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Grand tours, House tours, Art tours ISS UE 2 9

Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 2NJ www.dumfries-house.org.uk 01290 425 959

S UM MER 2 018

Take a tour of Ayrshire's Dumfries House, designed by Robert and John Adam, and discover one of the most complete collections of furniture from Thomas Chippendale's early Director period and the finest collection of Scottish rococo furniture in existence. Dumfries House, which is run by the Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust, is also proud to display a group of paintings by Scottish masters on loan from the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.

ISSUE 29 SUMMER 2018 £3


PLUS Martin Parr Camille Bernard Ross Birrell






Private View  Fiona Green

James Knox

36  Recent Acquisitions Rachael Cloughton



40  Art Market David Pollock

FEATURES 10  The Early Days of the Fleming Collection William Smith 18  Mackintosh 150 Susan Mansfield 22 Ross Birrell: The Transit of Hermes Neil Cooper 26

Everyone’s gone to Dunoon Neil Cooper

30  Design Exhibition Scotland Susanna Beaumont 32  Camille Bernard Rachael Cloughton

Scottish Art News The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, 15 Suffolk Street, London W1J 8DU United Kingdom T: (0)207 042 5730 E: scottishartnews@flemingcollection.com Scottish Art News is published biannually by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, London. Publication dates: May and October.


REVIEWS 42  NOW: Jenny Saville, Sara Barker, Christine Borland, Robin Rhode, Markus Schinwald, Catherine Street David Pollock

Director James Knox Editor Rachael Cloughton Editorial assistance Paul McLean Design Lizzie Cameron www.lizziecameron.co.uk

43  Rachel Maclean: Spite Your Face Susan Mansfield

Print co-ordinated by fgrahampublishing consultancy

44  Art of Glass Susan Mansfield


Print Elle Media Group

Director James Knox T: (0)207 042 5730 E: james.knox@flemingcollection.com


Cover Image Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Pinks © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

Scottish Art News Diary Perrine Davari

© Scottish Art News 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Scottish Art News accepts no responsibility for loss or damage of unsolicited material submitted for publication. Scottish Art News is published by the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation but is not the voice of the Fleming Collection or the Foundation. All images copyright of the artist or artist’s estate unless otherwise stated.

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).


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Fleming Collection which, as William Smith relates in his article on page 10, was the brainchild of Richard Fleming, then chairman of the family merchant bank, and David Donald, an art-loving director of the board. Conceived as a means of cheering up the bank’s new offices in the City of London, they hit the ground running in 1968, acquiring a number of the collection’s greatest hits including Thomas Faed’s ‘Last of the Clan’ (see page 17) and George Leslie Hunter’s ‘Peonies in a Chinese Vase’ (see page 16). Both feature in public exhibitions in the months ahead: the Faed at Fleming’s at 50 at the Fine Art Society during the Edinburgh Festival, and the Hunter as part of the touring show Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection, currently at the Barber Institute in Birmingham (until 13 May) before going on to the University of Hull Art Gallery (25 May–15 July) and the Maclaurin Art Gallery, Ayr (18 August–30 September). The collection grew in tandem with the bank. On David Donald ’s unexpected death in 1985, Robin Fleming, grandson of the founder, assumed responsibility for the collection. He was assisted by its future keeper of art, William Smith, who had been plucked from the investment division. Important works continued to be added including an outstanding group by the New Glasgow Boys and Girls who, from the mid-1980s, were making waves on the international art scene through their radical approach to figurative painting. A gap in this holding was filled last autumn through the acquisition of Sam Ainsley’s ‘They Shall Reap the Whirlwind’ (see page 10). First shown at the groundbreaking The Vigorous Imagination exhibition in 1987 – visited by Robin Fleming and William Smith, sparking their interest in the group – this powerful gouache also inspired the banner emblazoned across the classical façade of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art at the time. The cartoon for the banner has also joined the collection. Sam Ainsley is one of the most political artists of her generation. Her 1987 manifesto published alongside ‘They Shall Reap the Whirlwind’ railed against ‘male aggression, male competitiveness and male greed’ and urged ‘Woman’ to burst ‘free to be true to her own self and fulfilling her true potential.’ Never has this been more appropriate than in 2018, with the Vote 100 events marking the centenary of the first women in the UK being granted the right to vote. In this spirit Sam Ainsley’s work will be shown this summer alongside others by women artists from the Fleming Collection in a collaborative show with other art foundations entitled The Art of Collecting at the Mall Galleries, London (26 June–6 July). 2 | ART

Bringing the collection to a wider public and securing its long-term future was the goal of Robin Fleming and other family members when they established the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation in 2000 (which also bears the name of his cousin), prior to the sale of the bank to what became JPMorgan Chase & Co. A showcase for Scottish art was established in an adjacent gallery to the new Fleming Family and Partners office in Mayfair under William Smith’s successor, Selina Skipwith. She oversaw a stream of important exhibitions and publications focusing on all aspects and periods of Scottish art. Key acquisitions filled gaps in the historic collection and emerging artists such as Paul Reid were supported. The continuing evolution of the collection saw the launch of the ‘museum without walls’ strategy in 2014 and the subsequent closing of the gallery to give us the flexibility to respond to the growing needs of institutions keen to borrow work, particularly in the regions. Since then, through generous partnerships with museums, unparalleled numbers of visitors to the touring shows have discovered the delights of the Scottish Colourists for the first time, who although adored in Scotland remain relatively unknown down south. This momentum is gathering pace with an ever-expanding schedule of loans, including James Gunn’s WWI masterpiece ‘The Eve of the Battle of the Somme’ to Rotherham’s Clifton Park Museum. It houses the regimental museum of the Yorks and Lancaster Regiment that suffered huge losses at the Somme. The loan runs throughout the last year of the commemoration of WWI with visitor numbers hitting 19,500 in the first five months alone.

1 1 Veteran of the York and Lancaster Regiment with James Gunn’s ‘Eve of the Battle of the Somme’ painting at Rotherham Clifton Park Museum 2 James Knox, Director of the FlemingWyfold Foundation with bursary winner Hannah Mooney, at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition in Edinburgh

Great paintings attract large crowds. But the art of painting today has to vie for attention with the market-friendly genres of conceptualism, film making, performance, photography, sculpture and constructivism. All of which were on show at the Royal Scottish Academy’s New Contemporaries exhibition which opened in March, representing the best of the best graduates from Scottish art schools – the pool of talent from which the winner of the annual Fleming-Wyfold Art Bursary is chosen. Worth over £20,000, the prize includes a year’s mentoring from independent curator Susanna Beaumont. The judges – including director of Dundee Contemporary Arts Beth Bates, sculptor and GSA tutor Michael Stumf and dealer Richard Ingleby – awarded the prize to painter Hannah Mooney. It was a brave choice given Mooney is a straightforward painter of still lives and landscapes, displaying no post-modern irony when cleaving to such a traditional genre and discipline. ‘Painting from life,’ she writes ‘has brought me closer to nature and respectful of its strength, energy and beauty.’ Such integrity is at the root of all good art, which the Fleming Collection, with works from the 17th century to today, has in abundance. A joyous cause for celebration in our 50th year.

If you are not on our mailing list or database and would like to be kept abreast of forthcoming exhibitions and events please email me at james.knox@flemingcollection.com


Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864-1933) In the crofts, Kirkcudbright

DEALERS IN SCOT TISH ART The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh

6 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ +44 (0)131 557 4050 www.fasedinburgh.com art@fasedinburgh.com Scottish Art News | DIRECTOR’S NOTE | 3

NEWS Art Openings

A New Collective It’s one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings, but few people have been inside and most of us would struggle to say what it is used for. However, this summer, Edinburgh’s City Observatory on Calton Hill will begin a new life as the home of the Collective Gallery. The opening will bring to fruition eight years of painstaking planning, fundraising and negotiation to transform the Grade A-listed site into a contemporary art-led complex. The £4.5million project has restored the existing historic buildings as well as adding a new underground exhibition space and a restaurant – the first new building on the site for over 100 years and a satellite of Edinburgh’s highly acclaimed Gardener’s Cottage. There have been delays, but Collective Gallery director Kate Gray is philosophical: ‘I think the boundaries of any project are also its assets. As an artist, I would say, it’s good to have a restricted palette because it fosters ingenuity. It’s a big privilege to be given custodianship of such an important site. ‘I suppose what art and artists do is look at things in a different way and give other people the opportunity to do that as well. It’s to the credit of the Council that they responded to this different way of looking at the site. We can’t make it into a new museum, but we can rethink it and we want to do right by its history.’ The new complex, which will be known simply as Collective, includes Playfair’s iconic cruciform observatory from the 1820s, which will be used as a


library and occasional exhibition space, the nearby City Dome, which will become the main gallery, and a new purpose-built underground gallery on the north side of the hill which will be home to Collective’s Satellites programme for emerging artists. The Transit House, the oldest building on the site, will become an education space. It’s a bold development which means that the historic site, which had been largely disused since 2009 and had been placed on the Buildings At Risk register, will have a new lease of life and one of Edinburgh’s most visited areas will have a contemporary art space at its heart. Gray says the seed of the idea was planted when she curated a show by Kim Coleman and Jenny Hogarth at the City Observatory in 2010 as one of the gallery’s off-site projects. ‘I met the then curator of the site, and she told me a lot about it, how the current leaseholders had left and there was no immediate plan for the future. At one point, she said: “What this site needs is a fresh approach and people like you who can turn it around!” and I thought: “What? This is Edinburgh, that sort of thing doesn’t happen!’” At the same time, however, Collective was considering its own future,


For the first exhibition on the new site, a group show titled Affinity and Allusion, the gallery has invited six artists including South African Dineo Seshee Bopape and German Klaus Weber. Many of the artists will make work responding to the context and history of the site, something Gray expects will be a recurring theme. ‘The City Dome is a fantastic space, but it’s pretty challenging for any artist. At the same time, it really adds to an artist’s process to know where the work will be, and for that context to be reflected in what they make. The site offers a really interesting context because of the different stories that converge there. I can’t see anyone better than artists to take that on and allow the multitude of narratives to come through.’

having been faced with a crippling rent increase on its premises on Cockburn Street. It began in 1984 as an artists’ collective, but evolved into an independent arts organisation with a focus on supporting emerging artists and showing international artists new to Scotland. Artists such as Martin Boyce, Jeremy Deller and Rachel Maclean have all shown work there. Collective moved its operations to Calton Hill in 2013, offering the Satellites programme in a temporary exhibition space and continuing its off-site programme. The response, from locals and visitors, was overwhelmingly positive. Gray says: ‘We wanted to carry on our programme and see how that worked on Calton Hill, what audiences were there, what their interests were, if there was an appetite for contemporary art there. Our audience figures went up 550% when we opened the temporary unit – we had a far higher footfall than we’ve ever had.’

Studio Bizio Long-time Scottish art collectors Joanna and Andrew Black have opened their first gallery in the trendy Edinburgh suburb of Stockbridge. Studio Bizio opened this March with a solo show by American photographer and Taylor Wessing portrait prizewinner, Lydia Panas. The programme looks set to continue to show leading international names, with a new exhibition by Galina Kurlat, another American photographer, scheduled for May. ‘We have been art collectors for the last 25 years, with a more recent focus on photography in the last decade, when Joanna developed an interest in taking and collecting fine art photography,’ explains co-owner Andrew Black. ‘As a result of this, we developed relationships with individuals across the world in this field and had been considering opening a small, well-situated gallery for a number of years, showing the work of some of the artists we have got to know during our collecting and exhibiting lives. ‘We won’t be showing photography exclusively,’ continues Black, ‘but as it is one of our main interests just now we may start off quite photographyheavy – that will definitely change in time in line with our other interests – painting, sculpture, African and ethnic art, furniture and artist-made books.’ Studio Bizio 20a Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HU T: (0)7775 583675 | fb.com/studiobizio

Frutta James Gardner studied textiles at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, graduating in 2009. Three years later, he opened Frutta, a commercial gallery in Rome supporting nine contemporary artists including Marco Giordano, Gabriele De Santis and Lauren Keeley. This year, Gardner plans to open a second gallery on Duke Street in Glasgow: ‘It’s something that I have been wanting to do for a while. I’m originally from Glasgow and, naturally, the city is one of the reasons I am involved in the visual arts. ‘There is something interesting about both Glasgow and Rome being both on the periphery of central Europe,’ explains Gardner, ‘They parenthesize the major art cities, but yet both have incredibly vibrant scenes.’ With the expansion to Glasgow also comes an increase in the number of artists Frutta showcases. ‘Very few of our artists have shown in Scotland before, which is an exciting opportunity to build new audiences for their practices. The first show will be by Santo Tolone, an Italian artist we have been working with for a few years,’ says Gardner. Santo Tolone Until 7 May Frutta 9 Duke Street, Glasgow, G4 0UL Open: Daily noon–6pm

Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland

‘The site offers a really interesting context because of the different stories that converge there. I can’t see anyone better than artists to take that on and allow the multitude of narratives to come through’ 3

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Scottish Art News | NEWS | 5

The Fife Arms Iwan and Manuela Wirth, copresidents of internationally acclaimed art gallery Hauser & Wirth, are expanding their empire to Aberdeenshire with a major revamp of the Fife Arms hotel set to open this year. The building is a significant landmark in the scenic village of Braemar in the Cairngorms National Park, famed for its annual Highland Games known as the Braemar Gathering, as well as its Royal Deeside connections. It is currently being sensitively restored, with the Wirths promising to return the Fife Arms ‘to its former splendour as a first-class hotel’. Crathie-based Scottish architects Moxon and interior designer Russell Sage are working on plans to revive the landmark building through careful restoration and discreet remodelling with little perceptible change to the exterior of the building. Once re-opened, the Fife Arms will feature prominent displays of art by internationally renowned artists and host regular cultural events. Scottish artist and poet Alec Finlay has been collaborating on the research and design of the Fife Arms to ensure the landscape and culture of Upper Deeside remain central to the philosophy of the project and are represented within the building. Alec has been recording his fascinating journey through his Gathering blog, an eco-poetic guide to the Cairngorms, which can be found at gathering-alecfinlay.blogspot.co.uk The Fife Arms Mar Road, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5YN T: (0)7876 327603 | thefifearms.com

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Kirkcudbright galleries The opening of Kirkcudbright Galleries this summer continues the revival of the Dumfries and Galloway town’s longstanding reputation as The Artist’s Town. For a century up until 1980, the artists’ colony which existed in Kirkcudbright placed it on a par with places like Newlyn and St Ives in Cornwall and Pont-Aven in Brittany, through the influence and presence of artists like the Glasgow Boys’ Edward Atkinson Hornel (a Kirkcudbright native), Jessie Marion King, EA Taylor and Samuel Peploe. But with the formation of a WASPS Studio in 2010, the founding of an annual arts & crafts trail – which takes place in August – and the imminent opening of Kirkcudbright Galleries, the town’s artistic status is being reclaimed. ‘The origins of Kirkcudbright’s art story can be traced eight miles west to Gatehouse-of-Fleet,’ says Rachael Dilley, arts officer at Kirkcudbright Galleries. ‘The town was the home of the Faed family, which included John and Thomas Faed, who became successful artists in Victorian Britain with popular genre paintings which showed homely scenes of everyday country life. Their success encouraged younger artists like Hornel and WS MacGeorge, and demonstrated that art could provide a decent living. John Faed returned to Gatehouse in 1880 and served as honorary president of the Kirkcudbrightshire Fine Art Association, founded by these younger artists in 1886.’ Within the old Kirkcudbright Town Hall, designed by Edinburghbased architects Peddie & Kinnear and built between 1878 and 1879, the Ayrbased architectural practice ARPL have transformed the space into Kirkcudbright Galleries. It’s a £3.1 million pound project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and rural development LEADER funding. ‘We hope Kirkcudbright Galleries will attract visitors nationally and internationally,’ says Dilley.

Patrick Bourne & Co.

Part of what’s on display will be a permanent exhibition celebrating the Kirkcudbright Artists’ Collection, which received national recognition status in 2015 from Museums Galleries Scotland. ‘For the first time, a significant proportion of the collection will be on display in this gallery,’ says Dilley, ‘in an exhibit which will include paintings and drawings, as well as book illustrations, ceramics and silver jewellery by artists such as John Faed, EA Hornel, Jesse M King, Samuel Peploe and Robert Sivell.’ Special attention is also being focused on temporary exhibitions, with the active and supportive partnership of the National Galleries and National Museums of Scotland. Sir Edwin Landseer’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’ will be loaned to the gallery from its opening in June, while an exhibit of Scotland’s Early Silver runs from July to September. ‘We want to reflect the success of previous exhibitions in the town hall by local group Kirkcudbright 2000 which organised highly successful summer exhibitions here from 2000 to 2015,’ says Dilley. ‘These included works by Claude Monet, the impressionists and the Glasgow Girls and Glasgow Boys. Building on this, we’re going to be curating an historic art exhibition entitled Stars of Scotland, which will contain artworks on loan from 16 galleries across Scotland.’

private advisors and fine art dealers

Specialising in Lavery & The Glasgow Boys and The Colourists Congratulations to The Fleming Collection on fifty years of collecting exceptional Scottish art

Kirkcudbright Galleries opens on Saturday 9 June | kirkcudbrightgalleries.org.uk

b y appo int m ent 6 St James’s Place London SW1A 1NP +44 (0)20 3696 5285 enquiries@patrickbourne.com www.patrickbourne.com


Sir John Lavery 1856–1941 Her First Communion, 1902 Oil on canvas, 72 × 36 inches (detail) Scottish Art News | NEWS | 7

Art Moves

Art Exhibitions

New Chair for Creative Scotland This February, Scotland’s culture secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the appointment of Robert Wilson as chair of the Creative Scotland board. Wilson’s appointment follows Ben Thomson who served as Creative Scotland interim chair from July 2017 to February 2018. He takes up the role with immediate effect for four years until February 2022. Wilson is co-founder of Jupiter Artland Foundation, the award-winning sculpture park near Edinburgh. He has served as chair of Edinburgh Art Festival, trustee of Little Sparta Trust, trustee of the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, trustee of the Dovecot Studios and chair of the Arts Working Group at Inverleith House. He chairs the Barcapel Foundation and Prostate Scotland. He is chairman and co-owner of Nelsons, the UK’s largest natural medicine producer.


1 City Dome site plan, courtesy of Collective Architecture 2 Dineo Seshee Bopape, sa ____ ke lerole, (sa lerole ke ___), 2016. Image courtesy of the artist and Art in General, New York 3 Klaus Weber, Sandfountain, 2012. Image courtesy of Herald St, London. Photo © Andy Keate 4 Samuel Peploe, Kirkcudbright. Image courtesy of Kirkudbright galleries 5 Robert Wilson. Image courtesy of Creative Scotland.

6 Travelling Gallery at 40. Image courtesy of Travelling Gallery 7 Fiona Beveridge, MELON Slice 5, 2017. Image courtesy of Number Shop 8 Gunnie Moberg, Sheep fort, Skerry, South of Ruskholm. Image © the Estate of Gunnie Moberg. Image courtesy of Orkney Library & Archive 9 Raqib Shaw, The Adoration (after Jan Gossaert), 2015-16. Image courtesy of Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 10 Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, , The Drawing Room, Croft House. Estimate: £200,000-300,000. Image courtesy of Thomas Podd

Art Sales of the 2018 programme will be Talbot Rice Gallery’s exhibition The Green Man, a major solo show of Scottish artist Lucy Skaer, featuring newly commissioned work alongside recent pieces never before seen in the UK. Skaer’s work will be shown together with exhibits from invited guests and a selection of objects she has drawn from the University of Edinburgh’s vast collection. Elsewhere, the Fruitmarket Gallery’s presentation of work by acclaimed British artist Tacita Dean will explore the themes of landscape, portrait and still life, by taking performance as its focus. The exhibition will examine the manner in which Dean has explored narrative, the imagination, and the collective effort of artist and audience in film, theatre, drawing and photogravure. Phyllida Barlow will open Jupiter Artland’s 10th anniversary programme with quarry, a multi-part commission for the sculpture park’s woodland comprised of three sculptural objects, each embodying Barlow’s trademark textural surfaces. Gateway, a solo exhibition by Portuguese sculptor Joana Vasconcelos, will be shown throughout the indoor galleries. Vasconcelos is known for her large-scale surreal works constructed with domestic objects including plastic cutlery, irons and sanitary products: ‘Carmen Miranda’, a large-scale replica of a stiletto shoe, created using stainless steel pans and concrete, will be located in the Ballroom Garden, while a teapot-shaped work, produced using knitting fabrics and techniques, will be housed in the Steadings Gallery.


Travelling Gallery turns 40 Travelling Gallery is a contemporary art gallery in a bus that has formed a unique and integral part of Scotland’s cultural scene since the 1970s. Artists who have contributed to the Travelling Gallery include Rachel Maclean, Scotland’s exhibiting artist at the 57th Venice Biennale, Turner Prizewinner Douglas Gordon, Charles Avery and Christian Marclay among many notable others. As part of the anniversary celebrations, this summer the City Art Centre in Edinburgh is holding a major retrospective exhibition over two floors of the space. Housed within a newly commissioned and site-specific installation in the gallery by Scottish artist Mike Inglis, an active programme of talks and events will provide a platform for broader discussions on the accessibility and diversity of contemporary art in Scotland. Edinburgh Art Festival announce partner exhibition programme This year’s Edinburgh Art Festival will present around 36 exhibitions across more than 25 venues, combining ambitious presentations of Scottish and international contemporary art with landmark art historical survey shows and newly commissioned work across the capital’s leading galleries and museums. There is an impressive selection of celebratory solo shows of work by contemporary female artists, many with rich and longstanding connections to the artistic community of Scotland. A highlight 7

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Stills Gallery will present a twopart exhibition of the photographs of artist Gunnie Moberg alongside archive material and films by the influential filmmaker and writer Margaret Tait. Coinciding with the centenary of Margaret Tait’s birth, the exhibition reflects Stills’ interest in showcasing work from archives and collections in Scotland and will include rarely seen photographic material on loan from the Orkney Library & Archive. There are also some significant reappraisals of 20th-century Scottish artists to look out for including the first ever major exhibition of the Scottish painter Edwin G Lucas (featured in Scottish Art News issue 25) at the City Art Centre. The exhibition, An Individual Eye, will explore the lasting impact Lucas’ encounters with surrealism had on his boldly experimental work. Providing an eye-opening counterpoint to An Individual Eye, The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh will present Assemblage, an exhibition focusing on Scottish artists’ contribution to the medium pioneered by cubism and surrealism, exploring the significance of found objects and constructed narratives in conveying history and cultural identity. The Fine Art Society, with the FlemingWyfold Art Foundation, will also hold an exhibition showcasing and responding to six key historic paintings from the Fleming Collection. Also in the New Town, Open Eye Gallery will mount John Bellany: The Wild Days, focusing on the artist’s abstract, highly gestural work from the period 1980–89. Recognised as some of the artist’s

most challenging output, the majority of work planned for display has rarely been seen before and will present a pivotal moment in the career of arguably one of the most important Scottish artists of the 20th century. Finally, there are several largescale art historical and survey shows, including a major presentation of over 100 paintings, drawings and prints from the Royal Collection’s holdings of 18th-century Venetian art in Canaletto & the Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery (the largest exhibition of works by the Venetian master ever to come to Scotland). Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master at the Scottish National Gallery will explore the major impact of Rembrandt’s work on Scottish art. Continuing this consideration of the Old Masters’ impact on those working today, eight works by the much sought-after Kashmiri-born artist Raqib Shaw will be on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Shaw’s work, which has never before been exhibited in Scotland, will be hung alongside two paintings from the gallery’s collection which have long inspired him: Joseph Noel Paton’s ‘The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania’ (1849) and Lucas Cranach’s ‘An Allegory of Melancholy’ (1528). In July, the gallery will open Emil Nolde: Colour is Life, comprising around 120 paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints spanning the entire career of one of Germany’s greatest expressionist artists.


Major Cadell painting goes on sale The Harrison Collection is one of the most exceptional collections of Colourist works in private ownership. Formed in the 1920s and 30s by Major Ion R Harrison, an important patron and close friend of the artists, the collection features some of the finest Colourist paintings by George Leslie Hunter, Samuel John Peploe, FCB Cadell and John Duncan Fergusson. Harrison was introduced to the Colourists by his friend TJ Honeyman and encouraged to acquire their works by the great Glasgow dealer Alexander Reid. The pictures furnished the walls of Harrison’s magnificent home in Helensburgh, Croft House, where many of them have remained untouched ever since. Inspired by the bold modernist painting of the post-impressionists and informed by travels through France, the Colourists were arguably the most avant-garde British artists of their day. Sotheby’s are delighted to be offering an incredible selection of works from the Harrison Collection in a dedicated single owner sale in London on 12 June. Works from the sale will be on view in Glasgow (Glasgow Art Club, 8 & 9 May) and Edinburgh (Royal Military Tattoo Building, 3 Cockburn Street, 11 & 12 May) before the pre-sale view in London on the 8–11 June. Enquiries: Thomas Podd T: (0)20 7293 5497 | sothebys.com thomas.podd@sothebys.com


Scottish Art News | NEWS | 9


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The origins of the Fleming Collection lie in a brief note written in 1968 by the late Richard Fleming, chairman of merchant bankers Robert Fleming & Co, which he placed in the daily mail folder that was compulsory reading for all directors. The bank had recently moved from its long-standing offices in Crosby Square in the City of London to new premises across the square. Richard Fleming asked his colleagues what should be done to alleviate the stark bareness of the office walls, and make it a more pleasant and stimulating environment in which to work. David Donald (DD to his colleagues), an Aberdonian and lawyer turned investment manager, scribbled in pencil in the margin of the note ‘buy paintings’. His fellow directors thought it was a splendid idea and DD, who had a life-long enthusiasm for art, was left to get on with it. There was no thought of appointing an external art adviser, or forming an internal committee to vet possible acquisitions; no budget was mentioned. The only guideline DD was given was that the works of art should be by Scottish artists or of Scottish scenes by any artist in recognition of the bank’s Scottish roots. Robert Fleming had been born in 1845 in very modest circumstances in Lochee, a village now part of Dundee. He became a man of great knowledge and influence in the investment world, remembered today as the father of the investment trust movement. He was also known internationally as an expert on the financing and reorganisation of American railroads. At his memorial service in 1933, a notable City personality described him as ‘Scotland’s Dick Whittington’.

1968 was a propitious time to start acquiring pictures. Scottish art was relatively unknown outside Scotland and, consequently, prices were low. DD purchased a considerable number of fine paintings by the Scottish Colourists, paying less than £2000 for each – today their values would be well into six-figures. He had a very keen eye and a great knowledge of Scottish art. Two of his first purchases in 1968 were George Leslie Hunter’s ‘Peonies in a Chinese Vase’ for £565 and Thomas Faed’s ‘Last of the Clan’ for £750 – both acknowledged as landmarks in the history of Scottish art. He was assisted in his quest by a number of art dealers, particularly the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, which had been Peploe’s original dealer, and the Fine Art Society in London, led by the pioneering Andrew Mackintosh Patrick. Over the next 16 years he built up a substantial collection, laying the foundation for the current range of museumquality paintings in the Fleming fold which tell the story of Scottish art from the 17th century to the present day. Highlights of DD’s buying campaigns included a fine group of the radical Glasgow Boys including Joseph Crawhall’s ‘Bull Ring at Algeciras’, an outstanding group of work by the Colourists, currently on tour to regional museums, as well as fine examples of his favourite artists, such as DY Cameron’s ‘Hill of Boddin, Angus’ and Anne Redpath’s ‘Still Life on Blue Ground’. The paintings of the mid-century Edinburgh school by the likes of Robin Philipson, Alberto Morrocco, David Michie, John Houston and his wife Elizabeth Blackadder were well represented.

The Early Days of the Fleming Collection William Smith

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DD enjoyed showing these paintings to visitors; unannounced he would breeze in to conference rooms filled with clients and hold forth on the pictures to visitors and clients alike. He often asked staff for their opinion on a new acquisition, not at all put out if occasionally the reaction to a modern work was less than enthusiastic. In 1985, DD died unexpectedly following a short illness. Robin Fleming, a grandson of the founder, assumed responsibility for the collection and asked myself, a Scot from the investment division to help with the collection. On joining the bank 20 years earlier, I had had no great enthusiasm for art. However, seeing the collection building up around me, my initial interest soon became a passion. Indeed it is significant that many staff members were won over to art, a number of whom began collecting paintings. An immediate problem faced the new team. The bank had outgrown its offices in Crosby Square and was due to move to a new home at the beginning of 1986. A term of the architect’s brief had been to take account of the collection, which now numbered around 450 works, when designing the building; this was achieved to stunning effect. Six floors of offices surrounded a glass-walled atrium topped with a glass roof and served by four glass lifts. 14 | ART

As the lifts moved up and down, a series of galleries hung with paintings could be viewed on every floor. The collection continued to grow, the art dealer Patrick Bourne assisting on many occasions. Two major works by William McTaggart were secured, as well as portraits by Sir Henry Raeburn and Allan Ramsay’s ‘Portrait of an Officer’. An emphasis was placed on filling gaps and acquiring the work of contemporary artists. However, it was The Vigorous Imagination, an exhibition of Scottish art by the New Glasgow Boys at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 1987, which prompted Robin Fleming and myself to acquire the bold figurative work of young artists such as Peter Howson, Steven Campbell and Stephen Conroy – a fine example being Alison Watt’s ‘The Bathers’. Following the move to the new building, the quality and breadth of the collection became more widely known to the public at large. The bank introduced evening art tours for organised parties from art societies and other cultural bodies and a book on the collection, A Picture of Flemings, was published. From the outset, the bank had loaned works to exhibitions organised by public art galleries and, in 1995, the Scottish National Gallery of Scotland borrowed 60 works for an exhibition featuring the Fleming Collection titled Hidden Assets.


‘Following the move to the new building, the quality and breadth of the collection became more widely known to the public at large. The bank introduced evening art tours for organised parties from art societies and other cultural bodies and a book on the collection A Picture of Flemings was published’

Scottish Art News | THE FLEMING COLLECTION AT 50 | 15

In 2000, the bank was sold to Chase Manhattan Bank in New York (later JP Morgan Chase & Co). Prior to the sale and in order to secure the future of the collection, the Fleming family, led by Robin Fleming, secured the purchase of the art at market value and vested it in the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, which also bears the name of his cousin. Building on the growing public access at the bank, the Foundation opened a showcase for Scottish art in a gallery adjacent to the new Fleming Family and Partners office in London’s Mayfair, which was overseen by my successor as keeper of art, Selina Skipwith, who produced a stream of innovative exhibitions in the gallery and an impressive list of catalogues and publications over the next decade or so. At the same time, Selina filled significant gaps in the collection and talent spotted emerging artists such as Paul Reid, thus continuing to cement the reputation of the Fleming Collection as the pre-eminent repository of Scottish art outside public galleries. This position is encapsulated today in its dynamic ‘museum without walls’ strategy of touring exhibitions and the lending of individual works to institutions across the UK and beyond.

1 Samantha Ainsley, Reaping the Whirlwind, 1987 2 William McTaggart, The Village, Whitehouse, 1975 3 Anne Redpath, Rayonanthus on a Pale Blue Ground, c.1960 4 Alison Watt, The Vathers 5 George Leslie Hunter, Peonies in a Chinese Vase 6 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Butterfly Flower, Bowling, 1912 7 James MacBeth Sutherland, Day Trippers Dunoon, signed and dated 1920 8 Thomas Faed, The Last of the Clan, 1865 All images courtesy of the Fleming Collection



Having worked for Robert Fleming & Co for twenty years, William Smith became involved with the collection in 1985. He went on to become its first keeper of art, retiring in 1992


FROM THE FLEMING COLLECTION A unique opportunity to see one of the largest collections of Scottish Colourists in one exhibition to be shown at the University of Hull

25 May to 15 July 2018 Exhibition Space, Brynmor Jones Library, University of Hull 7

Mon – Fri 10 – 7 pm Sat/Sun 11 – 5 pm Free Admission – All Welcome


“Superb holdings of paintings ... alive to the landscapes of pleasure ... learnt in Paris at a time when British art was largely insular.” The Financial Times



Hunter Ceres; Peploe Roses; Fergusson Jean © Fleming Wyfold

Scottish Art News | THE FLEMING COLLECTION AT 50 | 17

MACKINTOSH 150 Susan Mansfield

Susan Mansfield looks at the year of celebrations planned in honour of one of Glasgow’s most famous sons There was an air of anticipation in the room as the crate was prised open. Curators and conservators held their breath as the protective layers of plywood and tissue paper were removed. Inside were sections of wall panelling from Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street Tea Rooms in Glasgow, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, rescued from the building in 1971 when it was turned into a hotel. But had the years been kind to them? There was palpable relief as the panels were lifted intact from the crate. They had been over-painted by a later owner of the building, but it was still possible to make out traces of Mackintosh’s classic rose stencilling. Now fully restored by Glasgow Museums conservators, they will be exhibited in public for the first time in Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style, a major exhibition running until August at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition, which is the first major Mackintosh show in the city since 1996, is a linchpin in Mackintosh 150, a year-long programme of events to mark the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth. Mackintosh partners including The Hunterian, Glasgow School of Art, the Lighthouse and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society will organise their own programmes. Meanwhile, another Mackintosh treasure, the Oak Room from the Ingram Street Tea Rooms, will be a key attraction of the Scottish Design Galleries at the V&A Dundee when it opens in September. 18 | ART

The Kelvingrove exhibition tells the story of Mackintosh’s life and his circle through over 250 objects including stained glass, ceramics, metalwork, furniture and architectural drawings, many of which have rarely been exhibited publicly. Highlights include ‘The Seasons’, a set of four watercolours created by Charle’s wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh and her sister Frances, rare paintings from Mackintosh’s late period, architectural plans from Scotland Street School and Glasgow School of Art and Margaret’s iconic panel ‘The May Queen’. Curator Alison Brown of Glasgow Museums says she is keen to show the context from which Mackintosh emerged. ‘It’s very important for me that he’s not an isolated genius. He is a genius, but he’s part of a really amazing creative time of development in Glasgow. This is the period when Glasgow is the second city of the empire, it must have been a very exciting time.’ Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in 1868 in Townhead, the fourth of eleven children. His father was a police superintendent. He was educated at Allan Glen’s technical school and became an apprentice architect with local firm John Hutchison, taking evening classes at Glasgow School of Art. It was here he fell into the orbit of the charismatic head of school, Francis Newbery, and where he met the friends who would become known collectively as The Four: James Herbert McNair and sisters Margaret and Frances Macdonald, whom the two men would marry.



The group were at the heart of what became known as the Glasgow style – the city’s own take on art nouveau – at a time when Glasgow School of Art was a powerhouse both for the decorative arts, with its newly opened Technical Art Studios, and female emancipation. This was the age of the Glasgow Girls, among them women such as Jessie M King, Ann Macbeth and Dorothy Carleton Smyth. Brown says: ‘The exhibition looks at the Technical Art Studios, who taught there, who studied there, the work they went on to produce. I’ve selected things which show the process of making, because I want people to make the connection between Mackintosh and that working process.’ The exhibition offers a chance to follow the development of Mackintosh’s ideas from early watercolour and poster designs, done while working as a junior draughtsman with architects Honeyman & Keppie, through to complete designs for interiors and private homes. His passion was for the ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ or ‘total work of art’: in his tea rooms, for example, he specified the design of the teaspoons as precisely as the chairs or the windows. By 1904, the year Mackintosh was made a partner at Honeyman & Keppie, his vision was in full flight. He was working on the Ingram Street and Willow Tea Rooms for Miss Cranston, as well as interiors for her home, Hous’hill, and was putting the finishing touches to the Hill House, built for publisher Walter

Blackie in Helensburgh. He was also working on Scotland Street School. Brown says that in this period Mackintosh began to depart from art nouveau and the Glasgow style and pursue geometric designs of his own. ‘Over that period he really starts playing around with squares, which become dominant. I’m wanting to communicate how early on Mackintosh moves into art deco – before it was known as such. He becomes obsessed with geometry, it’s an absolute distillation of forms and lines.’ In his white, uncluttered interiors, Mackintosh departed radically from the often dark and highly decorative interiors of the 19th century, prefiguring what would be known later as ‘modernism’. Brown says: ‘Mackintosh is regarded as a pioneer of modernism for his approach and his simplicity. However, what I think he’s so good at is that he’s a magpie. He sees things that work, and he distills them. He distills Scottish vernacular architecture, ideas from Japan and nature, he fuses these things together and creates something really unique.’ Meanwhile, a living example of the Mackintosh ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ is currently being restored on Sauchiehall Street. Mackintosh at the Willow is an ambitious £10million restoration of Miss Cranston’s Willow Tea Rooms, scheduled to open in June in time for the 150th anniversary. Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 19

Celia Sinclair, chairperson of the Willow Tea Rooms Trust, says: ‘This is one of the only complete pieces of Mackintosh’s work that exists now, the only tea room where he designed both the interior and exterior. We are aiming to recreate the tea rooms as they were in 1903 when they were handed over to Miss Cranston. It was very, very modern for its time, and now it’s coming back together we are realising it’s very modern now.’ The Trust was able to purchase the building (which had fallen vacant) in 2014, along with the building next door, which will house modern visitor facilities, conference and education rooms, an exhibition and shop. Every aspect of the tea room restoration has been scrutinised by a panel of experts, from the lighting to the table cloths, the teaspoons to the carpet designs. The window of the Salon de Luxe, which was moved nine inches inwards in the 1980s, has now been moved back out to its original position. Objects too valuable to be used – the glass doors from the Salon de Luxe currently valued at £1.5million – will be shown in a museum area, with exact replicas made for the tea room. Sinclair is in no doubt of the pulling power of Charles Rennie Mackintosh both in terms of drawing overseas visitors to Glasgow and for enthusing the city’s own residents, who have embraced him as one their most famous sons. ‘We realised the level of interest when we closed the building down. There were so many visitors trying to get into the project office that we opened


a pop-up information point. In 26 working days we had 2700 people, 60 per cent of them from 40 different countries. All of them had come to see the tea rooms. There’s huge interest in this project from all over the world.’ Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style Until 14 August Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AG T: (0)141 276 9599 | glasgowlife.org.uk Open: Monday to Thursday & Saturday 10am–5pm, Friday & Sunday 11am–5pm For more information on Mackintosh at the Willow, see willowtearoomstrust.org

From the sublime to the

1 Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Image from annanphotographs.co.uk


an exhibtion about the landscape

2 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Grey Iris © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums

6 - 30 June 2018

3 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland St School North elevation © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums 4 F Macdonald, M Macdonald Mackintosh, J Herbert McNair, Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums 5 Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Part Seen Part Imagined © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums 6 Peter Wylie Davidson, Standing clock © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums







CONTEMPORARY ART SINCE 1842 16 DUNDAS STREET • EDINBURGH EH3 6HZ +44 (0) 131 558 1200 • scottish-gallery.co.uk

Image: Martin Greenland, Eternal, 2018, oil on canvas, 90.5 x 122cms Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 21

20 | ART Untitled-1 1

04/04/2018 11:11:42


Neil Cooper discusses the epic journeys in Scottish artist Ross Birrell’s most recent films, showing during Glasgow International 2018 Horses are coming in from all directions in The Transit of Hermes, Ross Birrell’s new show for 2018’s edition of Glasgow International, being shown at the Centre for Contemporary Arts following its premiere at Documenta 14 in 2017. At the show’s heart are two films that chart a series of heroic journeys across land and sea that bond human with animal, history with myth, and nation with nation as they transverse continents and borders both physical, political and metaphorical. In ‘Criollo’ (2017), a solitary horse is filmed at the threshold of Central Park in New York. Accompanying images document the horse’s journey as it is photographed in three different cities – Buenos Aires, Washington DC and New York – beside three identical equestrian statues in honour of Argentine revolutionary, Jose de San Martin. ‘The Athens-Kassel Ride: The Transit of Hermes’ (2017) documents an epic 100-day ride undertaken by a team of long riders between the two cities where Documenta 14 was held. Accompanied by a Greek Arravani breed of horse gifted to Birrell, which he named Hermes after the Greek god of border crossings, the 3000km trail moved from Greece to Germany, passing through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria en route in a symbolic evocation of exile, migration and perpetual movement. Three years in the making, the title of The Transit of Hermes may stem from Greek myth, but its inspiration draws too from Tschiffely’s Ride, a 10,000-mile journey from Buenos Aires to New York undertaken by Swiss-Argentine professor, writer and adventurer, Aimé Félix Tschiffely. Embarking on his expedition solo in 1925 and taking until 1928 to reach his destination, 22 | ART

Tschiffely enlisted two criolo horses, a cross-breed whose mixture of Arab and Barbary breeds draws its name from ‘creole’, a word laced with associations of social and cultural mixing. Tschiffely’s written account of his journey, originally called From Southern Cross to Pole Star, was published in 1933, the year that Hitler came to power in Germany based on a populist ideology of national and racial purity and a fear of otherness that led to the extermination of millions of Jews. As a counterpoint to this, Tschiffely’s book was dedicated to ‘all lovers of the horse and the wide open spaces; And to many friends of whatever race, nationality or creed – who did their utmost to make rough places smooth.’ ‘I had this idea about this epic journey,’ says Birrell. ‘I’ve always made bi-locational work, and it just seemed to chime with Documenta running at Athens and Kassel. I knew I didn’t want to do a documentary or a re-enactment, but I wanted to make it an event.’ Paisley-born Birrell has form in this respect, mixing and matching classical music-inspired compositions with geo-political lines of enquiry to create a deeply personal back catalogue that is by turns poetic, philosophical, meditative and socially aware in its attempt to transcend borders at every level. Recent films include ‘Duet’ (2013), a work for two violas performed by Israeli and Palestinian musicians; the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-referencing ‘A Beautiful Living Thing’ (2015), performed and filmed in Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building following the 2014 fire; and ‘Fugue’ (2017), developed in collaboration with Syrian violinist and composer Ali Moraly, and also seen at Documenta 14.



Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 23

‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ (2017) was a collaboration with artist and founder of GSA’s Environmental Art course, David Harding, that saw the Athens State Orchestra play Henryk Górecki’s composition of the same name alongside members of the Syrian Expat Philharmonic Orchestra. An earlier work by Birrell and Harding, ‘Port Bou: 18 Fragments for Walter Benjamin’ (2006), saw Birrell hike across the Pyrenees, following the route of Benjamin’s flight from the Nazis in 1940, while Harding waited for Birrell in the Spanish village of Portbou. If these were panoramic in execution, Birrell got even more than he bargained for with The Transit of Hermes, which was overtaken by a series of world-changing events. The first of these was when The Transit of Hermes arrived in New York on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States. Meanwhile, Article 50, the legislation required to set Brexit in motion to mark the UK’s departure from the EU, had been triggered the week before. All of which may have been an accident of planning, but such synchronicity lends the work an extra resonance. ‘These things hadn’t happened before we began,’ Birrell points out. ‘It just happened that way, so another context to the work began to gather apace, which you can take with you. It kind of evolved in a very conceptual way, but it really needed to evolve in a practical way as well, and for that I needed people who understood animals and who could work together.’ To this end, long riders Peter van der Gugten, David Wewetzer, Zsolt Szabo and Tina Boche were key to the project. As were Birrell’s assistants Mark Wallis and Samuel Devereux, both graduates of Glasgow School of Art, who documented the journey when Birrell was either in Glasgow where he has taught at GSA for 20 years, or else in Athens working on ‘Fugue’.


1 Ross Birrell, Criollo, 2017, film still. Image © John Engstrom 2 Ross Birrell, Athens-Kassel Ride, The Transit of Hermes, 2017. Launch event for documenta 14, Dionysiou Areopagitou, Akropolis, Athens. Image © Samuel Devereux.


24 | ART

3 Ross Birrell, Athens-Kassel Ride, The Transit of Hermes, 2017. Hermes at SerbiaCroatia Border. Image © Samuel Devereux. 4 Ross Birrell, The Transit of Hermes, 2017. Documentation video still. Image © Samuel Devereux. Courtesy of Ellen de Bruijne Projects

‘The word “fugue” comes from the same etymology as “refugee”,’ Birrell explains, ‘and in a way the Athens-Kassel Ride was another way of responding to the crisis of Europe, and to pay testament to the journeys people are making, and looking at that through another lens.’ With the film of the Athens-Kassel Ride seen across two screens in silent slow motion, none of this is made explicit. ‘You see Hermes moving through various landscapes,’ says Birrell, ‘but you’re not told it’s Greece and Germany. I think it’s important to encounter something for what it is. It starts and ends in an indeterminate location. It’s not a linear journey. You see Hermes in a state of continuous movement and continuous displacement, but you never know which direction he’s travelling.’ Neil Cooper is a writer and critic based in Edinburgh Ross Birrell: The Transit of Hermes Until 3 June CCA 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JD T: (0)141 352 4900 | cca-glasgow.com Open: Monday to Saturday 11am–6pm (closed Monday outside GI dates), Sunday noon–6pm Part of Glasgow International 2018 20 April–7 May T: (0)141 276 8384 | glasgowinternational.org

‘The word “fugue” comes from the same etymology as “refugee” and in a way the Athens-Kassel Ride was another way of responding to the crisis of Europe, and to pay testament to the journeys people are making, and looking at that through another lens’ Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 25


Documentary photographer Martin Parr talks about his most recent exhibition in Dunoon and his part in the 40th anniversary celebrations of Edinburgh’s Stills Gallery It’s only fitting that Martin Parr’s exhibition of photographs of Dunoon is being held in the town’s recently reopened Burgh Hall. A decade ago, what is now a B-listed building was rescued from demolition by the local community, who worked with the John McAslan Family Trust, set up by locally born architect McAslan, to purchase it from property developers Fyfe Homes for a token £1. A few years earlier, Parr and McAslan, whose work included the 2006 restoration of railway engine shed turned London counter-cultural fun palace the Roundhouse, teamed up after veteran photographer Parr included some of McAslan’s personal collection of postcards in his book, Boring Postcards. The project that resulted, Light along the A8 corridor, was a roadtrip of sorts that saw the pair navigate their way between Port Glasgow and a once-thriving Dunoon. As they travelled, Parr documented, in all its mundane everyday glory, the local colour along the route to what Visit Scotland describes as ‘the main resort on the beautiful Cowal Peninsula and the maritime gateway to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park’. This gave rise to the book A8 which featured 28 images by Parr, the titles of which – ‘Cowal Games’, ‘Craigen Tea Room’, ‘Daisy’s Den’ – only hinted at the unruly bustle of life barely contained within. 26 | ART

Almost a decade on from the sale of the hall, and with tireless work from the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust, the building reopened in 2017 as a fully functioning artistic resource for the local community. In keeping with this confluence of old and new, Martin Parr’s Dunoon is something of a pilgrimage that takes stock of some of the original A8 pictures seen alongside new work. ‘I was invited to do more, and came up over six or seven weekends,’ says Parr of the revisitation. ‘Dunoon’s still basically the same place. Its economy isn’t in great shape, because it relied on tourism, and that’s in decline. But it’s still ticking away. There’s still lots of life there, and it’s great that the Burgh Hall has reopened. Without John that would never have happened.’ Such personal input to his images of Dunoon is typical of Parr, who first came to prominence in the mid-1980s with the publication of The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton. The book documented a series of photographs taken in the rough and tumble leisureland of New Brighton, the faded Merseyside seaside town which, in its cheerfully low-rent, kiss-me-quick splendour, offered some kind of brief respite for Liverpoolday-trippers seeking sanctuary from the ravages of the 1980s recession.



Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 27

Unlike many of his contemporaries who documented urban wastelands in gritty black-and white, Parr showed his studies of communities at work, rest, but largely play in living – and often wilfully garish – warts-and-all colour. This gave his candid slices of life a vivid sense of the bodies that populated them in rest and motion. It is perhaps telling that in the early years of his career Parr worked as a roving photographer at seaside holiday camps, where the working class were captured with some of the largesse of the picture postcards they sometimes seemed to mirror. Some of Parr’s early pre-occupations and insightful thoughts on photography emerged in ‘Documentary Photography: Asset or Liability?’, a talk Parr gave at Stills Gallery in Edinburgh in 1987. A recording of the talk is being released online as part of a series drawn from the gallery’s rich past to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Listening to the Parr of three decades ago is akin to tuning in to a fascinating time capsule, in which he holds court on such topics as the subjectivity of documentary photography, how there is ‘no such thing as documentary truth’ and photography’s seeming inability to change the world.

In 1987, of course, while photography was already a more accessible and democratic means of expression than most, it was a long way from the sort of mass ubiquity that the digital age brought with it. This came by way of camera phones, Instagram and other click-of-a-switch online platforms. Parr embraces the opportunities such new technology brings with it, and has his own Instagram account. ‘It’s still photography at its core,’ he says, ‘but it means that the audience for photography is much bigger.’ One of Parr’s most striking comments during the 1987 talk comes towards the end of the recording, when he discusses his then impending move to Bristol, where he would effectively be photographing a more middle class strata of society than in Liverpool and Ireland, where he had previously lived and worked. Crucially, he talks about how people were becoming more selfish. Given that this was arguably still in the relatively early days of an increasingly broken Britain we are perhaps only now feeling the full fall-out from, 30 years on Parr’s words sound like prophecy. ‘Will you be saying I’m a visionary?’ he jokes.

Beyond Dunoon, Parr has at least one major exhibition in the pipeline, and there will also be a book of space dog ephemera. This latter project is drawn from one of several of Parr’s collections that go beyond photography, and which here encompass anything connected with the Soviet space programme in the 1950s and 1960s, which sent dogs into space to determine whether human space-flight was possible. All of which acts as a conduit and a continuum for Parr’s main interest. ‘Leisure,’ he says. ‘Whether it’s a flower show or a concert or people playing bowls, leisure is my main pursuit.’ Neil Cooper is a writer and critic based in Edinburgh Martin Parr’s Dunoon ended its run at Dunoon Burgh Halls on 15 April. His talk Documentary Photography: Asset or Liability forms part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, and will be available online at stills.org

‘Crucially, he talks about how people were becoming more selfish. Given that this was arguably still in the relatively early days of an increasingly broken Britain we are perhaps only now feeling the full fallout from, 30 years on Parr’s words sound like prophecy. “Will you be saying I’m a visionary?” he jokes’

JOHN 1/2/3 All images from the Martin Parr Exhibition. Images courtesy of Dunoon Burgh Hall


28 JULY – 27 AUGUST 2018 3

28 | ART




1 Andrew Millerm, Refraction, 2014. Installation at Talbot Rice as part on Generation 1

A new celebration of Scottish design and the people who create it aims to raise awareness of the importance of good design to the well-being of the nation as a whole Design Exhibition Scotland is a pioneering project, with a simple aim – to champion design excellence and raise the visibility of Scotland’s outstanding designers within Scotland and internationally. The focus is on exceptional objects for the everyday – indispensable items of furniture such as tables, seating and bookcases together with flooring and lighting. The idea for the exhibition took form a few years back when I found myself curious to know more about contemporary designers working in Scotland. I was familiar with Christopher Dresser, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Basil Spence but I knew little of what was happening in the here and now. Where, I wondered, could I see or even buy resolutely contemporary furniture that was made locally? The answer was I simply didn’t know. This seeming lack of visibility of contemporary designers reminded me of the late 1990s. Back then, working as an art critic, I saw the work of numerous recently graduated artists in exhibition spaces across Scotland. The work was brilliant, fresh and adventurous but not getting the coverage I believed it deserved. Could I do something to remedy this, I wondered? This was the impetus to opening the contemporary gallery doggerfisher in Edinburgh in 2000, where over the next 10 years we exhibited work by Claire Barclay, Lucy Skaer, Nathan Coley, Charles Avery, Rosalind Nashashibi, Sara Barker, Louise 30 | ART

Hopkins, Jonathan Owen, Karla Black and many others. And today these artists are all rightly celebrated, so my thinking was, could I similarly shout out about designers? Keen to answer all these questions and to find out more, I set out to meet a range of designers from across Scotland. In studios, in workshops and in cafes, we talked ideas and possibilities. We talked materials and function. And we talked into being Design Exhibition Scotland. Design Exhibition Scotland is not attempting to be definitive or indeed a survey show but more a celebration of exceptional objects, making, materials and process. And importantly DES aims to energise a wide audience to consider and enjoy contemporary design, and ask how good design can help meet the challenges of life in a 21st-century world. And integral to this is to alert decision-makers and public bodies to the importance of design to the cultural, environmental and creative well-being of Scotland as a whole. DES will showcase new work by over 20 designers. And as boundaries and definitions can be fluid, there will be artists too. I have always been a fan of the Austrian artist Franz West and his furniture. With this in mind, I talked to the artist Claire Barclay about her work and its frequent toying with function. Interestingly, she said one of her first works was a bench. Fittingly, she will be exhibiting a bench at DES.

2 Andrew Miller, Pend, 2018 Image © Andrew Miller 3 Nick Ross, White Lies, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist

Others taking part include the Glasgow-based Rachel Adams, currently studying for a PhD jointly between University of Edinburgh and Dundee Contemporary Arts, who will show a site-specific tie-dyed linen wall hanging. Andrew Miller, who frequently uses discarded materials to construct functional objects, will show a seating installation. Katherine Snow, a recent graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and currently artist in residence at ECA’s Design Informatics, will exhibit lights which explore the ‘human user’ as a component in design and Nick Ross, a graduate of Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen but now based in Stockholm, will exhibit a chair made of Scottish sandstone. Vitally, DES will also encourage conversation. In DES Debates, we will bring together a range of speakers to exchange ideas with the audience, led by Prof Christopher Breward, now head of collections and research at the National Galleries of Scotland, and also the author of British Design from 1948: Innovation in the Modern Age. Speakers will include the celebrated London-based designers Max Lamb and Ineke Hans. Arguably, DES is timely. In September, V&A Dundee opens its doors so the belief is that DES brings energy, ambition and fuel to a burgeoning interest in contemporary design, making and manufacturing across Scotland.


Susanna Beaumont is the producer and curator of Design Exhibition Scotland Design Exhibition Scotland 12–15 May Lyon & Turnbull 33 Broughton Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3RR designexhibitionscotland.co.uk Opening night: 11 May 6.30–8pm Open: 12–15 May 11am–6pm (late night opening 14 May until 7pm); DES Debates, 14 May, 5–7.30pm, free but ticketed Design Exhibition Scotland is funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund; Inches Carr Trust, Lyon & Turnbull and private individuals. DES Debates are realised in partnership with Craft Scotland.

Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 31

CAMILLE BERNARD Rachael Cloughton


Rachael Cloughton talks to 2017’s Fleming-Wyfold Bursary winner Glasgow School of Art graduate Camille Bernard was awarded the Fleming-Wyfold Bursary at the RSA New Contemporaries exhibition last year for her theatrical installation ‘Deluge’. The work is a captivating imagining of a fantasy other world, playfully explored through film with a cast of metamorphosing characters (played by Bernard’s peers). These films are presented on monitors within a cardboard stage set, surrounded by large and flatly rendered figurative paintings. The work tells the story of a flood; a catastrophic disaster where humans are forced to face their vulnerability against the magnitude of nature. When awarding the prize, Fleming-Wyfold Foundation director James Knox described Bernard’s work as ‘hugely ambitious . . . [her] narrative paintings and film mark her out as being an artist who is serious, open, rigorous and adventurous.’ The judges – Vincent Honoré (director of David Roberts Art Foundation), Susanna Beaumont (curator), Julie Anne Delaney, (curator of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) and artist Sara Barker – praised her figurative work for ‘making a career out of so many different disciplines’. Bernard’s adventurous exploration of mediums and disciplines is central to the success of her work. Unlike her paintings, the cardboard sets and low-fi films are deliberately unpolished and unrefined; the naïve, DIY aesthetic supports the childlike sincerity of the Arcadia Bernard constructs. The Greeks had two meanings for the world utopia: ‘eu-topos’, meaning the 32 | ART

good place, and ‘u-topos’ meaning the place that cannot be. Both readings exist within ‘Deluge’: among the serene beauty lies a latent threat, barely perceptible at first, but one that eventually destroys the possibility of the Eden-like world’s existence. ‘The idea I am attempting to present is a picture of humanity, which is both reassuring and disquieting,’ says Bernard. ‘The balance between the characters and their environment that I seek to express could be conceptually illustrated through the tensions which exist when the different elements within my practice collide with one another: the naïve with the epic, two dimensional imagery with three dimensional structures, moving image with static image, cardboard costumes and sets with traditional oil on canvas paintings,’ explains Bernard. When she enrolled on the painting and printmaking course at GSA, she had developed an interest in making films, inspired mostly by a short course in cinema taken as part of her International Baccalaureate studies in Paris, the artist’s hometown. ‘I enjoyed the cinema course, but it was very much a side-thing. I thought about going to film school but I didn’t have the technical proficiency.’ Filmmaking emerged again, however, in the artist’s third year at GSA. ‘I was getting quite stuck with my painting practice and I wanted to break out of habits I was starting to form,’ explains Bernard. ‘Because I am a figurative painter, it was suggested I try making a narrative through film.

‘There is a different concentration needed when making a film to making a painting – with a painting you immerse yourself in it, it’s almost meditative,’ continues Bernard. ‘Film making is completely different, you are more alert, less immersed.’ ‘It became a relief to have these two different focuses, and the two [painting and filmmaking] started to develop hand in hand,’ she says. ‘When I presented “Deluge” I was concerned about the communication between the elements within the installation; the film, the set, the paintings,’ she says. ‘The Fleming-Wyfold Bursary came at a moment of uncertainty; and it’s been an amazing privilege to have time to concentrate entirely on my work.’ Over the last year, Bernard has returned to Paris and has focused on producing a new body of work, ‘The Source’, which will be shown at the Fleming-Wyfold’s New Scottish Artists at the Cello Factory in London this spring. ‘“The Source” explores similar ideas as “Deluge”; a love for nature and exploring humans’ place within that,’ says Bernard, ‘but the way the different mediums relate to each other makes more sense to me now and feels more resolved.’ While the bursary has given her the freedom to focus on her practice, she is keen to stress the significance of the prize’s mentoring programme with independent curator Susanna Beaumont. The pair met regularly, in Scotland, Paris and London, to discuss the development of Bernard’s practice. ‘It helped me

to not feel isolated’ explains Bernard, ‘I started to feel more confident in the work I was making and how it all relates to each other.’ The narrative in Bernard’s new work, ‘The Source’, is one of optimism too; with humans and nature existing in harmony, like the components of the work itself. ‘In “Deluge”, the humans and nature are in tension, both facing incomprehension and instability,’ explains Bernard. ‘“The Source” is a second, more optimistic take on the same narrative. This time, the human figure blends with the landscape almost carrying the power not only to become part of it but also seeming to take on the role of a creator and performer of the elements (air, water, fire, earth in the paintings; mineral, plant and animal worlds in the films). In the two series, “Source” and “Deluge”, the depicted world is going through alteration, upheaval. But in “The Source”, the humans embrace and are part of its transformation.’ Rachael Cloughton is editor of Scottish Art News Camille Bernard’s latest work along with that of Hannah Mooney, this year’s winner of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Bursary, will be shown at the Cello Factory, London SE1 8TJ from 25–28 April.

Scottish Art News | FEATURES | 33

1 Camille Bernard, The Deluge. Installation shot, film on flat screen, oil on carboard and board, New Contempories 2017, at the Royal Scottish Academy, 2017 2 Camille Bernard, The Pool (The Deluge), 2016 Images courtesy of the artist

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‘When I presented “Deluge” I was concerned about the communication between the elements within the installation; the film, the set, the paintings. The Fleming-Wyfold Bursary came at a moment of uncertainty; and it’s been an amazing privilege to have time to concentrate entirely on my work’

Fiona Green


Allan Ramsay, Jean Abercromby, Mrs Morison of Haddo, 1767

One of Allan Ramsay’s finest female portraits takes centre stage in a new exhibition at York Art Gallery The Georgian era in Britain (1714–1830) was a time of great political and social change which welcomed the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution and the expansion of British trade powers across the world. There were terrific achievements in the arts and architecture and portraiture was a flourishing business. Young men of means were expected to undertake a Grand Tour of Europe to enhance their cultural education. In Italy and France, and other cultural centres, they saw paintings and sculpture and heard music they would never otherwise be exposed to. The Grand Tour was a symbol of wealth and social standing and artist Allan Ramsay (1713–1784) was a prolific portrait painter at this time. It is a series of elegant female portraits created in the 1750s that he is best known for. This painting of Jean Abercromby is one of Ramsay’s most attractive portraits. Abercromby married Captain George Morison of Haddo in 1767, by which time this picture had probably been completed. Delicately painted and with an exquisite attention to the details of the lace shawl and necklace, this picture shows the influence on Scotsman Ramsay of the contemporary French artists. His light touch and the smooth surface of the oil paint give a beautiful natural appearance. Comparing Joshua Reynolds with Ramsay in 1759, Horace Walpole wrote that they could ‘scarce

be rivals; their manners are so different. [Reynolds] is bold, and has a kind of tempestuous colouring, yet with dignity and grace; [Ramsay] is all delicacy. Mr Reynolds seldom succeeds with women; Mr Ramsay is formed to paint them.’ Our prime objective in acquiring this work in 2003 was to enhance and add meaning to our British 18th-century painting collection. More specifically, however, Ramsay was seen, at the time, as an under-represented artist. A great strength of York Art Gallery’s collection lies in British paintings, most notably portraiture up until 1800. We have outstanding portraits by Lely, Hogarth, Reynolds and Cotes and Jean Abercromby is potentially one of Ramsay’s finest female portraits. Acquiring it enabled us to present a more complete survey of British portraiture and enhance the possibilities of interpretation. Fiona Green is the Collections Facilitator at York Art Gallery 70 Years of Giving Art: A Celebration of the Friends of York Art Gallery 4 May–2 September York Art Gallery Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW T: (0)1904 687687 | yorkartgallery.org.uk Open: Daily 10am–5pm Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 35



Scottish University’s have been the most prolific collectors recently, with some exciting acquisitions of contemporary art happening over the last 6 months. The University of Edinburgh has led the way, acquiring alumni Rachel Maclean’s 2017 Venice Biennale work, ‘Spite Your Face’. Given the university’s involvement in the production and display of the work, with the university’s Talbot Rice Gallery collaborating with Alchemy Film Festival to support Scotland + Venice in 2017, the permanent acquisition of the work is an apt conclusion to the project. Neil Lebeter, the University of Edinburgh’s art collections curator, describes the acquisition as ‘hugely significant . . . this will provide an ongoing legacy for Scotland + Venice 2017 and celebrate the university’s key role in the overall project.’


The University of Edinburgh also recently acquired a relatively older work, the Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925–2006) sculpture, ‘Four Blades’ (1987). The work is inspired by the French Revolution, an event that represented for Finlay a cataclysmic upheaval; one of aesthetic change; prompting great moral as well as political advances and a period that inspired much of the artist’s work. The slate plates in ‘Four Blades’ echo guillotine blades and are engraved with quotations from Denis Diderot, Nicholas Poussin, Maximilien Robespierre and Finlay himself. This is the first major sculptural object by Finlay to enter the university collection.


While not technically acquisitions, the University of Edinburgh’s most recent commissions also deserve a mention here. To celebrate the Main Library’s 50th anniversary, a new light work by Nathan Coley, ‘The Basic Material Is Not The Word But The Letter’ (2018) has been installed in the library’s foyer. Coley worked extensively in the Centre for Research Collections on the sixth floor of the building to develop the work. Here, he researched hundreds of letters, books and art works relating to Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Scottish Art News highlights the latest acquisitions to enter Scottish collections

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‘This sculpture therefore moves words and discovery, the university has acquired an ‘Witness’ and ‘Subjugation’ – relate to the letters contained within that collection impression of arguably Canaletto’s most artist’s experiences in Bosnia and Kosovo. out into the foyer of the building,’ explains famous etching; ‘Portico with a Lantern,’ The fourth – ‘Beggar of Byres Road’ – is Lebeter, who also commissioned this work. (c.1740). The acquisition was made possible a portrait of a man begging in the West Another major recent commission for the with the aid of grants from the principal, End of Glasgow. Glasgow Museums are university is Susan Collis’s installation former vice-principal Derek Ogston, and developing plans to display the genocide outside McEwan Hall. The work ‘The Next the Scottish Government’s National Fund works in the St Mungo Museum of Big Thing . . . Is a Series of Little Things’ for Acquisitions. Religious Life and Art and the fourth in (2017) is a subtle trail of bronze, ‘as though Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. 6 someone has walked across the ground Glasgow University has 8 with a leaking tin of paint,’ says curator enhanced its collection of works by Glasgow Museums also recently and commissioner Lebeter. ‘It stands in Glasgow School of Art alumni James purchased three limited edition C-type deliberate contrast to the bronze statues of Kay (1858–1942), with the purchase of photographic prints by Leonce Raphael historical figures throughout the city and ‘Glasgow International Exhibition’ Agbodjélou (b.1965). Agbodjélou is one of demonstrates that the small and subtle can (1901). The pastel work will join three the leading photographers of the Republic make a major statement.’ other artworks held at The Hunterian by of Benin. His work captures the dynamics Kay; these include a Paris street scene in of an Africa caught between tradition and The University of Dundee has gouache, an oil landscape of the river Seine progress with studio portraits comprising 4 continued to build its collection of works and a pastel landscape made in Holland. combinations of locally designed Dutch at the intersection between art and science, ‘Despite being undated, these [other] imported textiles, which create extreme inspired by the university’s famed alumni, works are most likely to have been created gradations between background, the mathematician and biologist, D’Arcy in the later years of his career, post 1907,’ foreground, person and clothing. ‘Glasgow Thompson. The latest works to enter this explains curator Anne Dulau, ‘“Glasgow Museums purchased three Agbodjélou collection are two prints, ‘Morphogenesis International Exhibition” illustrates Kay’s works in 2012, one of which is currently on & Morphosynthesis’ and ‘Metaphorming more experimental approach from the display in St Mungo Museum,’ explains Nature’s NanoWorld’, by Todd Siler turn of the century, characterised by bold curator Patricia Allan, ‘The acquisition of (b.1953), produced in collaboration with colours and simplicity, and by a slightly a further three prints, with the assistance Dundee University nanochemist Geoffrey more decorative approach, possibly due of the National Fund for Acquisitions, Ozin. Nanochemistry is a relatively new to his loose association with the Glasgow will complement the existing collection, field of science concerned with the unique Boys in the previous decade.’ The work also as part of a rotation in Kelvingrove’s new chemical properties of materials at a nano complements pastels by other turn-of-theAfrican Style display. African style has scale, which can be synthesised to create century Scottish artists in The Hunterian always been outward looking, influenced new materials. For the past five years, Siler collection, from Guthrie’s acclaimed for millennia by a continuous flow of ideas has worked with Ozin and his team to ‘Causerie’ to James Christie’s ‘A Fairground and materials from other parts of the world. create metaphorical drawings, paintings, at night’, and confirms the important role It is a product of trade, cultural expression sculptures and installations that explore (in Scottish artists played in the European and ingenuity and the exchange of designs Siler’s words) ‘what nature makes and what revival of pastel as a modern medium. and ideas have always been strongly we make of nature’. intercontinental . . . Agbodjélou’s works 7 Elsewhere in the city, Glasgow perfectly encapsulate the key messages Last year, the University of Life has purchased four artworks by of the display and are an important 5 Aberdeen announced it had, unknowingly, Robert McNeill (b.1947). These include, addition to Glasgow Museums’ collections,’ been holding a Canaletto (1697–1768) ‘Srebrenica Woman’ (2010); ‘Witness’ explains Allan. painting in its collection. The painting, (2012); ‘Beggar of Byres Road’ (2015) 9 ‘A Capriccio with Roman Ruins and and ‘Subjugation’ (2017). Glasgow-born Some smaller Scottish museums a Bishop’s Tomb’ was donated to the former forensic technician Robert McNeill have also been building their permanent university in the 19th century but was MBE was part of the international team of collections. Shetland Museum and thought to be from the school of Canaletto forensic experts working in Bosnia in the Archives recently purchased two halfand not by the Venetian master himself. mid-1990s that uncovered evidence of mass length portraits of Charles Ogilvy and his Research by John Gash, history of art murder of thousands of Muslim men and wife Martha Fea (c.1830), by an unknown professor at the university, has shown this boys in and around the town of Srebrenica. artist. Charles Ogilvy was from Seafield, not to be the case. Following the exciting Three of the works – ‘Srebrenica Woman’, near Lerwick, and was a chief magistrate Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 37

of the county, and a civic official as senior 11 baillie in Lerwick Town Council. Martha Fea was of Shetland parentage, raised in Hull, and the pair married in 1825. The two portraits have been in the same family since commissioning, so when the opportunity to purchase these works of significant local interest arose last year, Shetland Museum & Archives seized it. Another significant work, ‘Portrait of Major General Charles Cathcart’, (1733–c.1735), attributed to Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667–1745), has recently been acquired by the Regimental Museum of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys). Major General Cathcart was a figure of national importance in the history of both Scotland and Great Britain. He was a distinguished regimental officer of the Scots Greys and Colonel of the 7th Horse and served some 38 years in the army. The portrait by Richardson depicts the sitter when colonel of the 7th Horse (later 6th Dragoon Guards), a position he held from 1733 until his death in 1740. The 6th Dragoon Guards is one of three antecedent regiments of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, whose history is one of the Regimental Museum’s major interests. 10

Lastly, the Scottish National Galleries have made several prominent acquisitions recently, particularly for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA). Highlights include Michael Armitage’s (b.1984) ‘Nasema Nawe’ (2016), a lush landscape painting shown in the second iteration of the gallery’s NOW exhibition programme earlier in 2018. In doing so, the SNGMA have become the first public UK institution to acquire a work by Armitage. The gallery has also acquired a painted portrait of BBC news presenter James Naughtie (b.1951) by Brendan Kelly (b.1970), and a series of lithographs by Elijaj Montlake (1923–92).

The most significant acquisition for the SNGMA has to be Jenny Saville’s ‘Study for Branded’, a rare early oil made in 1992 as a study for a larger painting entitled ‘Branded’ that featured in the artist’s acclaimed Glasgow School of Art graduation exhibition. ‘Study for Branded’ is characteristic of Saville’s early paintings of female nudes, which gained her international recognition. The acquisition is – somewhat unbelievably – the first work by Saville to be acquired by a UK public collection and is currently being shown as part of NOW, a major new presentation devoted to Saville’s work, (see page 42).

1 Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017. Image courtesy of The University of Edinburgh 2 Ian Hamilton Finlay, Four Blades, 1987. Image courtesy of The University of Edinburgh 3 Nathan Coley, The Basic Material Is Not The Word But The Letter, 2018. Image courtesy of The University of Edinburgh 4 Susan Collis, The Next Big Thing . . . Is a Series of Little Things, 2017. Image courtesy of The University of Edinburgh 5 Todd Siler, Morphogenesis & Morphosynthesis. Image courtesy of The University of Dundee 6 Canaletto, Portico with a Lantern, 1740. Images courtesy of The University of Aberdeen 7 Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, limited edition C-type photographic print. Image courtesy of Glasgow Museums


8 Regimental Museum of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers and Greys), Portrait of Major General Charles Cathcart, (1733–c.1735), attributed to Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667–1745)





9 Michael Armitage, Nasema Nawe, 2016. Image courtesy of Scottish National Galleries 10 Brendan Kelly, Portrait of BBC news presenter James Naughtie, 1951. Image courtesy of Scottish National Galleries 11 Series of lithographs by Elijaj Montlake. Image courtesy of Scottish National Galleries 12 Jenny Saville, Study for Branded, 1992. Image courtesy of SNGMA





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Scottish Art News | REGULARS | 39

ART MARKET David Pollock

A former meeting house on Barony Street has been transformed into a new home for the Ingleby Gallery, one of Edinburgh’s – indeed Scotland’s – leading commercial galleries If their former meeting house on Barony Street on the eastern edge of Edinburgh’s New Town is anything to go by, the Glasites were an extremely minimal group. A sect of the Church of Scotland which branched off because the rules of the church weren’t strict enough for them, they believed in only the literal teachings of each word found in the Bible. What the good book has to say about windows was unclear, yet all of the windows on one side of the building are bricked-up; not through an antiquated property tax or anything, but simply because the Glasites wanted privacy and not to be seen by anyone. They also, however, unwittingly created an excellent potential space for a contemporary art gallery, a theory which will be put to the test when the third iteration of Edinburgh’s Ingleby Gallery opens there in May. Two months later, the gallery celebrates its 20th year, with owners Robert and Florence Ingleby having started out in their home on Royal Terrace for a decade, and then moving in 2008 to the site formerly used by music and club space The Venue on Calton Road. Two years ago they moved out of Calton Road and returned to Royal Terrace. ‘It was very hard work making it sustainable,’ says Richard of the gallery’s second home, sitting in the dusty and far from complete kitchen of its third. ‘We’d been there nearly ten years, and a ten year 40 | ART

cycle is a good one for a gallery space, although it never felt completely right for us. It could have been anywhere in the world, in Berlin or New York, you know? ‘We’re trying to sell work to what is a very limited market in Scotland,’ he continues. ‘Edinburgh’s a difficult place [for a commercial gallery] to be, so it’s important that we make the most of being here. This new building has a proper big scale, and I very much hope that people will step into the building and have an experience that’s different from any other art gallery of our type that they’ve been in before.’ Abandoned by the Glasites in the 1980s, the A-listed Barony Street building was eventually taken over by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, who maintained it, worked in its offices and occasionally hired it out. Yet the full potential of the space was unexplored. With new walls to hide the pulpit and a few sets of retained pews – the historic listing means they’re fortunately unable to be removed – the main worship space has been converted into a white art gallery cube, lit from above by a gorgeous circular skylight, while the large Georgian drawing room upstairs is a smaller viewing space. Its former use was for congregational feasts amid all-day services. Initially the plan hadn’t been to look for such a large space to move into, but both Richard and Florence fell for the place

shortly after the former saw the ‘To Let’ sign go up. In fact, Florence had a particular connection to it which she hadn’t realised. ‘Before she came to Edinburgh she worked for a publisher in London,’ says Richard, ‘and she came to the city for the first time 30 years ago with the novelist Candia McWilliam, who was being interviewed for television. They asked if they could interview her in a building that was interesting to her, and as the daughter of the great Edinburgh architectural historian Colin McWilliam, she chose this one. So Florence, when she came to look at it with me, all the memories of 30 years ago came flooding back.’ The Inglebys will celebrate the opening with an exhibition of new work by Callum Innes, who was in their first show 20 years ago (‘he’s of our generation . . . it felt like an obvious place to start on an emotional level, as well as being someone whose austere but beautiful paintings would be at home in this austere but beautiful building’), and a group show of two decades’ worth of Ingleby-related artists including Sean Scully, Howard Hodgkin, Iain Hamilton Finlay, Alison Watt, Kevin Harman, Andrew Cranston and Jonny Lyons. ‘Over 20 years, we’ve been really blessed to work with some extraordinary people, both artists and collectors,’ says Richard. ‘There aren’t enough collectors in Scotland, but those who are here are tremendously supportive. And of course, any gallery is entirely dependent on its artists, that’s the most important group of people we have anything to do with, and we’re really lucky that we’ve had such great people in our lives in that way. Our job is to

make a market, to encourage the process of the acquisition of good art, so if it’s anyone’s fault there isn’t a bigger market in Scotland, it’s probably ours. But we’ve been trying really hard, we’ve not been slacking! ‘I hope our new gallery will allow us to do our job better, as well as we possibly can, both for the artists and the collectors that we work with,’ he concludes. ‘But the more important question will be, what will it mean for the people coming into it? I hope it will be a space where they


see exhibitions they deeply engage with, and I really hope they’ll feel they’re in an incredibly special place, and one that’s unlike any other they know.’ David Pollock is an arts journalist based in Edinburgh Ingleby Gallery Glasite Meeting House, 33 Barony Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6NX T: (0)131 556 4441 | inglebygallery.com


1/2 Glasite Meeting House. Images courtesy of Ingleby Gallery

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NOW: Jenny Saville, Sara Barker, Christine Borland, Robin Rhode, Markus Schinwald, Catherine Street

Rachel Maclean: Spite Your Face Susan Mansfield

David Pollock 1 Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, 2017, digital video (still). Image courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by Scotland + Venice

Jenny Saville, Olympia, 2013 - 2014 Jenny Saville, Rosetta II, 2005 - 2006 Jenny Saville, Red Stare Head IV, 2006 - 2011

2 Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face, Talbot Rice Gallery, 2018. Image courtesy of Talbot Rice Gallery

All images © Jenny Saville. Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian



Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh Until 16 September

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh Until 5 May

It’s possible to feel sympathy for five of the six artists showing as part of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s third instalment of its six-part NOW programme, which involves group shows exhibiting collected contemporary art from Scotland and across the world. In most other contexts, the playful architectural/ portrait photographs of Robin Rhode, the 3D metallic sculpture-paintings of Sara Barker, the movement-filled video works of Markus Schinwald, the organ-like foam sculptures of Christine Borland and the collage and film works of Catherine Street would be main attractions in their own right. Yet the sixth artist here is Jenny Saville, the sometime YBA who was educated at Glasgow School of Art and who made a pop cultural leap when her paintings were used on the cover of Manic Street Preachers’ classic 1994 album The Holy Bible (and again on the same band’s 2009 Journal For Plague Lovers with ‘Red Stare Head IV’, on show

Rachel Maclean’s dark fable Spite Your Face was made for 2017’s Venice Biennale, where she represented Scotland. Commissioned by Alchemy Film & Arts in partnership with the Talbot Rice Gallery, it is being shown there at the beginning of a tour which will take in London, Dublin and Cardiff. Maclean spent time in Venice writing the film towards the end of 2016, on the heels of the Brexit vote and the US presidential election. She found in the Italian folk tale of Pinocchio – Disneyfied into a fairy tale from a much darker original – a ready-made anti-hero for a post-truth era. ‘Pic’ is an urchin who rises to fame and fortune thanks to his stupendous nose, becoming the ‘face’ of a perfume called Untruth. From a destitute underworld of shell-suited scavengers, he ascends to a ‘heaven’ of designer shops and gold-clad celebrities, but the more wealth and power he has, the more greedy he becomes, and the more likely to abuse his power,

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here). As the preview literature has made plain, this is Saville’s first ever museum show in Scotland and the most extensive collection of her work seen in this country since her 1992 GSA degree show. It’s one of those gallery exhibitions which pushes the envelope in terms of the breadth of audience it seems to be attracting, and anyone who lays eyes on these works in person will surely be captivated by their scale and emotional power. As is familiar to anyone who knows her paintings, Saville creates portraits in thickly daubed oils, the correctness of their anatomy, features and especially the colour of their skin – generally a fleshy, Caucasian pink – belied by the sheer, unflinching intimacy of her subjects and perspectives. Known for her paintings of large people, she presents similar images here, for example a woman atop a barstool (‘Propped’), a woman whose underwear merges with the tone of her skin (‘Trace’) and two people lost in a nude embrace (‘Fulcrum’).

The intimacy of these works stuns as much as the grand scale, with a number of them taking up entire walls in the grandest rooms of the gallery’s Modern One building. Also apparent is a sense of violence in the way Saville has smeared her paints to resemble a smashed, corpselike mouth on ‘Witness’ and the apparent scarring of a young woman’s face on ‘Bleach’, yet it’s the delicate, unavoidable humanity in each, from the pan-racial embrace of ‘Olympia’ to the vulnerability of the blind subject of ‘Rosetta II’, which emerges most powerfully. David Pollock is an arts journalist based in Edinburgh NOW: Jenny Saville, Sara Barker, Christine Borland, Robin Rhode, Markus Schinwald, Catherine Street Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR T: (0)131 624 6200 | nationalgalleries.org Open: Daily 10am–5pm

particularly against women. A dark tale for the Trump era, the story is just as pertinent to Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo. The film, made unusually in vertical format, was installed in Venice in the dark interior of Chiesa di Santa Catarina where the altarpiece had been. The 37-minute looped film means Pic’s story cycles continually, from hell to heaven, rags to riches and back again. It’s a moral fable, but its two worlds are equally bankrupt; the chief difference is one has wealth and the other wants it. It’s styled sumptuously, all Venetian blue and gold. In keeping with her signature method, Maclean plays all the parts herself using elaborate costumes and prosthetics and green-screen technology to create CGI backdrops. It’s part Disney, part Renaissance painting, shot through with a glittering anger which slashes at the post-truth world as if to puncture its fake-news facade. Taken out of a medieval church and placed in Talbot Rice’s Georgian

Gallery, Maclean’s film remains unflinching in the way it calls the contemporary world to account. Enlightenment thinking, too, has failed us. There are no moral arbiters left except us, the audience, whom she calls to consider, with some urgency, the times in which we live. Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland Spite Your Face Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL T: (0)131 650 2210 | ed.ac.uk/talbot-rice Open: Tuesday to Friday 10am–5pm, Saturday noon–5pm

Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 43

Art of Glass Susan Mansfield

1 Heike Brachlow, Connotation, 2018. Image courtesy of Ester Segarra 2 Harry Morgan, Dichotomy I. Image courtesy of Shannon Tofts 3 Pinkie Maclure, Beauty Tricks, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist


National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Until 16 September ‘Glass is an alien material,’ says young Edinburgh-based glass artist Harry Morgan. ‘It has unusual behaviours and paradoxical properties.’ In this exhibition, which showcases the work of 15 glass artists from all over the UK, we see paradoxes being celebrated and difficulties becoming strengths. Glass is thought to be fragile, but it need not be. It is usually transparent, but can be anything but. It reflects and refracts light in ways which can render the material itself all but invisible. All this is grist to an artist’s mill. At first glance, Harry Morgan’s sculptures don’t look like glass at all. Sitting solidly on the floor – one cylindrical, the other tetragonal – they appear monumental and opaque. It’s only closer observation that reveals the lower half is made of delicate straw-like glass. Jeffrey Sarmiento, a FilipinoAmerican based in Sunderland, is interested in exploring overlooked places, the hidden architecture of the industrial 44 | ART

world. His work here, ‘Rubber Factory’, a shiny black wall-mounted relief, evokes a variety of materials, none of them looking much like glass. The large sculptures of Anna Dickinson, smooth and perfect, take months to complete. Rhian Haf’s work is almost completely ethereal; capturing the way light falls through thin, near invisible, strips of glass Helen Maurer trained in stained glass, but now creates installations that paint with light falling through coloured glass shapes. Pinkie Maclure takes stained glass in a very different direction, with meticulously detailed panels which look medieval but explore very contemporary themes, such as the impacts of the beauty industry on the environment and on body image. Glass is just as suited, it seems, to artists interested in working conceptually. Erin Dickson’s ‘Chinese Whispers’ is a collaborative work engaging glass artists around the world, with each artist sending to the next a set of instructions

for reinterpreting a historic vessel. The variations in terminology and translation have resulted in five fascinatingly different results. Edinburgh artist Geoffrey Mann takes as his inspiration the story (perhaps a myth) that the modern wine bottle was invented in Leith. He presents an abstract sculpture based on a wine bottle, and a film, exploring how Leith drinking habits have changed, from working men’s pubs to today’s wine bars. Glass can work in multimedia installations too, such as Anna Woffenden’s ambitious life-size figure, and the collaboration between Belgian-born glass artist Griet Beyaert and digital artist Paul Miller. In this immersive environment of sound and coloured light, Beyaert’s glass forms play an integral part. While not the easiest material to work with, nor the cheapest, this exhibition proves that, for those prepared to invest the time and trouble, glass can bring a variety of rewards.

Susan Mansfield is an arts journalist based in Scotland Art of Glass National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF T: 0300 123 6789 | nms.ac.uk Open: Daily 10am–5pm


Scottish Art News | REVIEWS | 45

Perrine Davari




Christine Borland: to The Power of Twelve Mount Stuart Sat 23 Jun–Sun 18 Nov W: mountstuart.com Christine Borland is returning to Mount Stuart, having been one of the first artists invited to respond to the historic house and its collections in 2003. This year, with the centenary of the WWI armistice, the exhibition will comprise an inter-related series of new works making reference to lesser-known histories of the Great War and particular aspects of Mount Stuart’s wartime role.

Eve Fowler Dundee Contemporary Arts Sat 9 Jun–Sun 26 Aug This is the first major exhibition of American artist Eve Fowler in Europe, with the show reflecting and further expanding on the artist’s intense and intimate feminist engagement with the words of Gertrude Stein over the past eight years.

Dumfries Coast to Coast: Printmaking Exchange Exhibition Gracefield Arts Centre Sat 19 May–Sat 30 Jun W: dumgal.gov.uk/gracefield This joint exhibition features selected printmakers from Dumfries & Galloway and from Iceland. Featuring a wide selection of printmaking techniques, the theme of the show explores our common ground with coastal regions through the depiction of the landscape, but also in more abstracted, esoteric ways.


Design Exhibition Scotland Lyon & Turnbull Sat 12–Tue 15 May W: designexhibitionscotland. co.uk The inaugural edition of Design Exhibition Scotland, hosted by Lyon & Turnbull, has been established to ‘raise the visibility of Scotland’s exceptional designers within Scotland and internationally’. The aim is to showcase the work of around 20 designers and artists working in a range of materials and styles.

Lee Lozano: Slip Slide Splice Fruitmarket Gallery Until 3 Jun W: fruitmarket.co.uk Lee Lozano was a major figure in the 1960s New York art scene. Now largely forgotten, this retrospective show hopes to raise the artist’s profile. Works on show include small paintings and drawings, executed in a robust expressionistic cartoon style and self-entitled ‘language pieces’.

Hidden Door Leith Theatre Fri 25 May–Sun 3 Jun W: hiddendoorblog.org Returning to Leith Theatre this year, Hidden Door festival has grown steadily in size and reputation since its launch in 2014, debuting some of Scotland’s hottest talent while opening up urban spaces as a platform for new and emerging artists, musicians, theatre makers, film makers and poets.

NOW: Jenny Saville, Sara Barker, Christine Borland, Robin Rhode, Markus Schinwald, Catherine Street Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern One) Until Sun 16 Sep W: nationalgalleries.org The third instalment of NOW features a major survey of works by renowned British artist Jenny Saville, spanning some 25 years of her career across five rooms. Alongside her work will be new and recent works by five artists who have explored similar ideas related to the body, performance, process and materials.

Affinity and Allusion Collective Late spring W: collectivegallery.net The soon-to-be-completed Collective, housed in the City Observatory on Calton Hill, is set to open its doors late spring, welcoming the public with the exhibition Affinity and Allusion. The show features new work spanning sculpture, installation, performance, audio work and text by six artists chosen specially by Collective for the grand opening.

From The Sublime To The Concrete The Scottish Gallery 6–30 June W: scottish-gallery.co.uk An exhibition of contemporary landscape practice curated by gallery artist Derrick Guild RSA. The exhibition, which will be spread over both gallery floors, will feature the work of over 20 contemporary landscape painters. Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master Scottish National Gallery Sat 7 Jul–Sun 14 Oct W: nationalgalleries.org This Rembrandt exhibition will chronicle the fever for his works that has swept across Britain over the last 400 years and the impact the Dutch master has had on the British artistic imagination. Tacita Dean Fruitmarket Gallery Sat 7 Jul–Sun 30 Sep W: fruitmarket.co.uk This summer will bring a solo exhibition of YBA and TurnerPrize nominee Tacita Dean to the Fruitmarket Gallery. Dean is a British conceptual artist known for her esoteric films, exploring both specific historical events and formal qualities of 16 mm film, along with a combination of celluloid film, photography, installation and drawing. Emil Nolde: Colour is Life Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art (Modern Two) Sat 14 Jul–Sun 21 Oct W: nationalgalleries.org Emil Nolde was one of Germany’s greatest

expressionist artists and this Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition will feature more than 100 paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints, covering Nolde’s complete career. John Bellany: 1980–1989 Open Eye Gallery Fri 27 Jul–Mon 27 Aug W: openeyegallery.co.uk A large-scale exhibition centring on John Bellany’s output during his most turbulent period in the 1980s. Featuring many previously unseen paintings, the exhibition shows this work to include some of the most fervent examples of the ideas and iconography that inspired him throughout his incredibly prolific career. Edwin G Lucas: An Individual Eye City Art Centre Sat 4 Aug 2018–Sun 10 Feb 2019 W: edinburghmuseums.org.uk/ whats-on Edwin G Lucas: An Individual Eye is the first major exhibition to focus on this unusual and enigmatic artist. Lucas was one of few Scots that contributed to the surrealist movement, cultivating an original and highly imaginative style of painting that set him apart from his contemporaries.

Glasgow Inner City Glasgow Museum of Modern Art Until Sun 18 Nov W: glasgowlife.org.uk/ museums/venues/gallery-ofmodern-art-goma Using the work Inner City by Michael McMillen as a centrepoint, artists Alberta Whittle and Mitch Millar explore the human relationship with our urban environment and the often hidden communities that inhabit it. Unbuilt Mackintosh The Hunterian Until Sun 3 Jun W: gla.ac.uk/hunterian 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of celebrated architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928). Unbuilt Mackintosh showcases stunning architectural models based on the unbuilt designs of the architect, demonstrating his architectural vision. Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Until Tue 14 Aug W: glasgowlife.org.uk/ museums/venues/kelvingroveart-gallery-and-museum This exhibition forms part of Mackintosh 150, the yearlong programme of events to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. One of the highlights of the city-wide Mackintosh 2018 programme,

this exhibition will present his body of work within the context of Glasgow itself. Glasgow International 2018 Various venues Until Mon 7 May W: glasgowinternational.org Scotland’s largest festival for contemporary art is back for its eighth edition, bringing together 268 artists exhibited across 78 venues over a span of three weeks. Renowned as a hub for contemporary art, the festival draws on the city’s strengths as a vibrant and distinctive centre of artistic production and display. Mark Leckey Tramway Until Sun 15 Jul W: tramway.org For his new solo exhibition, Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey has taken inspiration from a small statuette of the biblical figure of Job on display in the Wellcome Collection in London. In the galleries, Leckey scales up the statue to gigantic proportions, standing seven feet tall, and converts the figure into a 7.1 surround sound audio system. Rose Marcus: Core Mary Mary Until Sat 2 Jun W: marymarygallery.co.uk/ Rose Marcus, a New York Citybased artist, will be exhibiting a solo show at Mary Mary this spring. Marcus’ photographic practice explores images made by tourists, journalists, artists, and Instagram-ists, pointing her various digital cameras at the pedestrian. Scottish Art News | THE DIARY | 47




Waterlines Deveron Arts Until Sat 12 May W: deveron-projects.com An exhibition of recent work from Gill Russell, an artist who is interested in places of ‘significance’ and how they resonate in the landscape. She works across a range of forms and media, including installation, audio-visual, mapping, drawing, sculpture and texts.

Kirkcudbright Galleries Opening Sat 9 Jun W: kirkcudbrightgalleries. org.uk Kirkcudbright Galleries, opening this summer, is a brand new gallery of national significance located in Kirkcudbright, a semi-rural town in south-west Scotland. The new gallery will celebrate the town’s unique artistic heritage, through a dedicated permanent exhibition gallery.

Courting the Muse Tatha Gallery Until Sat 12 May W: tathagallery.com This exhibition showcases work by five Scottish artists – Dominique Cameron, Kim Canale, David Cass, Matthew Draper and Henry Kondracki – offering a generous insight into the inspiring relationship artists have with their muse.

Irvine Maritime Perspectives: Collecting Art of a Seafaring Nation Scottish Maritime Museum Fri 1 Jun–Sun 21 Oct The Scottish Maritime Museum will unveil a new national art collection featuring works by artists such as FCB Cadell, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Muirhead Bone, Kate Downie and John Bellany in a major exhibition opening. This remarkable new national art collection’s first show will capture the grit and glory of life along Scotland’s coastline.

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Mull Vivian Ross-Smith: Half Oot Afore I’ Da Left An Tobar Gallery, Comar, Tobermory Until Fri 1 Jun W: comar.co.uk The artist’s grandfather was a Mull man, and this exhibition considers Ross-Smith’s family ties with Mull and also Shetland through her mother’s old croft on Fair Isle, where she grew up. Through a myriad of materials, the artist explores notions of life and death alongside her changing relationship to her island homes.

Orkney Jerwood Makers Open Exhibition Piers Art Centre, Stromness Until Sat 9 Jun W: pierartscentre.com New works by Sam Bakewell, Marcin Rusak, Laura Youngson Coll, Juli Bolaños-Durman and Jessica Harrison will be on display at the Pier Arts Centre as part of Jerwood Makers national tour.

Perth John Everett Millais Perth Museum and Art Gallery Until Mon 31 Dec W: culturepk.org.uk Three of Perth Museum and Art Gallery’s most important oil paintings by Pre-Raphaelite, John Everett Millais, return to the gallery this year. Do not miss the chance to view these beautiful paintings and explore this prominent Victorian artist’s strong links with Perth.

Scotland’s UpAnd-Comers Degree Show 2018 Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee Fri 18 May–Sun 27 May Degree Show 2018 Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh Sat 2–Sun 10 June Degree Show 2018 The Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Sat 2–Fri 8 June Degree Show 2018 Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen Sat 16–23 June

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Profile for Scottish Art News

Scottish Art News Issue 29  

Scottish Art News Issue 29