Articles

ReUnion

ReUnion

Union Gallery – Reunion When Alison Auldjo began converting a former charity shop into the second incarnation of the Union Gallery, removing a lowered ceiling and turning a pokey back storage room into a well-lit stairwell, she knew exactly the picture she wanted in the space. It was Phil Braham’s Ophelia Bathing, a painting she had […]

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Surreal Encounters:  Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Surreal Encounters: Collecting the Marvellous at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Technically speaking, Surreal Encounters is what I’d call a stunner.    In particular the middle room on the ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, where they are showing Salvador Dali’s vast Landscape with a Girl Skipping Rope. I’m no expert on the Surrealists but in terms of Scottish gallery exhibitions this is […]

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Scottish Arts Club

Scottish Arts Club

Edinburgh is going wild for Britart until May but spare a thought and a short walk to three artists exhibiting in the Scottish Arts Club. The club exudes an old Edinburgh charm with a cast of characters to match; it has tottered  on from crise to crise over the years, and can be a difficult space to stage a show with much impact, […]

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Cordis Prize 2016

Cordis Prize 2016

The new Cordis Prize for tapestry, the only award of its kind in the UK,  came home in its second year.  From about 100 entries, and a short list that included artists from Japan, Denmark, Belgium and Brazil, the Scottish weaver and Edinburgh College of Art teacher Susan Mowatt won the £5,000 prize for her work, Black/time/lines/white/time/lines. The […]

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Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

Montbéliard, My Love is like a red, red rose

In the late summer of 2015 the mayor of Montbéliard, a small but historic  city nestled against the Swiss border in north-eastern France, had this idea.   Montbéliard prides itself on a Christmas market and Christmas scene that draws hundreds of thousands of people from across the region, including Switzerland and Germany.    Scotland was the invited guest this year […]

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The Art of Christmas

The Art of Christmas

Our parents conspire to make us believe in Father Christmas; reindeer footprints by the fire place, stockings mysteriously filled.    But the loss of that belief, the joining of the conspiracy. is itself a Christmas ritual,  a symbol of moving out of childhood innocence into knowing adulthood. Le Gui et le Houx, Noel dans l’imagerie popular,  a small […]

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2015 Turner Prize show:  Snap Judgement

2015 Turner Prize show: Snap Judgement

The Turner Prize show is notoriously easy to lampoon – it’s a case of fish and barrels – but it’s a strange year at Tramway, in Glasgow.    Not easy outrage over elephant dung or unmade beds in  but a curious emptiness.  The first impression of the exhibition is of vast white spaces with ‘the work’ tucked away […]

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FCB Cadell’s Patron

FCB Cadell’s Patron

Bonhams Scottish Art auction 16 September 2015 preview The Scottish National Portrait Gallery recently added a significant self-portrait of the Scottish Colourist FCB Cadell to it’s collection, while two major Cadell works are up for sale when Sotheby’s relaunches dedicated Scottish sales in November.     One is Florian’s Cafe, painted after Cadell visited Venice in 1910; […]

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A Scottish Impressionist – George Devlin

A Scottish Impressionist – George Devlin

  The artist George Devlin was born 19 years after World War I ended but grew up in its bitter shadow. His father lost an extraordinary six brothers in the trenches (the number puts Saving Private Ryan in a new perspective) and was himself badly gassed; it helped make Devlin Snr a committed Communist, thought […]

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Leonardo’s Birthplace

Leonardo’s Birthplace

Leonardo da Vinci was not born at his official birthplace in the village of Anchiano, the leading da Vinci scholar Martin Kemp said yesterday. Professor Kemp, one of the top authorities on the artist, is working on a book on Da Vinci with the archive researcher Giuseppe Palanti. He told an audience at the Edinburgh International […]

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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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Edinburgh Fringe – The Empire Builders

Edinburgh Fringe – The Empire Builders

In the bear pit of 2,500 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe,  this multi-award winning play from Istanbul may be making festival history,  but it’s just another production struggling for a bit of attention.   On the other hand, it has a bear of an actor at the heart of it. NOTE:  This was my review of the Empire Builders in […]

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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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