Reviews

As of October 2014, I am beginning to post some short articles of my own on art exhibitions or artists’ work. If your show has been featured, and you have questions on fairness or accuracy – alternatively, if you would like a review in PDF printable form – please contact me.

The Feather Gods of Tahiti

The Feather Gods of Tahiti

  Shorn of its aura, the King of Tahiti’s personal family god,  Temeharo, lies in its glass case in the basement of a London gallery.   This once-powerful idol may have been venerated with human sacrifices.  Now  it seems an unprepossessing thing, a mostly featureless bundle of brown string, closely bound around a piece of wood, about a metre long. […]

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Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

 An Age of Unknowns The known and the unknown, by long tradition, hang together in the Royal Academy  Summer Exhibition. On the wall of Room II, amid nearly 1,200 paintings and sculptures in this vast  grab-bag of a show,  with a 247-year tradition behind it, a certain familiar mug stands out. In Simon, by Jean […]

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Royal Scottish Academy: New Contemporaries

Royal Scottish Academy: New Contemporaries

From the moment you enter, there is huge promise in this show. The use of the RSA building’s grand steps is inspired, and a declaration of quality and intent. If galleries are our modern places of worship, it is a walk-in invitation to a temple of art; and to an exhibition that seems a credit […]

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Zeit Sprung

Zeit Sprung

For anyone inspired by photojournalism, or intrigued by 20th Century German history – and lets face it, we all are – the exhibition Leap in Time, Zeit Sprung, is unmissable. With 2015 promising to be a strong year for Scottish photography, this early outing is richly rewarding, and small enough that you can browse it […]

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The Heart of Drawing

The Heart of Drawing

The Heart of Drawing – Scottish Drawing at the Royal Scottish Academy The artist John Byrne raised hackles this week when he referred to the Glasgow School of Art as a “fun factory”. “Not one of them can draw – they all have delusions of grandeur,” he said of the place where he, and lately […]

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Perception:  Iranian art at Summerhall

Perception: Iranian art at Summerhall

No fake smiles. Western sanctions on Iran have made artists’ materials hard to come by while the closure of embassies make travel visas for countries like Britain a running nightmare, but Tehran’s art market is booming, apparently, with fortnightly shows in about 70 private galleries in the city. There’s a remarkable taste of this scene […]

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Edgelands – Warburton Gallery

Edgelands – Warburton Gallery

The Listening Gaze (Edgelands, Warburton Gallery, Edinburgh) The Warburton Gallery is a minor miracle on George IV Bridge, a stone’s throw from the Royal Mile. You only wish that a few more brave souls from the flow of tourists could be siphoned off from the tartanry up the street and enticed to step inside. The […]

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Glimpsed at the London Art Fair

Glimpsed at the London Art Fair

I had a brief hour – literally, on the way back to the burg after an opening at the Ayyam Gallery – at the London Art Fair. I got my bearings with a little Scottish art at the Ewan Mundy Gallery. Practising my slide show widget with a few quick spots… Intrigued to find a […]

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Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition

Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition

Quirky, but neither generic, nor tediously shocking; skillfully presented, and plenty for the Christmas browse, buying or not. That’s an early verdict on the Royal Scottish Academy’s Open exhibition, in the lower floor of the RSA building on the Mound from 29 November. One plus is to see the restored white Doric columns of the […]

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Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan Gardner

Only my virtual collection will include the work of Jonathan Gardner, because all the works in his exhibition that opened at Glasgow’s Mary Mary gallery last night had sold ahead of the opening. It appears the gallery’s showing of the artist at the Frieze Art Fair (my take on the Scottish galleries at Frieze here) […]

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Will Maclean: Gleaned and Gathered

Will Maclean: Gleaned and Gathered

A Candle for Lübeck The cacophony of contemporary art, of the kind on offer at the Frieze art fair – desperate for attention, craving for difference – can mask an emptiness of meaning. Not so one work by Will Maclean, showing until November 8th at Art First. The quiet power of A Candle for Lübeck […]

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Dovecot Gems

Dovecot Gems

Afghanistan in Edinburgh MONAWER Shah Qodusi comes from a family of Afghan jewellers, who have a small shop in the main craft bazaar of Kabul. He studied jewellery-making for three years with the Turquoise Mountain Institute, the country’s leading arts centre, based in a courtyard palace in the Afghan capital’s historic Murad Khane craft district. […]

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