale. The liberal fairytale, it seemed, had turned into a nightmare. The result of this for Maclean, following a ten-day script-writing session in Venice last December, is Spite Your Face. This new 30-minute film was commissioned and curated by the Scottish Borders-based Alchemy Film and Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. Maclean’s recognisable tropes, drawn from the pop cultural ephemera of girls magazines, MTV videos by the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Disney films and computer games, here looks to Pinocchio. The puppet boy whose nose grows every time he tells a lie was originally brought to life in a novel for children by Italian writer Carlo Collodi in 1883. Despite numerous adaptations, the story probably remains best known from Walt Disney’s 1940 cartoon film. ‘It was shortly after Brexit, and Donald Trump had been elected,’ says Maclean, ‘and the Italian election was happening as well, so it was a very scary moment politically, but it was also exciting to be there. I hadn’t been in Venice at that time of year before. It’s quieter and spookier. Quite a lot of the script came directly out of that post-Brexit climate, about truth, lies, post-truth, and how lies had been used in the Brexit campaign.’
Since studying painting and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art, Maclean’s films have grown to become a body of what look increasingly like a series of skewed state-of-the-nation commentaries. While the early confections of Lolcats (2012) looked like a candy-coloured dreamscape culled from the unintentionally trippier end of children’s TV, Feed Me (2016), which was featured in British Art Show 8, looked at the infantilisation of adulthood in a way that mashed-up Barbie, Disney princesses and Britney Spears. Please Sir (2014) similarly dissected class division and austerity culture through cutting up The Prince and the Pauper and Oliver Twist with Britain’s Got Talent and Jeremy Kyle. In a dizzying feat of cosplay-inspired shapeshifting, Maclean generally plays every role in all of her films. Spite Your Face sees Maclean expand her canvas even more. ‘Like a lot of my work, it uses these displaced fairytales,’ she says, ‘and because I was in Venice, I looked at Pinocchio, which is a story that’s very close to Italy, and I wanted to look at that through the lens of everything else that was going on. Fairytales help substantiate people’s ideologies, and if you look at how lies were used in the Brexit campaign, the narratives the politicians used over-simplified things, but they still related to people. Facts can be thrown at them to disprove them, but they do nothing to change people’s worlds. ‘This time, I’ve not looked at political speeches literally, and there are musical theatre elements in there that relate to Pinocchio, so there’s something of the language of fairytales in there, but, like my other work, the characters and the narrative are unstable.’ Maclean’s sensory palette is broader here too.
Rachel Maclean’s dark Venetian fairytale for Scotland + Venice Neil Cooper
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Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 5
‘Spite Your Face has got quite a different colour scheme to my other work,’ she says, ‘which I think came out of being in Venice. It’s still bright and pretty gaudy, and it still references pop cartoons and children’s TV, but it’s also really very baroque, in the real, literal sense of the word’
‘Spite Your Face has got quite a different colour scheme to my other work,’ she says, ‘which I think came out of being in Venice. It’s still bright and pretty gaudy, and it still references pop cartoons and children’s TV, but it’s also really very baroque, in the real, literal sense of the word.’ Spite Your Face is housed in Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Cannaregio, a deconsecrated church originally built as a base to uphold moral authority and reaffirm a political-religious power-base. For Maclean, the connections are perfect. ‘The work is lent an aura of the church just by being in one,’ she says. ‘I’ve always been interested in renaissance painting and Italian painting, both of which look quite a lot at truth, so there’s a similar sense of perspective.’ While it may not be explicit in her work, Maclean has spoken previously of how it is driven in part by anger. Issues of class, gender, nationhood and power have all been explored by her practice. Given everything that has happened over the last few months, Maclean’s anger might be more obvious than in previous work. ‘I think, like a lot of people, that the resurgence of white male privilege and its complete lack of substance is really worrying,’ says Maclean. ‘Before, those attitudes were dormant, but to see it rear its ugly head again now in a way that normalises that sort of behaviour, it makes me angry that those behind it will try to manipulate people who had a real reason to be angry.’ 6 | ART
As with her other films, Spite Your Face was filmed using green screen, with Maclean colouring in each fantastical backdrop with computer-generated graphics. Where many of her films have utilised cut-ups of TV and film to provide the dialogue, here Maclean’s own script is voiced by actors. She has used other voices in this way previously, even going so far as to have actors appear physically in her gothic-inspired film for the Mull-based Comar organisation, The Weepers (2014). Both suggest a growing confidence is blooming behind her multitude of masks. ‘I think Spite Your Face feels the most narrative-based of my films,’ says Maclean. ‘I’m filming the narrative in a more formal way, so it’s not as fragmented. I’m really interested in running with something that’s more linear.’ Despite such streamlining, Maclean remains conscious of the context in which Spite Your Face will be seen. ‘Showing the film in a gallery is different from it being seen in a cinema,’ she says, ‘because people are coming in at different times, so I’ve tried to make it so there’s no beginning and no end, and it just goes round and round.’ As her work has grown more ambitious, Maclean’s increasingly formal tone, that goes beyond the subverted trappings of pop video bubblegum, could potentially develop into something that would sit in both art-house and multiplex cinemas.
Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 7
1/2 Rachel Maclean, (digital image) Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video. Courtesy the artist. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of Scotland + Venice 3/4 Rachel Maclean in Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Cannaregio, Venice 2017. Photos by Richard Ashrowan and Stuart Fallon
‘I keep developing larger ideas,’ she says, ‘and I get quite excited about how you can develop characters over a longer period. Working with Alchemy already feels somewhere between the art world and cinema. One ambition of mine is to write a treatment for something much bigger. There are so many different ways of looking at how I might do that, but I really like the idea that work can relate to people outwith the art world. Even using Pinocchio and stories that people know, but done with layers of complexity beyond that, really appeals. Working in cinema really appeals in that way, but I don’t see me moving out of the art world either.’ Given the wild theatricality of her films and a clear love of rummaging through the dressing-up box to become a multitude of characters, Maclean is having tentative thoughts about bringing her work into the live arena. ‘I have this idea of developing work into some kind of live performance,’ she says. ‘I’m not sure how I’d do that yet, but it’s another way of expanding things. I’d probably work with actors rather than be in it myself. It’s a big leap to do that, but I like theatre 8 | ART
that uses video within it, so maybe it could move between video and live performance, but I don’t know yet.’ Whether she ends up as director, performer or designer, Maclean is already an auteur whose creations could easily burst through the screen to become extravagantly realised Busby Berkeley-style epics. In the meantime, Spite Your Face will receive its UK premiere at Talbot Rice in 2018. By then, the world may have changed again, but chances are Maclean’s film will still chime with the times in the most audacious and playful of ways. ‘I hope Spite Your Face reflects something of what’s happening in the world just now,’ she says, ‘and that politics is seen through a different lens and a different language than it being discussed purely through journalistic means. By interrogating ideas about truth and lies, and illuminating that through fairytales, hopefully people who see the film will be able to get something about what’s going on in the world in a different way.’
Spite Your Face 13 May–26 November Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Cannaregio, Venice, representing Scotland + Venice 2017 at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia The UK premiere will be held at the Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, in early 2018
‘I hope Spite Your Face reflects something of what’s happening in the world just now,’ she says, ‘and that politics is seen through a different lens and a different language than it being discussed purely through journalistic means’
Neil Cooper is a writer and critic based in Edinburgh Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 9
The Irish Pavilion, commissioned and curated by Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery director Tessa Giblin, presents Jesse Jones’ Tremble Tremble, a performance work inspired by the rising social movement in Ireland calling for a transformation in the historic relationship between church and state. The work is a continuation of Dublin-born Jones’ preoccupation with gender equality in the construction and commemoration of history, and will consider the Irish national pavilion as a site for alternative law. Jones’ drew on a myriad of sources for Tremble Tremble; an archeological dig of a 3.5 millionyear-old female specimen, the suppressed accounts of the 16th-century witch trials in Europe, the use of symphysiotomy in Ireland (a controversial surgical procedure in which the cartilage and ligaments of a pelvic joint are sliced open in order to widen the pelvis for childbirth) and abortion legislation in the country today. The new world order presented in Tremble Tremble combines genuine testimony, published articles and statements plus new lyrics into a bodily incantation. In collaboration with actress Olwen Fouéré and sound artist Susan Stenger, Jones showcases immersive work, manifesting as an expanded form of cinema. The title of the work is taken from a 1970s chant sung by the women of the Italian Wages for Housework movement: ‘Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate!’ (‘tremble, tremble, the witches have returned!’). In her new commission, Jones proposes the return of the witch figure as a ‘feminist archetype and disrupter’ who has the potential to transform reality. Tremble Tremble imagines a different legal order — in which the multitude are brought together in a symbolic, gigantic body, proclaiming a new law, that which Jones has termed In Utera Gigantae.
Jones’ practice reflects and represents historical moments of collective resistance and dissent. She explores gestures of revolutionary action, finding resonance in our current social and political landscape, with a particular focus on the relationship between feminism and authorship. She often engineers situations in which her work and its site engage in a critical interaction with one another. Through co-operation and her own personal research, Jones aims to reveal hidden codes and tropes within our popular collective consciousness. 13 May–26 November Arsenale of La Biennale de Venezia Representing Ireland at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Jesse Jones received her MA in Visual Arts practices at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in 2005. Her work has been screened and exhibited internationally, including in the 11th International Istanbul Biennial. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘The Struggle Against Ourselves’ at Spike Island, Bristol; ‘Against the Realm of the Absolute’ at Collective, Edinburgh, and ‘No More Fun and Games’, Dublin City Gallery. She has worked extensively with curator Tessa Giblin since their first project ‘The Spectre and the Sphere’ at Blackwood Gallery in Toronto and Project Arts Centre in Dublin in 2008. Kathryn Lloyd is an artist and writer based in London
Tremble Tremble Ireland at Venice 10 | ART
This approach is characteristic of Richards’s practice; he is a multi-disciplinary artist who considers the cinematic, acoustic, musical and curatorial, combining video, sound and still images. His work is interested in the fluctuations between the personal and the chaos of the mass media and he often pieces together elements from sources such as YouTube, libraries, publications, cinema, archives and the work of other artists, among others. Although often employing found footage and images with clear, figurative referents, Richards treats his materials in a sculptural and abstracted way. Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre has supported Richards’ exhibition and the show will travel to the Arts Centre after the solo presentation in Venice. Richards will also curate a group show for Chapter in autumn 2017.
1 Jesse Jones, Tremble Tremble, 2017 © Ros Kavanagh 2 James Richards, Rosebud, Artists Space, installation view, Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York, 2013. Courtesy the artist and Rodeo, London
James Richards’ film Rosebud was shown at the 55th Venice Biennale as part of Massimiliano Gioni’s exhibition ‘The Encyclopaedic Palace’. The work earned him a Turner Prize nomination, but he narrowly lost out on the prize to Glasgowbased Duncan Campbell, who was awarded it for his presentation at Scotland’s national pavilion at the Biennale the same year. This year, Richards returns to the Biennale with an eagerly anticipated solo show, representing Cymru yn Fenis, (Wales in Venice). Over the last few months Richards has worked in collaboration with students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and has excavated the content of the National Sound and Screen Archive in Aberystwyth. The result is a new, site-responsive sound installation, presented in a former convent located just off Via Garibaldi. The piece covers a wide range of genres and musical languages — from rhythmic scores to sequences built up from field recordings and incidental sounds.
13 May–26 November The Cymru yn Fenis (Wales in Venice) exhibition will be presented at the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice in Castello Representing Wales at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia James Richards studied at Cardiff School of Art and Design before completing a degree in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Request and Antisongs’ at ICA London; ‘Crumb Mahogany’ at Bergen Kunsthall; ‘Radio at Night’ at Museum of Contemporary Art Bordeaux, ‘James Richards’ at Kunstverein München and ‘Not Blacking Out Just Turning The Lights Off’ at Chisenhale, London. He was a recipient of the 2014 Ars Viva Prize for artists and the 2012 Jarman Award for film and video. He has recently been selected for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. His solo presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale is his first major commission as part of an international biennial. Kathryn Lloyd is an artist and writer based in London
Cymru yn Fenis 1
Wales in Venice
Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 11
19 19 24 14
19 08 Charles Hodge Mackie travels to Venice, where he stays for four years, producing some of the finest works of his career (read more, page 14).
First Venice Biennale established.
David Muirhead Bone and David Young Cameron are among 90 artists exhibiting in the British Pavilion.
For the very first time, women are involved in organising and choosing the works for the Pavilion. Patron of the artists and socialite Lady Cunard joined the British Committee and Laura Knight, who was taught by Charles Hodge Mackie (read more, page 14), was also part of the selection committee.
The British Pavilion opens.
One of the focuses of the 1899 exhibition is Scottish decorative art, featuring Scottish illustrator Jessie Marion King, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh.
114 British artists present work at the newly opened Pavilion. Works are chosen by Scottish painter George Henry, British sculptor Francis Derwent Wood and the artist Grosvenor Thomas. Thomas learned to paint in Glasgow and is often regarded as a peripheral member of the ‘Glasgow Boys’.
Scotland and Venice timeline 12 | ART
19 19 64 52 19 40 46
British Pavilion shows ‘New Aspects of British Sculpture’, a group show that includes William Turnbull and Eduardo Paolozzi. Herbert Read publishes controversial essay ‘Geometry of Fear’ to accompany the show (read more, page 18).
Anne Redpath paints Courtyard in Venice (read more, page 22).
Britain does not show.
19 16 18
Exhibitions suspended due to WWI.
19 37 The British Council take over running the British Pavilion.
British Pavilion reopens with knockout show of paintings by JMW Turner and sculpture by Henry Moore. Jackson Pollock exhibits, inspiring Alan Davie, who visits the same year (read more, page 18).
20 05 Glasgow-based artists Alex Pollard, Joanne Tatham & Tom O’Sullivan, and Cathy Wilkes represent Scotland in ‘Selective Memory’.
Biennale director Giovanni Carandente invites ‘Tre Scultori Scozzesi’ – David Mach, Arthur Watson and Kate Whiteford -- to exhibit in the heart of the Giardini.
19 19 78 60 Group exhibition; works by Henry Cliffe, Merlyn Evans, Geoffrey Clarke, Victor Pasmore and Eduardo Paolozzi. Paolozzi wins David E Bright Foundation Prize for a sculptor under 45 for his application of collage techniques to sculpture. Paolozzi shows a herd of abstract bronze sculpture animals at the Pavilion, including Chinese Dog (1958), now part of the Guggenheim’s collection, and Krokadeel (1959), now in the University of Edinburgh’s Art Collection.
Scottish artist Mark Boyle shows four blown-up electron microscope images plucked from his body at the British Pavilion. The Boyle Family also show their World Series studies, created by randomly choosing an area of the Earth’s surface and then refashioning it in resin, fibreglass and actual materials from that location, such as soil.
The first Scotland + Venice. Francis McKee and Kay Pallister curate Zenomap, with newly commissioned work by Claire Barclay, Jim Lambie and Simon Stirling. The project is part of the ‘Extra 50’ group of exhibitions.
20 20 13 09 Martin Boyce is the first artist to produce a solo show for Scotland + Venice, curated by Dundee Contemporary Arts and shown at the Palazzo Pisani.
The Common Guild commission new works by Corin Sworn, Hayley Tompkins and Duncan Campbell for Scotland + Venice. Campbell is nominated for the Turner Prize for the work made for the Pavilion, and wins.
The Scottish National Galleries curate a group show at the Palazzo Zenobio, in the Dorsoduro district of Venice. Charles Avery, Henry Coombes, Louise Hopkins, Rosalind Nashashibi, Lucy Skaer and Tony Swain represent Scotland.
Graham Fagen represents Scotland. He invites audiences to ‘Come into the Garden, and forget about the War.’
Karla Black shows at the Palazzo Pisani, filling eight rooms with pastel-coloured, scented sculptures in an acclaimed show curated by the Fruitmarket Gallery.
Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 13
Edinburgh artist Charles Hodge Mackie (18621920) has become ‘the forgotten man’ of Scottish art history. His art cannot be easily categorised to any particular school; he was not one of the Glasgow Boys or a Scottish Colourist. His canvases were often very large and therefore unsuited to the demands of smaller bourgeois residences during the time he was creating them. Since his death, many of his works have been overlooked, destroyed or lost; the serendipity of history leaving him unjustly neglected. This is an artist who rubbed shoulders with the Nabis, was close friends with Paul Sérusier and Paul Ranson, and received a personal tour of Gauguin’s studio. His visit to Edouard Vuillard’s garret led to an exchange of paintings between Scotland and France, with the Mackies’ modest choice Ouvrières dans l’atelier de couture (1893) being the first Vuillard to enter Scotland. Mackie was an inveterate traveller, a lover of sea, city and landscape, in Scotland and beyond. In a letter of 1904, he confessed ‘I am artistically entirely self-educated though I attended art schools to my undoing’, being more responsive to the places, people and fellow-artists he encountered. He had his hand firmly on the artistic pulse of the times, even if that meant taking the road less travelled and initially enduring financial hardship along the way. It was the patronage of Andrew Carnegie, Auldjo Jamieson and JJ Cowan which helped change Mackie’s fortunes for the better, financing his journey to Venice in 1908.
The Venice Biennale had existed for 13 years when Mackie first strolled along the city’s canals, seeking out scenes for his palette, eye and easel. He spent four years painting Venetian scenes and in that time created some of his finest and most critically acclaimed works. The Mackie family stayed at the pensione Casa Frollo in the Guidecca, a stone’s throw from the city’s sights and bustling life. Mackie would often paint the view from his window, as well as from the balcony. There are several works created from the Casa Frollo in public and private hands, one of the most evocative of which is held within The Hunterian’s collection, An Interior, Venice, painted in 1914. Two of his Staithes friends were in Venice at the same time as Mackie – Henry Silkstone Hopwood and Frederick Jackson. They might well have contrasted the ease of painting in the Venetian warmth with the chill winds of Yorkshire, but aside from these encounters, Mackie worked alone, concentrating on capturing the city on his canvas. His output was prodigious during the Venice years. Humble scenes of Venetians at work and play, the impressive Ca d’Oro, the Doge’s Palace, la Piazzetta, Saint Mark’s, Santa Maria del Salute and the gondolas on the Grand Canal all flowed from his brush. ‘There he worked day after day, all through the summer in intense heat when even the Venetians groaned under the burning sun or fled to the mountains, grudging the time he took for a swim at the Lido,’ recalls Anne Mackie, in her journal, describing their time there.
A Scot in Venice: Charles Hodge Mackie
‘This is an artist who rubbed shoulders with the Nabis, was close friends with Paul Sérusier and Paul Ranson, [and] received a personal tour of Gauguin’s studio . . . His visit to Edouard Vuillard’s garret led to an exchange of paintings between Scotland and France’
Remembering the forgotten man of Scottish art history Pat Clark 14 | ART
Scottish Art News | VENICE SPECIAL | 15
Mackie would often create smaller works in watercolour and oil and then work them up into large paintings. This was the case with La Piazzetta in the Fleming Collection – later enlarged into the painting of the same name currently in the City Art Centre in Edinburgh. The demise of the Scottish Modern Artists Association in 1964 meant that Edinburgh’s collection also gained one of his most impressive Venetian oils, La Musica Veneziana (1909). ‘The hour is the twilight. The sunset glitter is of the city, which is seen in a soft serene grey light, to which colour is imparted by the lighted paper lanterns on the further gondolas . . . The quiet tonal harmony is perfect,’ read an ecstatic, contemporaneous review in The Scotsman. Mackie’s devotion to his art during his time in Venice allowed him to hone his technique and command of colour. In 1912, Mackie showed a selection of works made in Venice at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The oil, Bridge of Sighs (1911), gained him the Gold Medal; a prestigious award that defined Mackie as a ‘living master’ – a well-earned plaudit and consolation, since he had just missed out, by one vote, being elected an RSA in his homeland that year. The award-winning work was later shown at the newly opened RSA Galleries in Edinburgh where it was admired by Queen Mary and sold to JJ Cowan, Mackie’s Murrayfield patron. In his memoirs, Cowan recounted that ‘I had the privilege of hearing Charles Mackie expound, in the Venice National Gallery, how his scheme of colour was exemplified in the works of Carpaccio . . . ’
Mackie also showed two coloured woodblock prints in the prestigious Stedelijk show: The Ducal Palace and The Palace Gardens (1911), the latter being highly praised (and owned) by Walter Sickert, while the doyen of print-making, Malcolm Salaman, described The Ducal Palace as ‘perhaps Mr Mackie’s most sumptuous print, rich in colour and design, and amply suggestive of the live character of Venice.’ Both were later exhibited at the Louvre in 1912, under the auspices of the Societé de la Gravure sur Bois originale anglaise. After Venice, Mackie travelled to Rome and northern Italy, to Bassano del Grappa, as well as returning to his beloved France, where his travels began. His journey as a colourist and impressionist was not yet complete but the outbreak of war in 1914 ended these continental sojourns. His final years were marked by debilitating illness, though he grasped the challenge offered by sculpture, saying that it offered ‘vistas of enjoyment’. Venice saw Mackie produce the works of his maturity, showing the final successful resolution of his self-imposed challenge to master the alchemy of colour. Anne judged it ‘the crowning moment of his ascetic life’. Scotland should feel proud of this colourist and impressionist of distinction. Pat Clark is the author of People, Places and Piazzas: The Life and Art of Charles H Mackie. She is currently working on a memorial exhibition dedicated to Mackie to be held at Edinburgh’s City Art Centre in 2020. People, Places and Piazzas: The Life and Art of Charles H Mackie by Pat Clark is published by Sansom & Co.
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1 La Piazzetta, c.1908 © Fleming Wyfold Foundation 2 La Musica Venezia, (1909) Courtesy of Edinburgh City Art Centre 3 An Interior, Venice, (1914). Courtesy of The Hunterian 4 An Evening in Venice, (1912). Courtesy of Bill Mackie
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James Whitelaw Hamilton rsa rsw (1860-1932), Autumn Reverie, 1895
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Scottish modernism in Venice When Alan Davie, William Turnbull and Eduardo Paolozzi exhibited in Venice Bill Hare 18 | ART
When the phrase ‘Scottish Art, Home and Abroad’ comes up, Venice does not usually spring to mind. Rather it is other great cities of culture, Rome or Paris perhaps, that more readily fit the bill. In the 18th century for instance, the Scottish aristocratic traveller looked mainly on Venice as pleasurable, and in many cases as an erotic diversion. It was in the Eternal City that the high cultural desires and needs of the Grand Tourist were fulfilled. To meet such demanding aspirations, there was a whole colony of eager young Scots artists on call in Rome, where the all-powerful Gavin Hamilton was at the centre of an international network of artistic promotion and patronage. Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, it was Paris that took over as the major artistic attraction for young aspiring Scottish artists. A whole generation, from William Gillies to Jack Knox, attended André Lhote’s Parisian studio academy throughout the first half of the 20th century. In order to draw the attention of the wider world back to the city, Venice established the first Biennale in 1895 and, since then, its reputation has grown immensely throughout the international art scene. It is not surprising, then, that Venice was very determined to re-instate as quickly as possible its hard-won artistic and curatorial status after the hiatus of the Second World War. This it succeeded in doing by 1948, and over the next decade or so, the Venice Biennale became an important launching stage for the international careers of three Scottish modern artists – Alan Davie (1920–2014 ), Eduardo Paolozzi (1924–2005) and William Turnbull (1922–2012). Alan Davie attended Edinburgh College of Art and was awarded his diploma in 1940. After his war service, he was unsure what direction his creative life would take; whether it would be poetic, artistic or musical. In 1948 however, an Andrew Grant travelling scholarship allowed him, and his new wife and constant companion Bili, to visit the great art centres of Europe. This richly rewarding experience was to have a profound and lasting effect on Davie. In April 1948, Davie set off on his own personal grand tour of European culture in a very defiant and iconoclastic frame of mind as seen from his letters and journal of the time: of the art scene in London, he dismissively wrote, ‘that which I am seeking is not here . . . what a mass of ugly rubbish on show under the name of Art.’
When Davie got to Italy he was equally unimpressed by Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture. Writing of St Peter’s in Rome, he declared, ‘words cannot express my horror on seeing this wonder of the world. I can only say that it is the most hideous of monstrosities ever thrown up by mankind.’ To find the inspiration he was desperately seeking, Davie needed to seek out a different kind of art, and it was in Venice (and later in Sicily) that he found it in the form of mosaic religious icons. For Davie, such works were not sullied by the insidious fakeries of Albertian pictorial illusionism. These early Christian images were instead created through the open display and flat patterning of the mosaic medium, where form and background were as one, holding the holy imagery within an ‘eternal vision’. Davie’s inspired response to such visual mysticism can be seen in such powerful work as his radiant The Saint (1948). Davie’s visit to Venice coincided with the Biennale of 1948 where, through the auspices of the great American patron Peggy Guggenheim, he had his first opportunity to see recent American painting, including the work of Jackson Pollock. The Biennale’s wide-ranging display of modern art was so mesmerising for the young Scottish painter that, according to his journals, he visited it seven times and wrote, ‘at last I can say that my whole life is completely absorbed in art and painting.’ This outburst
of creative activity resulted in his first exhibition in Florence in September and another in Venice at the Galeria Sandri in late 1948. The Venice show drew the attention of none other than Peggy Guggenheim herself. She initially thought this was the work of an unknown American painter, and was so impressed that she purchased one work, Music of the Autumn Landscape (1948) for her peerless collection of 20th century art. Even more of a boost for Davie’s burgeoning career was her recommendation to seek out a highly regarded London gallery, which resulted in the first of his many exhibitions at Gimpil Fils in September 1950. Through the Guggenheim connection, Davie later visited the USA in 1956 where he met up with most of the major abstract expressionists and also had his first American exhibition at Catherine Viviano Gallery, from which MOMA purchased Magic Box (1955). As an homage and token of his gratitude he felt towards his first patron, Davie entitled one of his most important early works Peggy’s Guessing Box (1950--2).
‘Davie needed to seek out a different kind of art, and it was in Venice (and later in Sicily) that he found it in the form of mosaic religious icons. For Davie, such works were not sullied by the insidious fakeries of Albertian pictorial illusionism’
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Like Alan Davie, when Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull finished their war service and set out on their post-war artistic careers, they were similarly disappointed with the art scene in Britain. In an interview for Scottish Art News in 2013, Turnbull said, ‘When I got de-mobbed I enrolled at the Slade. It was one of the biggest let-downs I had experienced. So I went to Paris because I wasn’t interested in the artists in London, I was interested in the artists in Paris.’ There in the late 1940s, he shared a studio with Paolozzi and both had access to meeting and seeing the work of the great modern sculptors such as Brancusi, Giacometti and Dubuffet. The direct contact with these most renowned exponents of modern sculpture had an encouraging effect on the early experimental work of the young Scottish artists. When Paolozzi and Turnbull returned to London in 1950, they immediately sought out a circle of progressive artists and patrons, this time linked to the ICA (Insitute of Contemporary Arts), which had been set up by Peggy Guggenheim, Roland Penrose and Herbert Read as a centre for progressive and experimental art and ideas. Immersing themselves in the British art scenes bore fruit, particularly for Paolozzi, who was commissioned for the prestigious Festival of Britain to make his first large public sculpture entitled Fountain (1951). It also took Paolozzi and Turnbull to Venice, where they were included among a group of new generation sculptors chosen to represent Great Britain at the Venice Biennale of 1952. This was the famous exhibition ‘New Aspects of British Sculpture’ selected by Herbert Read. For the exhibition catalogue, Read wrote his controversial ‘Geometry of Fear’ essay, 20 | ART
implying that this group of young British sculptors were a homogenous movement; all committed to an ‘iconography of despair’ -- which most of them certainly were not. It should also be pointed out that the philistinism which Davie and Turnbull noted after the war was still very much a dominant force in British society, as shown by the Guardian’s art critic who questioned ‘why are we sending to Venice the bronze biscuits and plaster pies by William Turnbull and Eduardo Paolozzi?’ The reaction of the international art scene in Venice was very different. Alfred Barr, renowned director of MOMA, declared it the most powerful display of modern sculpture on show and purchased four works, including one by Paolozzi. Like Davie, Paolozzi also caught the attention of Peggy Guggenheim. The recognition the artists received from powerful figures in the international art world was quickly followed by the support of the British Council, which went on to sponsor younger emerging artists like Turnbull and Paolozzi by buying their work for its collection and also regularly including them in its worldwide touring exhibitions. When Turnbull exhibited in the 1952 Biennale, he was ‘completely broke and working the night shift at a Lyons Maid ice-cream factory and couldn’t afford to go to Venice.’ Following the success of the show, he was soon offered a teaching position by fellow Scot William Johnstone, principal at the Central School of Art in London. He then also became, along with Paolozzi, a leading member of the newly formed, and soon to become highly influential, ‘Independent Group’ at the ICA, as well as a regular exhibitor with the Waddington Gallery.
1 Alan Davie (1920-2014), The Saint, 1948. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art © The Estate of Alan Davie. Photo: Antonia Reeve
It was the charismatic Paolozzi, however, who benefitted the most from British Council patronage, resulting in him having the whole of their sculpture pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 1960. This gave him an important opportunity to present a carefully selected group of his 1950s Art Brut figures, including his forbidding His Majesty the Wheel (1958) and Krokadeel (1956). This won him the Bright Foundation Award for the best sculptor under 45. Even more significant for his subsequent career, Paolozzi met Gabrielle Keiller in Venice. She quickly became his most important patron and collector, and could have on occasions more than 75 Paolozzi sculptures on display in her extensive garden at Kingston Hill, London. Bill Hare is an Honorary Fellow at The University of Edinburgh, as well as a freelance writer and curator
2 William Turnbull (1922-2012), Heavy Insect, 1949. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, purchased with assistance from the Iain Paul Fund 2007 © Estate of William Turnbull. All rights reserved, DACS 3 Eduardo Paolozzi (19242005), Table Sculpture (Growth), 1949. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2016.
4 Eduardo Paolozzi (19242005), Wittgenstein in New York. From As is when, 1964. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2016. 5 Eduardo Paolozzi at the Shipbreakers’ Yard, Hamburg c. 1962. Photo: Ulrich Mack © Ulrich Mack
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These two lively works, both in the Fleming Collection, come from Anne Redpath’s 1962 visit to Venice. She had travelled to the city once before while living in France in the late 1920s, but on that trip, she consciously avoided painting the city that had attracted so many artists, being wary of producing received responses. She preferred less-visited scenery, such as that of Corsica and the Canary Islands. However, in 1962, her son Alistair (also an artist) persuaded her to accompany him to the city for a fortnight in October. They stayed in the Hotel Grand Canale in Santa Croce and Redpath worked furiously from the outset. Courtyard in Venice reflects how inspired she was despite her previous reluctance – its execution has energy, panache and immediacy. By this stage of her life, she preferred working indoors rather than out on a sunlit street where she was constantly interrupted by inquisitive children.
Anne Redpath was not in the least religious but loved the cool and quiet of baroque church interiors which were, paradoxically, riotously decorated and colourful. She would only produce drawings in churches, hence the colour notes on the sketch of San Nicolo dei Mendicoli – the church that featured in Nicholas Roeg’s film Don’t Look Now ten years later. These annotations helped when she added colour to the drawing once she had returned to her hotel room. Oil paintings would not be started until she was home in Scotland. Earlier in her career, Mediterranean painting trips would continue to inspire oil paintings two or three years later, but by 1962 she had speeded up the process. The results of her Venetian experiences were exhibited at a solo show at her London dealers Reid & Lefevre in April the following year, six months after the trip. There were 24 oils, all of Venice, and they sold out in two days, but it was to be her last exhibition – she died nine months later at the age of 69. Patrick Bourne is author of Anne Redpath 1895–1965, Her Life and Work, and is director of Patrick Bourne & Co
1 1 Anne Redpath, San Nicolo dei Mendicoli, 1964. 2 Anne Redpath, A Courtyard in Venice, 1964.
Images courtesy of the Fleming Collection
Anne Redpath in Venice Patrick Bourne 22 | ART
NEWS Art Moves
Sarah McCrory appointed director of the new contemporary art gallery at Goldsmiths, University of London Sarah McCrory has left her post as director of Glasgow International to lead a world-class programme of exhibitions, residencies and projects at the new Goldsmiths Gallery, based at the university’s south London campus. Building work is currently underway on the 1000m2 gallery, designed by Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble, around the Grade II-listed Laurie Grove Baths and the building’s derelict Victorian water tanks. Sarah McCrory said: ‘I’m honoured and thrilled to be appointed director of the new gallery at Goldsmiths. At a time when cuts and closures threaten our cultural institutions, the opening of a new gallery as part of a university with such a rich artistic history is an exciting and encouraging occasion.’ Goldsmiths’ gallery is expected to host its first public exhibition in spring 2018.
Sir Mark Jones new chair of the governors of the Hospitalfield Trust Former V&A director Sir Mark Jones has joined the Hospitalfield Trust at a pivotal stage in the organisation’s development. As chair of the governors, Jones will support the delivery of Hospitalfield’s ‘Future Plan’, an ambitious restoration and development plan for the Arbroath-based arts organisation. ‘Mark brings vast experience to this role having led major institutional change and capital development within national cultural institutions and we are delighted that he has agreed to take on the role at this important time for Hospitalfield,’ said Lucy Byatt, director of Hospitalfield. Jones is currently chair of the Pilgrim Trust and a trustee of a number of organisations including Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, the Watts Museum and Historic Environment Scotland Trust.
‘ As chair of the governors, Jones will support the delivery of Hospitalfield’s ‘Future Plan,’ an ambitious restoration and development plan for the Arbroath-based arts organisation’
Art Builds The Fruitmarket Gallery has been given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council to extend into the Electric Circus bar and club when it closes this year. This major £11m redevelopment will see the gallery effectively double in size. Right now, the Fruitmarket has an anticipated closure date from 2018 with a re-opening scheduled for 2020. Work was scheduled to begin on the National Galleries of Scotland’s £18m project ‘Celebrating Scotland’s Art’ in March 2017. However the plans have been delayed due to works becoming more complex and exceeding proposed budget. The delays could last several months. Perth and Kinross Council is to invest £10 million in a major overhaul to Perth Museum and Art Gallery and the creation of a new collection store in the city. The revamp will deliver modern facilities on par with the National Museum of Scotland and other recent major refurbishments. The gallery will close to the public in late 2018 – early 2019.
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Art Awards Camille Bernard awarded top prize at RSA New Contemporaries 2017 We are delighted to announce that Glasgow School of Art graduate, Camille Bernard, has been awarded the annual Fleming-Wyfold Bursary for her mixed media work, Harvest, exhibited at the RSA New Contemporaries in February this year. Bernard received a £10,000 prize, with an additional £4000 to support production costs in the year ahead. A unique aspect of the FlemingWyfold Bursary is the mentoring scheme that sees established curator Susanna Beaumont work with the winning artist for a year. Beaumont has recently completed working with last year’s winner, George Ridgway (see page 27). The Fleming-Wyfold Bursary selection panel was: James Knox (director at the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation), Vincent Honoré (director of David Roberts Art Foundation), Susanna Beaumont (curator), Julie Anne Delaney, (curator, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) and artist Sara Barker. ‘The sheer range of works on display at RSA New Contemporaries is testimony to the strength of Scotland’s art schools. Selecting a winner has been challenging but the panel unanimously awarded the bursary to Camille Bernard whose hugely ambitious narrative paintings and film mark her out as being an artist who is serious, open, rigorous and adventurous,’ said James Knox. Born in 1994, Camille Bernard, who has a French father and a Scottish mother, returned to Scotland from Paris to undertake her art education graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2016. A painter, filmmaker and sculptor, the judges praised her figurative work for ‘making a career out of so many different disciplines’.
The ‘Auld Alliance’ remains strong, as Douglas Gordon is awarded France’s highest cultural honour The Scottish artist Douglas Gordon has been awarded the title of Commander of Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government. The actor Sean Connery is the only other Scot to receive such an award.
Peter Doig named Whitechapel’s Art Icon Scottish painter Peter Doig (b.1959) is the fourth artist to receive the Whitechapel Gallery’s prestigious annual Art Icon award. ‘This award celebrates the work of an artist who has made a profound contribution to contemporary practice, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists,’ said Whitechapel director Iwona Blazwick. ‘Peter Doig was chosen in recognition of his spectacular oeuvre to date and his continuous evolution and invigorated approach to his medium.’ Doig is in esteemed company; past recipients of the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon are Sir Howard Hodgkin (2014), Richard Long (2015) and Joan Jonas (2016).
Cathy Wilkes awarded inaugural Maria Lassnig Award Cathy Wilkes (b.1966) is the first artist to receive the Lassnig Art Prize, a biennial award established by the Maria Lassnig Foundation in June 2016 to honor the achievements of mid-career artists. The Lassnig Art Prize was originally envisioned by pioneering Austrian artist Maria Lassnig before her death in 2014 at the age of 94, at the height of her artistic powers. Having achieved recognition only later in life, she hoped to encourage the efforts of fellow career artists not yet familiar to the public. In October, MoMA PS1 will present the first solo museum exhibition in New York focused on Glasgow-based artist Wilkes in conjunction with the inaugural Lassnig Art Prize.
BP Portrait Prize awarded to Edinburgh artist Clara Drummond The 2016 winner of the BP Portrait Award’s prestigious first prize is 38-year-old Edinburgh-born artist Clara Drummond, whose painting, Girl in a Liberty Dress is a striking portrait of her friend and fellow artist Kirsty Buchanan. This is the third time that Clara has submitted a portrait of Kirsty for the award (the first two were included in the 2013 and 2014 exhibitions) and she also made the selection in 2006 and 2009 with paintings of two different sitters. When Kirsty sat for Clara for this portrait, she wore a vintage Liberty dress, inspired by the fact that both artists were working on an exhibition at the time with the William Morris Society Archive.
Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest announced as recipient of 2017 Margaret Tait Award At the world premiere of Kate Davis’ Margaret Tait Award commission Charity (2017), Glasgow Film Festival presented the 2017 Margaret Tait Award to Glasgow-based artist Sarah Forrest. Forrest will receive a £10,000 commission to produce a new work to be presented at Glasgow Film Festival in 2018. ‘[Margaret Tait’s] work and approach as a filmmaker and writer has been influential for me, so to receive an award that celebrates her legacy is a humbling experience,’ said Forrest. ‘The work that I have proposed will begin with a period of research on the Isle of Lewis, where I will be looking initially at the island’s rich history of prophetic “second sight”, drawing from stories that I heard from my mother
who grew up there. This work will build on recurring themes in my practice that look at appearance, perception, doubt and belief, with the commission being an exciting and significant opportunity for me to explore these in a longer form work.’ Supported by Creative Scotland and LUX, the award was founded in 2010 to support experimental and innovative artists working within film and moving image.
‘This work will build on recurring themes in my practice that look at appearance, perception, doubt and belief’ 1 Sarah McCrory, image courtesy of Goldsmiths 2 Cathy Wilkes. Untitled, 2012. Gift of the Speyer Family Foundation and Mrs. Saidie A. May (by exchange). © 2017 Cathy Wilkes 3 Camille Bernard, Harvest, courtesy of the artist 4 Sarah Forrest, image courtesy of LUX Scotland
5 Clara Drummond, Girl in a Liberty Dress, 2016, image courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland
HUGH BUCHANAN NEW TOWN 7 June – 1 July 2017 www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/hughbuchanan
16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6HZ | +44 (0)131 558 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org | scottish-gallery.co.uk Image Details: St Stephens at Dusk, watercolour, 56 x 38 cms (detail)
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Grayson Perry, another artist who was invited to make work for the auction was sent a box of charcoal: ‘I was very excited when I received the box . . . I had an idea almost immediately and the idea of making an urn was an obvious thing to do. The idea of memorialising or celebrating the difficulty – honouring the wound. It’s something I’m trying to do. Move on and make the most of it,’ said Perry. The piece that brought the most money at the auction was by Jenny Saville, who studied at GSA from 1988–92. Her work, Ashes, depicting a reclining female nude drawn with charcoal from the fire, sold for £269,000. The Mackintosh Campus Appeal has raised £18.5 million to date, with £13.5 million still to be raised of the £32 million target.
Christie’s ‘Ash to Art’ auction raises almost £570,000 for Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Campus Appeal On 8 March, 25 works by leading contemporary artists were auctioned at Christie’s to raise funds for Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Campus Appeal. GSA alumni, including Simon Starling, Douglas Gordon and David Shrigley, dominated the list of contributing artists. Each was sent a fragment of the remains from the fire to use as their material; from charred timbers and debris to books and furniture. ‘I was sent a small section of wood that came from the famous library in the building. It sat in my studio in Berlin, on my desk, next to a classic 60s ashtray that a friend had given me – the irony,’ explains Douglas Gordon. ‘In any case, it reminded me of my times in the library, where one either craned one’s neck in order to look up very high, or bent one’s head in order to read a book. It has a kind of (traditional) religious or at least a devotional gesture to it. And when I looked at the pieces of wood, I moved them slightly and realised that it was, indeed, a cross.’
GEORGE RIDGWAY 1
‘The piece that brought the most money at the auction was by Jenny Saville, who studied at GSA between 1988–92. Her work, Ashes, depicting a reclining female nude drawn with charcoal from the fire, sold for £269,000’
1 Alison Watt, Deep Within the Heart of Me 2 Douglas Gordon, A Given 2
3 Jenny Saville, drawing of a nude 4 David Shrigley, No Smoking. All images courtesy of Christie’s
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Less than two years out of Glasgow School of Art, Fleming-Wyfold Bursary winner George Ridgway finds himself in a unique and exciting position among Scotland’s emerging artists After being selected with around 60 fellow Scottish art graduates to make work for last year’s annual New Contemporaries exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy, George’s mixed-media installation for the show won him critical acclaim, as well as a residency at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop and, crucially, the award of the Fleming-Wyfold Bursary. As a result, George, who has stayed in the city where he studied painting and printmaking, has spent the past year being mentored by independent curator Susanna Beaumont, as well as taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded by the £10,000 bursary and £4000 production fee. ‘I’m in quite an odd position,’ George explains. ‘I’m only just out of art college, and that’s still quite a vulnerable time where you don’t feel quite sure what you’re doing, how you’re doing it or how you’re coping working by yourself. ‘The bursary is incredible because you’re given an opportunity to make work and have the potential to do that without the institutional framework.’ George’s work for New Contemporaries at the RSA in Edinburgh marked something of a departure from the work he had been making during his degree, incorporating elements of sculpture, sound, painting, performance and choreography in a piece that he has since adapted for other shows, ‘reconditioning’ and redeveloping it to create an altered version of the original work.
‘I found that exhibition really liberating, and treated it as a platform to test stuff out and enjoy doing something quite different. There were elements that I hadn’t used before, and I pushed myself to explore a lot of things that I’d been thinking about through art school but hadn’t felt that I could try out.’ George showed the work again at the New Scottish Artists show at the David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) in London, presented by the RSA and Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, and over the past year has been looking at ways in which he can rework, rearrange and reconfigure earlier pieces while including new elements, developing the story of a piece of work. In addition to the financial benefits of the award, being mentored by Susanna Beaumont has, he says, given him a hugely valuable artistic relationship, providing him with support both inside and outside the studio. ‘It’s been really valuable being able to discuss ideas, sometimes not even to do with art but just general musings,’ George says. ‘We’ve been to see lots of exhibitions around Scotland and the rest of the country and I’ve been introduced to lots of people. It’s helped with just being active and using the time and money to see as much as possible.’
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His work has also developed through travel and taking part in exhibitions internationally, including Mono, a group show in Madrid, and a journey to Bulgaria to study frescos and wall paintings, something he has used increasingly in his work this year. ‘In Bulgaria, I was interested in the use of that form of wall painting within the architectural parameters, and the way the architecture created a false environment, where the content of the paintings became more apparent.’ He has also been working on collaborations, including through the Bart Waltz Collective, a group of Glasgow School of Art graduates who presented work at last year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, inviting local community groups in for workshops, and later installing the results at the Glue Factory in Glasgow. ‘It’s a collaborative working process,’ George says. ‘We made a few collaborative performances with audience participation – we created a fictional festival day where we invited people for workshops. We also collectively designed some music and dance that we taught to those audiences.’ Recently moving into a new, bigger studio in the East End of Glasgow, he is currently making bigger and more ambitious works, and is incorporating more audio elements into his practice. This development has been enhanced by the study of polyphonic singing, which he has been learning as a result of the bursary. 28 | ART
‘It’s quite a good metaphor for the wider things I’m interested in, and for the different layers of inquiry or content trying to merge with each other. Polyphonic singing can be very harmonious and at other times very discordant, and I see those relationships as parallel.’ George says that working with the curator, Vincent Honoré, at DRAF has been a ‘great motivator’, at the end of a year during which he has had the time, space and support to develop his practice at a crucial stage of his career. ‘It’s been so valuable – just purely being able to spend time with your own practice, especially after art school, being plunged into the other worries that you have to consider. It’s been really great over the year being able to focus on my practice and learn how to make work by myself, which I think takes time. I still don’t really know how to do that and I’ve struggled at points during this year, but having the capacity to enable that has been really beneficial.’
Rhona Taylor is an artist and writer based in Edinburgh
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1 George Ridgway, Bartholomew’s Waltz – The Glue Factory 1, 2016 2 George Ridgway, Members We Are – GENERATOR Projects 3, 2016 3 George Ridgway, Bartholomew’s Waltz – The Glue Factory Performance 3, 2016 4 George Ridgway, Lost Forerunner, 2016 5 George Ridgway, Common Land, 2016 6 George Ridgway, Bartholomew’s Waltz – The Glue Factory – Performance 2, 2016 All images courtesy of the artist
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ONES TO WATCH Selected by James Knox, Vincent Honoré, Susanna Beaumont, Julie Anne Delaney, Sara Barker
Earlier this year, the Fleming-Wyfold Foundation partnered with David Roberts Art Foundation to showcase a selection of the most promising new artists emerging from Scottish Art Schools in 2016. These are a few of their ‘ones to watch’ . . . Camille Bernard Bernard graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2016. Her multidisciplinary practice explores painting, filmmaking and set design. She won the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation bursary for Harvest, a painted stage set screening films which document performances designed by Bernard. It was shown at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition earlier this year. Bernard describes the performative elements of Harvest as ‘a sort of a masquerade in a cardboard world where a sense of childhood nostalgia is darkened by the distance we make of things, symbols and situations as adults. ‘Both the costumes and set, naive and simplified, underline this tendency my work has towards fantasy and play, myths and memory.’ Over the next year and with the support of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, Bernard will be mentored by curator Susanna Beaumont. cargocollective.com/camillebernard
Felix Carr Glasgow School of Art graduate Felix Carr makes large, bold, expressive paintings. They feel familiar at first, evocative of American abstract expressionism and the likes of Willem de Kooning, Matisse – the ‘big daddys’ of 20th-century art history. He deliberately references their mark-making as part of what Carr describes as ‘a reappraisal of highmodernist iconography, particularly “avant-garde” representations of the figure and corporeal expressivity.’ Carr is also keenly interested in literature, philosophy and social theory: ‘Such varying degrees of reference essentially equate to a conflation of personal interests, tying together poetry, surrealism, psychoanalysis, social theory, as well as the significance of words and language.’ At the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition Carr was awarded the Stevenston Painting Prize of £5,000 for a painter of merit. felixcarrmakingart.tumblr.com/ 32 | ART
Laura Gaiger Glasgow School of Art graduate Gaiger’s work deals with the internal contradiction of painting as both decoration and fine art. ‘I see my paintings as the locus where the language of abstraction meets the language of craft and decoration.’ Central to Gaiger’s research is the distinction made in modern western culture between the fine and applied arts, as described by Clement Greenberg in his famous essay ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’, as well as the denunciation of decorativity in Adolf Loos’ 1913 essay ‘Ornament and Crime’. Gaiger plays with the idea of fine art versus decorative painting, and representation versus abstraction in her work. ‘I make paintings on panels but also on walls, I paint real objects while at the same time subordinating their realness to a non-referential joy of colour and form,’ explains Gaiger.
Clara Hastrup Aarhus-born multimedia artist Clara Hastrup graduated from Glasgow School of Art’s Painting and Printmaking course. Her work spans a variety of media including photography, video and sculpture. ‘I’m interested in experimenting with how to deconstruct reality,’ explains Hastrup. ‘I often use colour to function as a subconscious navigation into an imagined reality and I’m interested in what emotional responses these highly saturated intense colours can generate.’ In her video work, Hastrup, ‘intuitively [smashes] sequences together to generate illogical structures and rhythms instead of a set narrative, inviting the spectator to reason more abstractly and potentially reshape thoughts and reflections on our reality.’
Kitty Hall Perth-born Kitty Hall moved to Glasgow in 2012 to take up a place on the Painting and Printmaking course at Glasgow School of Art. Hall uses a wide variety of materials to create an exaggerated, nightmarish version of the world, where the colours and textures are more vivid and contrasting. ‘Although my work is mainly abstract, there are hints in the colours, materials or symbols (and titles) as to what the work may represent,’ explains Hall. ‘Science fiction narratives interest me due to their surreal and often humorous ways of dealing with political and environmental issues.’ Kitty is also a musician and one half of duo Kelora.
Frances Rokhlin Frances Rokhlin graduated from the MA Fine Art course at the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded the Glenfiddich Residency Prize at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition for her paintings of Colditz Castle, the former prisoner of war camp. ‘Whether attributed to Alan Moore or Picasso, I have always found the best definition of art to be “lies that tell the truth”,’ says Rokhlin, ‘I make figurative art with this in mind; I aim to more accurately represent the subjective truth of human experience through “un-realism”.’
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BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE AND THE JACOBITES
‘He’s an important figurehead, the Jacobites’ last hope,’ Forsyth says. ‘It’s important to have Bonnie Prince Charlie, people know who he is, but we want to help them understand the wider context of the Jacobite story, historically and geographically. The challenge is to show the complexity’
Blockbuster summer exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland seeks out the truth within one of Scotland’s most romantic myths The year is 1750, and Bonnie Prince Charlie is on a clandestine visit to London. Four years after his bid to retake the throne of England and Scotland ended in disaster on the battlefield of Culloden, he is still only 30 and hasn’t given up hope. But his attempts to canvas Jacobite support in England end in disappointment, and he is advised to return to Europe for a surprising reason: busts and medals bearing his likeness on sale in London shops are in danger of blowing his cover. He has become a romantic hero, already passing into the realm of myth. And there he has remained for more than 250 years. From the novels of Walter Scott, through popular song and many thousands of shortbread tins to Hollywood and the television series Outlander, he continues to live in the imagination. ‘The Jacobites have enough potency and allure to fuel the romantic movement,’ says David Forsyth, principal curator of National Museums of Scotland’s Medieval and Early Modern Scottish collection. ‘Just because they’re not successful doesn’t mean they’re not important.’ Forsyth is the lead curator on ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites’, a major exhibition which will run at the National Museum throughout the summer, the most significant show of 34 | ART
Jacobite material held in Scotland for 70 years, following on from the highly successful Mary Queen of Scots exhibition in 2013. The show will begin with the myth: a painting by John Pettie, of Prince Charles Edward arriving at a ball at the Palace of Holyroodhouse (painted a century later, inspired by a scene in a Walter Scott novel), and the strains of the Skye Boat Song (again, written over 100 years later, by an Englishman). ‘He’s an important figurehead, the Jacobites’ last hope,’ Forsyth says. ‘It’s important to have Bonnie Prince Charlie, people know who he is, but we want to help them understand the wider context of the Jacobite story, historically and geographically. The challenge is to show the complexity.’ In fact, the story of the Jacobites begins in 1688 with the exile of Charles’ grandfather, James II and VII, and looks back still further, to 1603 when James I and VI became King of both Scotland and England. The Stuarts, however, were not deposed, they were divided: James II was replaced by his daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. ‘One of the popular misconceptions is that it’s about the Stuarts and the Hanoverians, but it’s a family fight,’ Forsyth says. ‘The Stuarts are on the throne until the death of Anne in 1714.’
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1 John Pettie, Bonnie Prince Charlie Entering the Ballroom at Holyroodhouse, before 30 Apr 1892. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2 Silver travelling canteen of Prince Charles Edward Stuart c. 1740 © National Museums Scotland 3 BPC frock coat in conservation © National Museums Scotland 4 Silver knife, fork and spoon with Paris marks for 1737 1740, given by Clanranald to Prince Charles Edward Stuart after the defeat at Culloden
5 Dress targe presented to Prince Charles Edward Stuart by James, 3rd Duke of Perth c. 1740 © National Museums Scotland
6 Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, artist and date unknown, detail from a miniature © National Museums Scotland
The exiled court of James II was initially given a luxurious new home in France at the Chateau at Saint Germainen-laye, which had recently been vacated when Louis XIV moved to his new palace at Versailles. From here, and later, from their base at Palazzo Muti in Rome, they planned five attempts, over 70 years, to reclaim the British throne. ‘This is very much a British story, and a European story, as much as it is a Scottish story,’ Forsyth says. ‘In the paintings of the Stuarts, they’re always wearing the Order of the Garter. The prize is England, it’s the three kingdoms that they want. No matter how much they love Scotland, that’s not what they’re about. ‘In a sense, everything is planned in the courts of Europe, but Scotland is the battlefield. One reason for this is that, because elements of the old clan system are still there, Scotland is one of the few places that you can get a body of men in the field. But not everyone in the Highlands supported them. This is not a black and white story.’ The exhibition will display over 300 paintings, costumes, weapons, documents and other artefacts relating to the Jacobites, including treasures of the NMS collection and important loans. Dresses worn by women at the Holyrood court, armour from the battlefield at Culloden, and a tartan frock coat said to have been worn by Prince Charles Edward himself will be among the 36 | ART
items shown, as well as objects sent to the exiled Stuarts from supporters in Scotland. When Prince Charles Edward came of age, Edinburgh silversmith (and Jacobite sympathiser) Ebenezer Oliphant made an important gift: a travelling canteen marked with the insignia of the Order of the Thistle and the three feathers of the Prince of Wales. It was a practical present for a young man who loved hunting (fully equipped, as it was, with a marrow scoop and nutmeg grinder), but it was also a statement of loyalty, and of expectation. The Prince’s coming of age heralded a fresh attempt to reclaim the throne. His arrival in Scotland in 1745 created a brief but vibrant flourishing of the Jacobite hope. A groundswell of support grew behind him, with a Stuart court re-established at Holyrood and victories such as the Battle of Prestonpans which bore them south as far as Derby, before the ill-fated decision was made to return to Scotland to meet Government forces at Culloden. The Prince had the canteen with him at the battle. When he fled the battlefield, his baggage train was looted by the victors and it was given to George Kepple, the Duke of Cumberland’s aide de camp, remaining in his family until National Museums of Scotland raised funds to save it from export in the 1980s.
It was at Culloden that the Jacobite hope died. ‘It was all over within an hour,’ Forsyth says. ‘For the Stuarts, it’s a paradigm shift, it really is all over.’ It was not only about a violent rout; the wider world was changing. New ideas in agriculture and industry were eroding the clan system, and the ideas of divinely appointed monarchy which the Stuarts favoured were being replaced by a more modern, pragmatic approach. A harsh crackdown on Highland culture followed the battle, but even this, Forsyth says, is not black and white. ‘We have a copy of the Prescription Act in the exhibition outlawing the wearing of the plaid, the bearing of arms, the playing of the pipes. But without minimising what happened, it is a more nuanced picture. Pardons start to be issued, people who played golf together let each other off. Quite quickly, the Government is putting Highland regiments back in kilts.’ Prince Charles Edward lived the rest of his life in increasing disappointment. His younger brother, Henry Benedict, forsook all thought of kingship and forged himself a very successful career within the church. But the legend lived on. On Hogmanay 1787, Robert Burns toasted the Prince (still alive, in his sixties) at the annual dinner of the Stuart Society in Edinburgh. But, by then, the Jacobite hope existed only in the realm of poetry and myth.
Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites 23 June–12 November National Museum of Scotland Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF T: 0300 123 6789 | nms.ac.uk Open: Daily 10am—5pm
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A BLAZE OF GLORY James Knox
John Duncan Fergusson, (1874–1961) The Drift Posts, 1922 Fergusson and his wife, the dancer and choreographer Margaret Morris, moved to London at the outbreak of WWI. His work revealed a growing interest in Cezanne, which in his war paintings of destroyers and docks, fused with vorticism. Both strands are evident in The Drift Posts, painted in 1922 on a tour of the Highlands. The series formed his first solo show in Scotland, staged in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1923.
The first touring show from the Fleming Collection will shine a light on the Scottish Colourists when it opens at the Granary Gallery in Berwickupon-Tweed in May. Featuring more than 25 works by SJ Peploe, FCB Cadell, JD Fergusson and George Leslie Hunter, plus examples of their precursors John Lavery, Henry Melville and Robert Brough, here are six works from ‘Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection’ to whet your appetite . . .
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883–1837) The Feathered Hat, c.1915 Born in Edinburgh, Cadell had a cosmopolitan upbringing, attending art schools in Paris and Munich. His youthful impressionism was radicalised on a visit to Venice in 1910, which loosened his technique as he responded to the city’s light-drenched reflections. His portraits dating from 1912–15, painted in his mirrored studio in Edinburgh’s New Town, were the culmination of this period of work, which ended with him joining up to fight in WWI.
All images © The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation
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John Duncan Fergusson (1874–1961) Blue Nude, c.1912 Born and brought up in Leith, and trained in the galleries, cafés and studios of Paris, Fergusson’s virtuoso work as a young man revealed his debt to Manet and Whistler. His full-time move to Paris in 1907 exposed him to the Fauves who revolutionised his art, as seen in the bold outline and expressive colour of Blue Nude. Its potency connects to a group of female nudes from 1910–13, considered to be his greatest works.
Samuel John Peploe, (1871–1935) Luxembourg Gardens, c.1910 Trained in Paris and Edinburgh, Peploe, like his close friend, Fergusson, met early success with a Whistlerian ‘white period’. A move to France in 1910 exposed him to the full blast of the Fauve’s primary colours and expressive technique. Luxembourg Gardens ranks as one of the finest avantgarde paintings of the Franco-Scottish school.
Samuel John Peploe, (1871–1935) Trees at Cassis, 1913 In 1913, Peploe made his first trip to the village of Cassis on the Cote d’Azur, following in the earlier footsteps of the Fauves. The crop of paintings from his time in France was shown in London, where an influential critic hailed him as the pre-eminent postimpressionist for his ‘freedom of line and abandonment to colour [while] retaining the power to convince.’
George Leslie Hunter, (1877–1931) Peonies in a Chinese Vase, 1925 A gifted illustrator blessed with remarkable artistic intelligence, Hunter trained himself, despite personal vicissitudes and neuroses, to become one of the finest 20th century Scottish painters. ‘Everyone must choose his own way and mine will be colour,’ he wrote. Peonies in a Chinese Vase was singled out for praise by the impresario of post-impressionism, Clive Bell, and marks a high point in Hunter’s career. Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection 27 May—15 October Granary Gallery Dewar’s Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1HJ. T: (0)1289 330 999 | berwickvisualarts.co.uk Open: Tuesday to Sunday 11am-4pm
The exhibition will travel to the Barber Institute, Birmingham, from 16 February—13 May, 2018 James Knox, director of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, will lecture on the Scottish Colourists at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema, Berwick-upon-Tweed on Saturday 27 May at 2pm Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 39
MARJ BOND Martine Foltier Pugh
Martine Foltier Pugh brings to light the part artist Marj Bond played in the 1980s in promoting and exhibiting emerging and established contemporary artists at the Fair Maid’s House Gallery in Perth During one of our many research meetings, Marj Bond casually mentioned that she had run her own gallery in Perth. How the Fair Maid’s House Gallery (FMHG) came about was down to chance. Her friend, Eva MacDonald, had a stylish gift shop on the ground floor of the medieval house made famous by Sir Walter Scott. The space above was empty and when Eva suggested to Marj to open it as a gallery, she did not hesitate. The house, now home to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, had great character and was, as it still is, at the cultural heart of Perth, next to the museum and art gallery which today rubs shoulders with the new concert hall. The upper floor, accessed via a spiral staircase, consisted of two rooms with wooden floors and panelled walls and plenty of natural light. Bond had all the credentials and connections to run an art gallery. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art (GSA), she had been living in Perth for nearly 20 years. She showed her work in Edinburgh and with the local Perthshire Art Association, serving as their president from 1983 to 1986. Since being elected to the Scottish Society of Women Artists in 1975, she had been exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and knew many prominent artists. She taught at Perth College of Further Education, in particular students preparing for entry into art school, among them Derrick Guild, now a Royal Scottish Academician. She was also in touch with recent graduates. This was the early 1980s, before the rise of the entrepreneurial artists of YBAs fame, and Bond knew how difficult it was for young artists to show their work. This made her determined, in her own words, ‘to show emerging young artists together with big hitters like Elizabeth Blackadder, John Houston and John Bellany.’ 40 | ART
I contacted a few people Marj had exhibited – Derrick Guild, Gary Anderson, Morag Muir and Dianne Murphy, all now renowned practising artists. They were very quick to reply and I found their consistent accounts and deeply felt appreciation of Marj’s support, after all these years, quite moving and telling of the closed attitude of the art establishment at the time. Anderson and Murphy have even kept mementoes from their exhibition. Guild remembers that Marj ‘was a huge help to me getting into art school’ and that she ‘was one of the few people willing to look at young artists’ work’, a sentiment shared by Anderson who had just graduated and ‘owe[s] her a huge THANK you’. Muir says ‘she gave me my first show after leaving college, always a giant leap into the “real world”’ and adds that Marj ‘also gave me advice on being a working artist which has helped me throughout the years so far’. Murphy acknowledges that Marj’s ‘early interest was crucial and afforded me a very strong start to build the CV upon’. Two recently rediscovered visitors’ books, that span the seven years of the gallery’s existence, illustrate Bond’s professional approach, with an almost complete sequence of exhibition cards and notices carefully placed among page after page of comments. The gallery opened in September 1981 with a mixed exhibition by the Glasgow Group, a punchy choice indicative of her intent since the group, formed in 1958, originally consisted of GSA graduates frustrated by the lack of opportunities open to them. They provided Bond with a dream list of exhibitors, among them Bet Low, Philip Reeves and founding members Anda Paterson, James Spence, James Watt and William Birnie.
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1 Portrait of Marj Bond, 2016. Image courtesy of Andy Phillipson / Livewireimage.com 2 Richard Demarco, Fair Maid’s House, Perth with Shutters and Doors Closed, 1984, pencil on paper, 29 x 41 cm © Andy Phillipson / Livewireimage.com. Image courtesy of Richard Demarco 3 ‘Shoreline’, 1985 4 ‘Summer Exhibition,’ 1987 Flyers are from Marj Bond’s archives
‘The FMHG went from strength to strength and earned financial support from the Scottish Arts Council. Bond exhibited not only Blackadder, Houston and Bellany but also Barbara Rae, David Donaldson, Robin Philipson, Alberto Morrocco and many more’
There are no photographs to show how Bond managed to exhibit so many in such a tight space. Multum in parvo or ‘much in a small space’ wrote art critic Edward Gage of another FMHG exhibition in The Scotsman in 1984. Marj certainly made the most of it, pitting cutting edge art against age-old features. This first exhibition was a hit judging by the hundreds of favourable comments jotted down by visitors from around the world – Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Brazil, the USA, and more. Such an extraordinary footfall might be credited to the appeal and privileged location of the gallery, but the fact is that unless you have something exciting and engaging to show, people will quickly leave without taking the trouble to write down their personal details and comments. Here and there, some names jump out of the page – Emilio Coia, the celebrated caricaturist, as well as artist and promoter Richard Demarco. Demarco is well-known for his association with Joseph Beuys and his lifelong anti-establishment stance, so it is no surprise to find him giving support to this innovative and independent gallery outside the safe boundaries of Scotland’s Central Belt. He became a regular visitor to the FMHG, even sketching the house with characteristic linear precision. His appreciation for Bond’s pioneering spirit and endeavour came through again recently in his foreword for the book Marj Bond where he describes her as ‘that rare type of artist whose creative energy takes responsibility for the lives and careers of her fellow artists’.
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The FMHG went from strength to strength and earned financial support from the Scottish Arts Council. Bond exhibited not only Blackadder, Houston and Bellany but also Barbara Rae, David Donaldson, Robin Philipson, Alberto Morrocco and many more. The gallery gained critical approval from Edward Gage mentioned earlier, and from Clare Henry of The Glasgow Herald. In the book Marj Bond, Henry praises Marj’s ‘enlightened programme of exhibitions for other artists’ and her ‘generosity of spirit’, a tribute reflected in Dianne Murphy’s words: ‘She was never hierarchical or self aggrandising, even though she was in the perfect position to be so.’ Bond was, indeed, always reluctant to show her own paintings in the FMHG. In the end, after seven productive years, it was Bond’s own work that claimed its due and she no longer had the time to run the FMHG. Its closure coincided with Bond’s journey to India which, as the book reveals, changed her life. Martine Foltier Pugh is the author of a monograph on Marj Bond and her work, newly published by Sansom & Co.
Jack Knox RSA RSW RGI (1936-2015) 31 JULY TO 28 AUGUST 2017 34 Abercromby Place Edinburgh EH3 6QE (0)131 557 1020 www.openeyegallery.co.uk email@example.com Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 43
PRIVATE VIEW 44 | ART
The Reverend Robert Walker remonstrates with Raeburn While I’m alive this must not be Hung in a room for all to see. Was this, my friend, true friendship’s part To sacrifice me to your art? Not grace on ice, but of the elect That is the grace my flock expect. A Minister is best portrayed Be-wigged, be-gowned, portly and staid, With stern, accusing, hell-fire looks, An inkwell, and a pile of books. I’ll not deny the tempting charms Of gliding by, with folded arms, Poised on one foot, in modish hat, While others stumble and fall flat. And I admit the venal sin Of binding ribbons round my shin, Not seemly black for modesty, But bright rose red in vanity. All this, my friend, your painter’s eye Stole and recorded on the sly. My foibles you have truly shown. Yet more – and for your ears alone – I’ve modified the Lord’s own Prayer Requesting Him the loch would bear. Raeburn, your pencil is precise As skater’s steel that graves the ice, But still, I search for your intent. Was praise, or satire, what you meant? Did you salute an artistry, Matching your own, with empathy? Or did you, without deference, Amuse yourself at my expense? No matter! Let my portrait be Enigma, and obscurity! Forget the joys your arts recall. I pray you, turn it to the wall. But when old age, palsy, or gout Find me a cripple, hobbling out, A scarecrow, propped upon a cane, Oh! Let me peep at it again!
Walker was Minister of Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh, and a keen member of the Skating Society. Raeburn is supposed to have painted this for his own pleasure, perhaps as an experiment in small-scale portraiture, and did not pass it on to the sitter’s family until after Walker’s death in 1808.
For twenty years, Lindsay Errington curated the Scottish collections of the National Gallery of Scotland. In Private Views, the passionate art historian returns with an avowedly personal slant to eight of the works she knows so intimately. In poems which are irreverent but affectionate, she opens up a dialogue between the artist and the sitter, characters and viewers, prompting us to look at these old favourites in ever surprising ways. The little books are for sale for £10 (including postage and packing. Cheques made out to James Holloway) from James Holloway CBE, 20 India Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HB
Sir Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), The Reverend Robert Walker skating on Duddingston Loch, c.1790. Image courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland
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RECENT ACQUISITIONS 46 | ART
Scottish Art News highlights the latest acquisitions to enter Scottish collections 1
Certainly one of the oldest acquisitions to ever feature in this section, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh has recently acquired two rare fragments from an ancient Egyptian box inscribed for Pharaoh Amenhotep II, dating to c.1427–1400 BC. The box, which is one of the finest examples of decorative
Perth Gallery and Museum’s acquisition of a miniature of Mr & Mrs John Wright (1794) by the enigmatic Scottish artist William Kay is both the first 18th-century miniature and the first double miniature to enter their collection. While very little is known about the artist, John Wright and his wife played an active role in the city of Perth. ‘This naive but charming portrait miniature is a fantastic addition to the collection, not only because of its age and rarity, but also because it features one of Perth’s Provosts,’ said Amy Waugh, collections manager at Perth Museum and Art Gallery.
woodwork to survive from ancient Egypt, has been in National Museums Scotland’s collections for 160 years. However, it was discovered in a fragmentary state, with a portion missing. Dr Margaret Maitland, senior curator Ancient Mediterranean at National Museums Scotland, said: ‘Not only does the acquisition of the fragments fill a literal gap in the box, it fills gaps in our Glasgow’s Hunterian has built upon its understanding of its story.’ 4 collection of works by Anne Redpath (1895–1965), The decoration on one of the fragments acquiring Cagnes-sur-Mer (1933). There are currently features a motif representing the façade of the royal 12 works by Redpath in the Hunterian’s impressive palace, tying in with the rich royal symbolism on the collection of 20th-century British art, most created box, and confirming the object’s royal associations. during the 1950s and 60s. This significantly earlier The box and fragments will go on display in work, painted in the pretty hill town on the French a new exhibition, ‘The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial’, Riviera, shows the restraint of the artist’s early practice, which opens at the National Museum of Scotland on both in palette and structure. 31 March. They will then go on permanent display in a new ancient Egypt gallery at the museum, opening 5 in 2018/19. The Hunterian has also acquired a small etching of tropical fish in a tank by Edwin Morgan. 2 Other acquisitions in major collections The work will have been made either at the Glasgow across Scotland can be said to be doing something High School or possibly at the Glasgow School of similar – filling in the gaps. For example, in Glasgow, Art, where Edwin Morgan considered training as the Gallery of Modern Art’s acquisition of Jacqueline an artist. No more than three impressions of it are Donachie’s (b.1969) capsule collection goes some way known. In his fifth year, Morgan chose to apply to to fulfilling the gallery’s commitment to increase the Glasgow University to study English Literature. Later, representation of women within the city’s collection. in the 1980s, he began to build up an art collection, The acquisition includes three sculptures, which he bequeathed to the University of Glasgow. one print and one film, which explore the concepts This includes a variety of prints and drawings as well of disability, care and loss, featured in Donachie’s as paintings and some small sculptures. Glasgow successful solo show ‘Deep in the Heart of Your Brain’ University Library is planning an exhibition to at GoMA in 2016. celebrate Edwin Morgan’s centenary in 2020 and Two ‘As someone who grew up visiting Glasgow’s Angel Fish was purchased with this event in mind. museums for free, I am delighted that my own work Collecting in academic institutions across will now be held by the city’s art collection,’ said Scotland doesn’t stop there – in fact, they dominate the Donachie. acquisitions list in this edition of Scottish Art News.
The University of Stirling has added to the illustrious list of ECA alumni already held within its collection, with new acquisitions from Kevin Harman (b.1982) and Katie Paterson (b.1981). Their works join pieces by Elizabeth Blackadder, William MacTaggart, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Robin Philipson and David Michie. Jane Cameron, curator at the University of Stirling explains: ‘The focus for the university’s art collection is to acquire work that, amongst other things, reflects the campus landscape and the environment. Katie Paterson’s work, Gravity, chimes with academic subjects, ecology, heritage and environment taught at the university.’ In contrast, the scale of Harman’s Static Night, a huge, double glazing unit, with household paint squeezed between the panes, reflects the architectural scale of the recently listed Pathfoot Building with its floor to ceiling window elevations and open courtyards. ‘The work epitomises the optimism and vibrancy of the 1960s and the excitement in 1967 when the first new university in Scotland for 400 years was established in Stirling,’ said Cameron. ‘It’s a perfect focus for the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations.’
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10 Over the last few years the University Another major joint acquisition over the of Dundee have been building a collection of last few months is Steven Campbell’s (1953–2007) artworks that honours its first professor of biology, installation On Form and Fiction (1990). It is only the the pioneering polymath D’Arcy Thompson. The second work to be jointly acquired by Glasgow Life latest acquisition inspired by the professor is an and National Galleries of Scotland (the first being In extraordinary digitial print by Macoto Murayama the Orchard (1886), a major work by Sir James Guthrie, (b.1984), a Japanese artist who cultivates ‘inorganic which was purchased by the two institutions in 2012). flora’. Murayama’s images are created after dissecting On Form and Fiction was first shown in 1990 real flowers in minute detail and studying them at Glasgow’s Third Eye Centre, now the Centre for under a microscope. His drawings are modelled in 3D Contemporary Art. It consists of nine large, unframed imaging software then rendered into 2D compositions ink drawings, combined with a number of other in Photoshop before being printed in large scale. elements, including museum-style benches and a This example, showing the structure of the reel-to-reel tape player, to create an overwhelming, white clover flower, is from a series directly inspired immersive and carefully staged environment. by D’Arcy Thompson’s interest in the mathematical structure of natural forms. ‘Macoto’s stunning images 11 Another impressive recent acquisition for the reveal the mathematical beauty of organic form in a National Galleries of Scotland is a rare pastel by the way that would have fascinated D’Arcy,’ says curator great impressionist artist Claude Monet (1840–1926). Matthew Jarron. This subtle and atmospheric work, Etretat, L’Aigulle et La Porte d’Aval, (c.1885) has been hailed as a ‘quiet A portrait of Alexander Monro (1750) by masterpiece’ by the National Galleries. The work has 9 Allan Ramsay (1713–1784) has been jointly acquired by been in a Scottish private collection since the 1920s the University of Edinburgh and The Royal College and was acquired under the acceptance in lieu scheme. of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Alexander Monro (primus) Speaking of the acquisition, Sir John attended the University of Edinburgh, before travelling Leighton, director-general, National Galleries of to broaden his studies in London, Paris and Leiden. Scotland, said: ‘This is the first work on paper by the He returned to Edinburgh and in November 1719 was outstanding French impressionist Claude Monet to admitted as a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons enter the national collection. It provides a wonderful of Edinburgh. In January 1720, aged 22, he became complement to the major paintings in oil by the the first professor of anatomy at the newly founded artist already in Edinburgh.’ The National Galleries medical school at the University of Edinburgh. of Scotland already has five works by Monet in its This impressive portrait will be displayed at both collection, all from earlier or later periods in his career. institutions, rotated annually.
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13 Another significant acquisition for a The Scottish National Gallery of Modern permanent collection in Edinburgh is the City Art Art has acquired a new work for its world-famous Centre’s acquisition of Moon (2014) by Alison Watt collection of surrealist art; The Message of the Forest (b.1965). Moon is a striking example of Watt’s mature (1936) by celebrated female Czech artist Toyen. In the work, which blends the influence of the Old Masters work, a huge blue bird – seemingly an owl or a bird with the artist’s interest in poetry. According to Watt, of prey – stands against a dark, mysterious, wooded Moon relates specifically to Norman MacCaig’s 1974 background, the ‘forest’ of the title. One of the bird’s poem Praise of a Thorn Bush, which considers the feet has been cut off; the talons of the other foot clutch small, often overlooked, details of nature. the severed head of a girl. The subject embodies a Moon goes on display later this year in recurring theme in Toyen’s work: that of the power of ‘Edinburgh Alphabet: An A-Z of the City’s Collections’. nature over the human world. This exhibition, which showcases the highlights of the Much of the Scottish National Gallery of city’s collections, is scheduled to run from 19 May until Modern Art’s collection of surrealist works came from 8 October. two sources: Gabrielle Keiller and Roland Penrose. Their collections were strong on French-based surrealism but neither had much work by women surrealists, who constituted an important part of the surrealist movement, or anything by the Czech groups. This acquisition, which was made possible with support from the Walton Fund and the Art Fund, enhances and broadens the surrealist collection considerably.
1 Egyptian box inscribed for Pharaoh Amenhotep II (c.1427–1400 BC). Fragments acquired with support from the Art Fund and the National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust 2 Jacqueline Donachie, 2016. Works commissioned by Glasgow Museums, supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and purchased jointly with the National Fund for Acquisitions by Glasgow Museums from Patricia Fleming Projects. Images courtesy of Glasgow Museums 3 William Kay, Double full length profile miniature of Mr & Mrs John Wright (1794). Acquired by Culture Perth and Kinross with a 50% grant from the National Fund for Acquisitions. Image courtesy of Culture Perth and Kinross
4 Anne Redpath, Cagnes-sur-Mer (c.1933). Purchased by The Hunterian Art Gallery with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions. Image courtesy of The Hunterian 5 Edwin Morgan, Two Angel Fish (1937). Purchased by The Hunterian Art Gallery with support from the National Fund for Acquisitions. Image courtesy of The Hunterian 6 Kevin Harman, Static Night (2016). Image courtesy the Artist, University of Stirling and Ingleby Gallery Edinburgh 7 Katie Paterson, Ideas – (Gravity - released - one unit at a time), (2014). Image courtesy the Artist, University of Stirling and Ingleby Gallery Edinburgh
8 Macoto Murayama, Trifolium repens L - top view - No 1 (2016). Purchased with a grant from the National Fund for Acquisitions, 2016. Image courtesy of University of Dundee Museum Services 9 Allan Ramsay, Half Length Portrait of Dr Alexander Monro (c 1750). Bought jointly by The University of Edinburgh and The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh with contributions from the National Fund for Acquisitions and The Art Fund. Image courtesy of The University of Edinburgh 10 Steven Campbell, On Form and Fiction, (1990). Jointly acquired by Glasgow Life and National Gallery of Scotland with support from The Art Fund. Image courtesy of the Art Fund
11 Claude Monet, Etretat, L’Aigulle et La Porte d’Aval (c.1885). Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by H M Government from the estate of Miss Valerie Middleton and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery, 2016. Image courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland 12 Toyen, The Message of the Forest (1936). Purchased with support from the Walton Fund and Art Fund. Image courtesy of the National Galleries of Scotland 13 Alison Watt, Moon (2014). Acquired with the support of the Jean F. Watson Bequest Fund, the National Fund for Acquisitions and the Friends of Edinburgh City Art Centre and Museums. Image courtesy of the City Art Centre
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1 Hito Steyerl, Abstract, 2012 © Hito Steyer. Image courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery 2 Peter Kennard, Haywain, Constable, 1821. Cruise Missiles U.S.A , 1983. Courtesy of the artist 3 kennardphillipps, Know Your Enemy (2005) © courtesy of the artists 4 Scott Myles, STABILA (Black and Blue) (2009) © courtesy of the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow 1
Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Until 17 September Fake News alert. All is not what it seems in this group show that questions the con trick of authenticity through a series of appropriations of history as modern myth-making. Taking Hito Steyerl’s seven-minute film, Abstract (2012), as its centrepiece, a much bigger picture is revealed by the show’s 17 artists, who explore notions of colonialism, slavery, the arms trade and identity politics. This in turn subverts received hand-me-down narratives dressed up as truth. In this respect, ‘Polygraphs’ questions the show’s own existence within the context it sets down for itself and GoMA’s perceived complicity in the yarns it spins even as it critiques them. A polygraph, after all, is a lie detector, that pulse-racing gizmo beloved of pulp crime thrillers and daytime TV quiz shows, and itself questionable in terms of reliability. From Peter Kennard’s subversion of Constable with his now classic antinuclear montage, Haywain with Cruise Missiles (1980), through to Scott Myles’ STABILA (Black and Blue) (2009), in which exhibits from an assault case between two 50 | ART
construction workers are reconfigured as something more ordered, first impressions count for nothing in a show which requires forensic investigation. Graham Fagen’s Plans and Records (2007) dissects the slave trade by way of reggae and Robert Burns. Gerard Byrne’s Loch Ness-based images put himself in the frame and in the murk of the grandest of hoaxes. Constructions by Alasdair Gray, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Hockney and others all offer windows onto alternative realities or else challenge existing ones. In Know Your Enemy (2005), kennardphillipps do this through a backwards-facing image of Bush and Blair walking into 10 Downing Street as a torture victim is beaten behind them, the everyday lies of those holding high office laid bare. Abstract itself is a twin-screen creation that casts Steyerl as both protagonist and author as she attempts to excavate the clues behind her friend Andrea Wolf’s death in 1998 in Kurdistan. With footage dove-tailing between the scenes of the crime in Kurdistan and outside the Berlin offices of arms
manufacturers Lockheed Martin, Abstract becomes both document and eyewitness in a drama that recognises its own sense of mediation. ‘The grammar of cinema follows the grammar of battle’ goes one caption on an otherwise blank screen as Steyerl is led through a bombed-out inventory on the other. In terms of truth being stranger than fiction, in the case of both Abstract and ‘Polygraphs’, the truth hurts. For reals.
Neil Cooper is a writer and critic based in Edinburgh Gallery of Modern Art Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH T: (0)141 287 3005 | glasgowlife.org.uk/ museums/GoMA Open: Monday to Wednesday & Saturday 10am–5pm, Thursday 10am–8pm, Sunday 11am–5pm 3
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The Weaver’s Apprentice
1 First weavers in the weaving studio c.1914, courtesy Bute Archive © Antonia Reeve
1 Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), St Sebastian I, 1957. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, Licensed by DACS 2016. Photo: Antonia Reeve
2 Ben Hymers and Naomi Robertson, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dovecot Studios
2 Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), Conjectures to Identity, 1963–64. Image courtesy of the British Council Collection © Trustees of the Paolozzi Foundation, licensed by DACS
3 Richard Gordon, Apprentice Piece (1912-13) © National Museums Scotland
Dovecot Gallery, Edinburgh Until 1 July The notion of apprenticeship has made something of a comeback recently in the working world. So, learning knowledge and skills on the job from experienced people is a good thing? Who knew? At Dovecot Studios, however, the idea never went away. Apprentice weavers learn their craft from masters today in much the same way as they did a century ago. This year marks 100 years since Dovecot’s first two master weavers, Jack Glassbrook and Gordon Berry – recruited from Morris & Co at Merton Abbey in 1912 when the studio was opened by the 4th Marquess of Bute – lost their lives in the First World War. The immense tapestry, Lord of the Hunt, which now hangs in the Great Hall at Mount Stuart on Bute, was half-finished on the loom. It was up to the four Dovecot apprentices, all of whom survived the war, to pick up the threads (literally), finish the work and continue to run the studio. This exhibition aims to show the threads of connection that go back through six generations of Dovecot weavers. A practice piece made by apprentice Richard 52 | ART
‘Dick’ Gordon when he was starting out in 1912 shows progress from straight bands of colour to triangles, D-shapes and finally a floral border. One by Douglas Grierson from 1961 (he retired as master weaver in 2011) is remarkably similar, as is one by current master weaver David Cochrane, from 1986. An early attempt at portraiture by Cochrane is revealing in that it shows the learning process – he has said he is far from happy with it today. Some of the standout works here are the apprentice pieces by the current incumbent, Ben Hymers, who is approaching the end of his three-year training. His Untitled (Hipsters Love Triangles) brings a 21st-century flavour to the show, while his Penelope is a striking mix of clarity of form and intricacy of stitching. One might wish to see similar pieces from past weavers, but these are few. More works from earlier apprentices would also illustrate the changing style of the studio. A striking harlequin by Fred Mann from the mid 1950s shows elements of modern design replacing the earlier Arts & Crafts aesthetic.
Whitechapel Gallery, London Until 14 May What the Dovecot style is today is not made clear, but it does appear to be safe in the hands of a new generation of craftsmen. Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland Dovecot Gallery 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1LT T: (0)131 550 3660 | dovecotstudios.com Open: Monday to Saturday 10.30am–5pm
Prepare to be exhausted. This major retrospective exhibition of ‘the godfather of Pop Art’ covers the 1950s through to the 1990s, and features over 250 works, including sculpture, collage, textiles, screenprinting and film. Each one clamours for the viewer’s attention – Eduardo Paolozzi didn’t do quiet and unassuming; his practice was loud, violent, chaotic, just like the times he was living in. One of many highlights are Paolozzi’s post-war bronzes, exhibited on the ground floor of the gallery. These violent, jagged forms ushered in a definitive break with the languid forms of Henry Moore that had dominated sculpture in Britain until then. They are one of Paolozzi’s earliest rebellions against the status quo and a fitting representation of the mechanised destruction of the 1930s and 40s he had witnessed as a young man. They haven’t lost their power through the passage of time; for 21st-century audiences familiar with drone warfare and heightened to the threat of nuclear war, they are provocative, visceral nightmares. Take St Sebastian I (1957), for instance – Paolozzi
presents a modern martyr, shot with bullets and fragments of shell; his body melts under the intense heat of war. The 1960s were one the most creative periods in Paolozzi’s career – he started the decade representing Britain at the Venice Biennale (for the second time) and was awarded the David E Bright Foundation Prize for a sculptor under 45 for his application of collage techniques to sculpture. In 1963, he created his first film, History of Nothing. In it, the audience is bombarded with the disparate images of popular culture – pulp fiction, magazine adverts, illustrations from scientific journals. They are the screenprints and collages that identified Paolozzi as a leader of British Pop Art, set to a jarring soundtrack. It’s a prophetic vision of the internet age in which we now live; content is thrown at us from every direction through a range of devices and platforms. JG Ballard, described one work from this period as a ‘unique guidebook to the electric garden of our minds’. Over 50 years on and Paolozzi still mesmerises, confounds and intrigues us.
Matthew Macaulay is an arts writer based in London Whitechapel Gallery 77–82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX T: (0) 20 7522 7888 | whitechapelgallery.org Open: Tuesday to Wednesday & Friday to Sunday 11am—6pm, Thursday 11am—9pm
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Aberdonians in the Americas King’s Museum Until Sat 27 May W: abdn.ac.uk/museums A new exhibition at the University of Aberdeen’s King’s Museum explores the lives of five local collectors who travelled to Latin America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Dundee Design Festival 2017 West Ward Works Wed 24–Mon 29 May W: dundeecityofdesign.com Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, is set to host its second design festival. This year’s theme is ‘Factory Floor’, acknowledging the global shift in design practice where designers and makers are blending forms of production – a mix of craftsmanship and industrial processes to create a hybrid of the very old and the very new.
175 Years of art The Scottish Gallery Wed 3 May–Sat 3 Jun The Scottish Gallery celebrate their 175th anniversary with a mixed exhibition of 50 paintings, 50 commemorative pins and ceramics.
Argyll Artist Rooms 2017: Andy Warhol Dunoon Burgh Hall Until Sat 17 Jun W: artistrooms.org Andy Warhol’s work is set to travel to Scotland as part of the touring Artist Rooms 2017 programme.
Isle of Bute Art of Power: Treasures from Mount Stuart Mount Stuart Until Sun 14 Jan 2018 W: gla.ac.uk/hunterian The exhibition is split across two venues, The Hunterian in Glasgow and Mount Stuart, offering visitors the chance to experience two world-class collections.
Mark Wallinger: Mark Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Until Sun 4 Jun W: dca.org.uk Known for a practice as stylistically diverse as it is politically engaged, Mark Wallinger’s first solo show in Scotland presents new paintings. This exhibition is presented in two parts, the other at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh. A Sense of Place: Twentieth Century Scottish Painting The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum Fri 4 Nov–autumn 2017 W: mcmanus.co.uk Works from The McManus collection chart the dynamic developments in Scottish painting. Show includes the Glasgow Boys, the Scottish Colourists, James McIntosh Patrick and Joan Eardley.
Jupiter Artland Programme 2017 Jupiter Artland Sat 6 May–Sun 1 Oct W: jupiterartland.org As the Scottish summer approaches, so does the 2017 opening of Scotland’s leading private museum, Jupiter Artland. This summer, it presents a new interior space by Nicolas Party alongside the presentation of new works and installations by Michael Sailstorfer, Liz Magic Laser, Pablo Bronstein, Marco Giordano and Pester & Rossi. Between Tides Fine Art Society Fri 26 May–Sat 17 Jun W: fasedinburgh.com Exhibition exploring Scotland’s sea and coastal waters and its working culture: from former shipyards to the cultures and traditions of Scotland’s fishing industry from McTaggart to Will Maclean. Mark Wallinger: Mark Fruitmarket Gallery Until Sun 4 Jun W: fruitmarket.co.uk For his first solo show in Scotland, Wallinger presents a two-part exhibition of ‘id’ paintings, with the other at Dundee Contemporary Arts.
Hugh Buchanan, In Between the Shadows Scottish Gallery Wed 7 Jun–Sat 1 Jul Solo exhibition of Edinburgh born artist with a passion for the city’s architecture. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites National Museum of Scotland Fri 23 Jun–Sun 12 Nov W: nms.ac.uk With the renewed global interest in Jacobite history thanks to the rising popularity of the Outlander TV series, this forthcoming exhibition will separate fact from the fantasy, telling the real story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the rise and fall of the Jacobites, drawing on a rich wealth of material from Scotland, the rest of the UK and France. The Weaver’s Apprentice Dovecot Gallery Until Sat 1 Jul W: dovecotstudios.com This exhibition tells the story of the Dovecot apprenticeship, featuring objects from the organisation’s archive, as well as historic and current works. The Glasgow Boys Fine Art Society Fri 21 Jul–Sun 26 Aug W: fasedinburgh.com Ten works by a group of pioneering artists of the late 19th century known as the Glasgow Boys. Rebelling against high Victorian traditions in favour of en plein air painting, they put Glasgow on the art world map.
Stephen Sutcliffe: Wuthering Depths Talbot Rice Gallery Fri 28 Jul–Sat 30 Sep W: ed.ac.uk/talbot-rice Glasgow-based artist Stephen Sutcliffe creates film collages from his extensive archive of video and audio recordings. Often reflecting on aspects of British culture and identity, the results are melancholic, poetic and satirical amalgams which subtly tease out and critique ideas of class-consciousness and cultural authority. Jack Knox RSA RSW RGI (1936-2015) Open Eye Gallery Sat 29 Jul–Mon 28 Aug A long-overdue retrospective exhibition of the highly respected and influential Scottish artist. Show includes a varied selection of paintings and drawings from the artist’s long and prolific career. Kate Davis Stills Sat 29 Jul–Sun 15 Oct W: stills.org Kate Davis’ first solo exhibition in Edinburgh includes her recently commissioned Margaret Tait Award film, Charity. Charity questions how the essential, but largely invisible and unpaid, processes we employ to care for others and ourselves could be reimagined. The exhibition will also include work in other media, informed and inspired by the context of Stills.
Kate Downie, Anatomy of Haste Scottish Gallery Thu 3 Aug–Sat 2 Sep W: scottish-gallery.co.uk Festival exhibition of one the most subtle and persuasive colourists of her generation. NOW Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Until Sun 24 Sep W: nationalgalleries.org Between March 2017 and March 2020, a new dynamic threeyear programme dominating the entire ground floor of the Modern One building will be given over to ‘NOW‘ – a series of six major exhibitions, showcasing the work of some of the most compelling and influential artists working today. Part One includes a major threeroom exhibition by Glasgowbased, Turner Prize-shortlisted artist Nathan Coley.
Glasgow Against Landscape Reid Gallery, The Glasgow School of Art Sat 1 Jul–Mon 28 Aug W: gsa.ac.uk Curated by artist Daniel Sturgis in collaboration with Grizedale Arts in the Lake District. Contemporary works will be placed alongside historical landscapes, challenging the traditional realism of landscape painting.
Polygraphs Gallery of Modern Art Until Sun 17 Sep W: glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/ GoMA A group exhibition centred around Hito Steyerl’s powerful work Abstract (2012) which was recently acquired for GoMA’s permanent collection. The exhibition encourages audiences to question dominant narratives, showing the fluidity of truth, fiction and evidence in our complicated world. Art of Power: Treasures from Mount Stuart The Hunterian Art Gallery Until Sun 14 Jan W: gla.ac.uk/hunterian Merging art, biography and cultural history, ‘Art of Power’ centres on the Enlightenment figure, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, and his collection of rarely seen masterpieces.
Helmsdale Flowers from your Garden in any Container Timespan On now W: timespan.org.uk ‘Flowers from your Garden in any Container’ is a new exhibition by Bahbak Royal College of Art graduate Hashemi-Nezhad.
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Manaf Halbouni: What if? Deveron Arts Spring/summer 2017 W: deveron-projects.com Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni begins his UK residency on the concept of a different outcome of the warring imperial nations of the 19th century. The idea of the project is to turn European history around: the colonisers become the colonised; the colonised become the colonisers.
Graham Fagen: The Slave’s Lament and Rope Tree An Tobar Gallery, Comar, Tobermory Until Fri 5 May W: comar.co.uk Graham Fagen’s exhibition for Scotland + Venice in 2015 continues its tour of Scotland, arriving at Mull.
Inverness Gifts for a Jacobite Prince Inverness Museum and Art Gallery Until Sat 20 May W: highlifehighland.com/ inverness-museum-and-artgallery A highlight tour organised by National Museums Scotland, ahead of the major Jacobite exhibition opening in Edinburgh this summer, it will feature the sword and the targe gifted to Bonnie Prince Charlie by James, 3rd Duke of Perth, a committed supporter of the Jacobite cause. They are not weapons of war, but symbols of power and status.
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Orkney Ten Years of Contemporary Collecting Piers Art Centre, Stromness, Orkney Sat 11 Feb–Sun 31 Dec W: pierartscentre.com Since radical patron Margaret Gardiner made her founding gift of 67 works of art to the people of Orkney in 1979, the Pier Arts Centre Collection has grown steadily over the years through generous gifts, bequests and carefully researched acquisitions. This exhibition shows off acquisitions of contemporary art over the last 10 years.
Stornoway Grinneas nan Eilean: The Islands Open Exhibition An Lanntair Sat 17 Jun–Sat 29 Jul W: lanntair.com ‘The Islands Open Exhibition’ returns in 2017 and for the first time will be held in high summer. The selected works will be drawn from amateur and professional artists from the Western Isles of Scotland.
Scotland Elsewhere Eduardo Paolozzi Whitechapel Gallery, London Until Sun 14 May W: whitechapelgallery.org/ exhibitions/eduardo-paolozzi Major retrospective exhibition of the prolific Scottish artist. The show cements Paolozzi as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century. Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection Granary Gallery, Berwickupon-Tweed W: berwickvisualarts.co.uk 27 May—15 Oct Featuring more than 25 works by SJ Peploe, FCB Cadell, JD Fergusson and George Leslie Hunter, plus examples of their precursors John Lavery, Henry Melville and Robert Brough.
Rachael Maclean: Spite Your Face Scottish Pavilion @ Venice Biennale Sat 13 May–Sun 26 Nov W: scotlandandvenice.com Rachael Maclean is the selected artist to represent Scotland at the 57th Venice Biennale. This will be a solo presentation of new work centred on a major new film commission, following Maclean’s previous work centring on constructed fantasy narratives that play with issues of identity, social values and politics. The UK premiere will be held at the Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, in early 2018.
Scotland’s Up-And-Comers Degree Show 2017 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee Sat 20–Sun 28 May Degree Show 2017 Edinburgh College of Art Sat 3–Sun 11 Jun Degree Show 2017 The Glasgow School of Art Sat 10–Sat 17 Jun Degree Show 2017 Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen Sat 17– Sat 24 Jun