Edinburgh Art Festival

Reviews, news and encounters from the Edinburgh Art Festival 2015

Art Festival Fringe contd

Art Festival Fringe contd

Scotland’s oldest private art gallery says it may seek a festival listing next year – in the Fringe programme. The Scottish Gallery is one of three major  galleries on Dundas Street, centre of Edinburgh’s art trade, that are out of the Edinburgh Art Festival this year.   The Fine Art Society is another grand dame of the Scottish trade, […]

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Art Festival Fringe

Art Festival Fringe

Call it ‘beyond the art festival’, or the Edinburgh Art Festival Fringe. Within Edinburgh, there are several  private galleries with significant exhibitions, particularly for the collector in various budget ranges,   that  are not in the line-up of this year’s festival. Outwith the city, there are also several promising shows, perhaps for mid-August, when you need a […]

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John Bellany’s Drawings

John Bellany’s Drawings

A Sign Manual of God  Duncan Thomson, former keeper of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, on disegno and Bellany. From the start of his student days in 1960 John Bellany was overwhelmingly aware of the role that drawing would play in the great range of figurative painting he would soon launch himself into. His fellow student Sandy […]

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New Talent in the Edinburgh Art Festival

New Talent in the Edinburgh Art Festival

On the fringes of the Edinburgh Art Festival – I wish there was a fringe for it, a kind of free-for-all that would escape curatorial constraints – come some promising younger artists who still rely on the day job to cover the bills. Glasgow artist France-Lise McGurn  works two days a week in a restaurant.  “Them’s […]

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Union Gallery, Edinburgh: Audrey Grant

Union Gallery, Edinburgh: Audrey Grant

Word of mouth is the happy fall back for exploring Edinburgh’s festivals, when thousands of shows shovel their star ratings at you in a noisy clamour for time and attention.  So when a Scottish artist and retired teacher,  asks what’s interesting in the Edinburgh Art Festival this year, we talk MC Escher and John Bellany – and I tell him to […]

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Queen’s Gallery: Scottish Artists

Queen’s Gallery: Scottish Artists

  The broadcaster Kirsty Wark, the host of the BBC’s Edinburgh Nights, took time out from the gathering festival madness this week  to introduce the Queen’s Gallery’s new show, Scottish Artists 1750-1900, From Caledonia to the Continent, at an opening preview. “What we have been hearing about,  that this is the first exhibition of Scottish art in the […]

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Eardley’s only sitter

Eardley’s only sitter

  Two of the most anticipated art shows in Edinburgh this summer open tomorrow. One is the Scottish Gallery’s exhibition of Joan Eardley and associated artists, while the Queen’s Gallery is revealing an exceptional survey of Scottish art from the Royal Collection. Eardley (1921-63)  made her name painting street urchins in Glasgow, but she was commissioned to […]

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John Bellany at Open Eye

John Bellany at Open Eye

An early drawing by the late John Bellany has been at the top of my wish list for years, but they’re not exactly easy to find.   So it was a wistful pleasure to see several strong examples in the Open Eye’s festival show selected by his wife Helen. I interviewed Bellany a couple of times back in the […]

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Fruitmarket – Phyllida Barlow

Fruitmarket – Phyllida Barlow

The esteemed former keeper of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Duncan Thomson, had one of the few seats for Phyllida Barlow’s talk on her show at the Fruitmarket.   He piped up to ask  the disarmingly simple question of her sculptures:  ‘Why do they look the way they are?’. Barlow looked non plussed by the question. […]

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Moon landing – Edinburgh Art Festival

Moon landing – Edinburgh Art Festival

What weighs 150 kilograms, is nearly eight metres round, and is made of several thousand pieces of polysterene wrapped in old text book pages and jammed closely together to resemble the surface of a pitted planet? The full answer is Aggregation 06-JN028, the work of Korean artist Kwan Young Chun, from 2006.   This giant, photogenic, Pluto-like object […]

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Impossible Objects – MC Escher

Impossible Objects – MC Escher

  In 1970 the influential California art critic Thomas Albright wrote in Rolling Stone magazine  that Maurits Cornelis Escher, then 71, had “finally arrived”.    MC Escher’s work had featured in the Whole Earth Catalogue (favoured by the counterculture for its psychedelic qualities)  in several US museums and “will easily be found in any of the standard anthologies of […]

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