National Galleries of Scotland 2011 Exhibitions Announced

Submitted by edg on Thu, 18 Nov '10 8.33pm

"Austerity" may be the watchword when it comes to public funding but the Scottish Government said yesterday that it wishes to maintain free entrance to National Galleries and Museums such as the permanent art exhibitions at the Scottish National Galleries. Shortly after the government's budget announcement - which saw a 4% cut to National Galleries of Scotland funding - we received details of next year's NAS programme.  Many of the exhibitions in Edinburgh are free, at least for now.

Looking ahead to Autumn 2011, we will see the wraps come off of the renovated Scottish National Portrait Gallery, near St Andrew Square.

The building opened in 1889 as a purpose built exhibition space but it was only recently made available to the National Galleries in its entirety. The £17.6 million restoration project entitled Portrait of the Nation involves opening up the building "to its former self" and creating more exhibition space for the gallery's extensive collections.

The gallery will offer a "celebration of the people of Scotland" (currently previewing at the National Gallery Complex), with regularly changing exhibitions and a new emphasis on Scottish Art and photography. Apparently, the renovations will mean that the building will use less energy than in the past for temperature and humidity control.

A recent update on the project says: "The temporary walls and ceilings of the old gallery have been stripped away, and fresh new spaces are beginning to reveal themselves, restoring the architect's original design and breathing new life into the old building."

Here's the forthcoming guide to Scottish National Galleries exhibitions coming up next year, from the ever-popular Turner exhibition in January through to "Artist Rooms" (a collaboration with the Tate) of contemporary art by August Sander and Jeff Koons.

Another World: Dalí, Magritte, Miró and The Surrealists

  • 10 July 2010 - 9 January 2011
  • Dean Gallery
  • Admission £7 (£5 concessions)

This comprehensive survey of Surrealist art will bring together masterpieces by Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miró. Another World will form the centrepiece of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s 50th anniversary celebrations, offering a fascinating overview of arguably the most important art movement of the twentieth century. The exhibition will include major loans from public and private collections and will offer visitors the chance to see the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s world-famous collection of Surrealist art in its entirety for the first time.

William McTaggart (1835 – 1910)

This year marks the centenary of the death of William McTaggart, one of Scotland’s best-loved artists. The National Gallery of Scotland will celebrate his life and work with a small exhibition featuring over 25 stunning watercolours, small oil paintings and compositional studies as well as a selection of rarely seen personal memorabilia. This exhibition will also be complemented by a small display which will examine McTaggart’s early artistic training at Edinburgh College of Art and features rare studies made by McTaggart when he was a young student.

Portrait of the Nation at the National Gallery Complex (ongoing)

Portrait of the Nation at the National Gallery Complex will offer a fantastic opportunity to get a sneak preview of how the newly renovated Portrait Gallery will look and how art works will be displayed in this exciting new environment when it opens in Autumn 2011. On show will be a taster of works from the Gallery’s rich collection, ranging from George Jamesone’s Campbell of Glenorchy Family Tree of 1635 to contemporary favourites such as Ken Currie’s Three Oncologists.

What You See Is Where You're At

This winter sees the culmination of the year-long celebration of the Gallery of Modern Art’s 50th anniversary with more exciting changes to the displays.

An exhibition of works by Scottish author and artist Alasdair Gray will go on display focusing on one of his greatest interests: portraiture. The paintings will span the artist’s career from the early 1950s to the present day and will include several self-portraits. There will also be the first showing of an important painting, Eden and After, since it was recently acquired by the Gallery.

A video work by Glasgow-based artist Luke Fowler will also be shown, which originally inspired the title of the 50th anniversary displays, What you see is where you’re at. The video was inspired by the work of R.D. Laing, a pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and writer and is a collage of archival film with sound recordings.

Other highlights will include a display of expressive prints by Edvard Munch that use womanhood as a central theme and there will be several other rooms devoted to female artists including Mona Hatoum, Karla Black and Sarah Lucas to complement this.

Following a series of visits, the Japanese architect Junya Ishigami will be showing a series of beautiful drawings which re-imagine the architecture and grounds of the Gallery of Modern Art. This will be the first UK exhibition for Ishigami, who won the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2010.

New thematic displays, such as Hodgkin and Colour, Realisms 1900-1970, St. Ives, Free Abstraction and Classic Modernism in Paris, will offer the opportunity to see major pieces from the Collection as well as works generously placed on loan.

The Young Vermeer

Three paintings from Johannes Vermeer’s early career will be reunited in a rare display at the National Galleries of Scotland in December 2010. Whilst Johannes Vermeer’s (1632-75) later work concentrates on domestic interiors, his early paintings seem to have focused primarily on traditional subjects derived from the Bible and classical mythology. The Young Vermeer will show three paintings created between 1653 and 1656: The National Gallery of Scotland’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (c.1654-55); The Procuress (1656) from Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; and Diana and her Companions (c.1653-54) from Mauritshuis, the Royal Picture Gallery in The Hague. This display will present a unique opportunity to compare directly these three works and discover more about the development of this celebrated artist.

Turner In January

J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) was perhaps the most prolific and innovative of all British artists and his work has remained prized ever since his lifetime. The 38 outstanding watercolours by Turner, bequeathed to the National Gallery of Scotland in 1899 by the distinguished collector Henry Vaughan, illustrate the full range of his achievement. Vaughan requested that they should be exhibited every January and this inspired tradition has now continued for the last 110 years. He wanted to limit their exposure to light so that they would be conserved and consequently they are renowned for their excellent state of preservation.

Turner in January will allow the visitor to travel with the artist, as he undertook his discovery of the ‘sublime’ mountainous landscapes of Wales, Scotland and the Alps, and in particular to admire one of the highpoints of his maturity – the inspiration he drew from the light and art of Venice.

French Drawings: Poussin to Seurat

This display of master drawings by French artists will bring together around 60 outstanding works from the Gallery’s collection, including superb examples by Nicolas Poussin, François Boucher, J.A.D. Ingres and Camille Corot. Over the last 30 years the Gallery has carefully and deliberately strengthened its holdings in this area to and to match the quality of its French paintings, and is now home to one of the greatest collections of French drawings in the UK. Highlights will include Seurat’s Seated Nude, a study for the central figure in his celebrated painting Bathers at Asnières, and an exceptional preparatory drawing by Poussin for his great painting Dance to the Music of Time.

The Artist Up Close: Portraits of Scottish Artists from the National Galleries of Scotland Graphic Collections

The Artist Up Close will focus on the people behind some of the Gallery’s best loved pictures, putting the artists themselves centre stage. The show, will feature works selected from the Galleries’ Graphics Collection and will bring together intimate portrait drawings and prints made either by the artists themselves or by their contemporaries. These will provide a fascinating glimpse of the artists, as they appeared to their friends and as how they perceived themselves at different stages in their life. Works on show will range from an 18th century self-portrait of the young Allan Ramsay to portraits of present day Scottish artists, including rarely seen portraits of Ian Fleming, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and Nathan Coley.

Artist Rooms: August Sander

Renowned photographer August Sander (1876 1964) is one of the most influential practitioners of the twentieth century and his legacy can be found in the work of Diane Arbus, Rineke Dijkstra and many other contemporary artists. This exhibition will be taken from a major collection of 177 modern prints, recently placed on long-term loan to ARTIST ROOMS by Anthony d’Offay. The prints were produced from the original plates by August Sander’s grandson Gerd Sander who himself is recognised internationally as a photographer and master printer. Together the photography collection will create an extensive resource that will offer audiences an overview of Sander’s achievements as an artist, photographer and recorder of history.

Sander is best known for his lifelong attempt to document the German people. He undertook this extraordinary cataloguing project by photographing individuals and classifying the resulting portraits into groups defined by the sitters’ occupations, trades or places in society. This resulted in his masterwork entitled People of the Twentieth Century, which he divided into seven distinct sections: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People. Within these areas, the prints now held in ARTIST ROOMS include classic examples that span all the categories of profession and social types and express Sander’s unique ability to capture simultaneously the individuality and universality of the human condition.

Artist Rooms: Jeff Koons

This extended display will bring together the major group of works by Jeff Koons held in ARTIST ROOMS. From the early New Hoover Convertibles, Green, Red, Brown, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10 Gallon Displaced Doubledecker, 1981-7 to the basketball piece Encased Four Rows 1983-93 to Winter Bears 1988 and a selection of works from his ‘Made in Heaven’ series, the collection will offer the possibility for audiences to explore some of the artist’s most important and iconic series. Through his use of everyday items such as vacuum cleaners and basketballs and later by creating oversized kitsch objects, Koons conveys the power of consumer industries and explores the aesthetics and culture of taste. Since the 1980s, the artist has made use of references reminiscent of Pop Art in his use of popular imagery and in his means of production. His brightly coloured sculptures and reliefs, often employing highly reflective surfaces and made with extraordinary precision, also recall the heady excesses of the Baroque.

Elizabeth Blackadder

The major summer exhibition at the National Gallery Complex in 2011 will be devoted to the art of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, organised in honour of the artist’s 80th birthday. Elizabeth Blackadder’s first exhibition was held at the 57 Gallery in Edinburgh in 1959; she has since become celebrated for her paintings, watercolours and drawings, and was the first woman artist to be elected to both the Royal Academy and Royal Scottish Academy.

Born in Falkirk, Elizabeth Blackadder studied at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art. She knew well the Scottish painters William Gillies, William MacTaggart and Anne Redpath, and like them has developed an art based on her observations of the world. Blackadder has a thirst for travel: she went to Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy early in her career and in more recent years has made several visits to Japan. Such experiences, as well as subject matter closer to home - in particular the plant forms and animals she loves to draw and paint – have provided her with an endlessly diverse range of subjects which she explores through many media. Blackadder’s talent lies in her deeply analytical eye, which allows her to see the underlying structure, design and colour harmony in both the exotic and the everyday. From this she develops highly original works of art that seem to breathe with their own life. This exhibition will be a rare chance to experience a retrospective of work by one of this country’s best loved and most active artists.

Tony Cragg

This will be the first major exhibition of work by Tony Cragg to be held in Britain for more than a decade. Working in an astonishing variety of styles and materials, including bronze, glass, plaster, wood, fibreglass, and plastics, Cragg has become one of the most successful and respected artists working anywhere in the world today. Born in Liverpool in 1949, Cragg has lived and worked in Germany since 1977, and enjoys a huge international following, though his profile in Britain is probably not as high as that of some contemporaries, such as Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. Cragg won the Turner Prize in 1988 and the Praemium Imperiale (an annual global art prize awarded by the Japan Art Association) in 2007, yet he has never had a major museum exhibition in London; his last large-scale exhibition in Britain was at Tate Liverpool in 2000. Concentrating on work made in the last 10 years, this exhibition will fill the entire ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and will also include earlier work, giving it a retrospective element.

F.C.B. Cadell

In the Autumn of 2011 the National Galleries of Scotland will stage the first of its Scottish Colourists Series with a retrospective of the work of F.C.B. Cadell. Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937) is one of the four artists popularly known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’ (the others being J.D. Fergusson, G.L. Hunter and S.J. Peploe). He was born in Edinburgh, where he lived for most of his life, and studied in Paris and Munich. Cadell is celebrated for his stylish portrayals of Edinburgh New Town interiors and the elegant society that occupied them, his vibrantly coloured, daringly simplified still-lives of the 1920s and for his evocative landscapes of the west of Scotland and the south of France. This will be the first retrospective exhibition of his work ever mounted at a public gallery and will consist of approximately 70 paintings, from public and private collections. It will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalogue based on new research.