City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland Exhibitions 2019


By edg - Posted on 22 March 2019

Bridget Riley's Blaze (1962)

With the Edinburgh Art Festival firming up its Summer programme of shows it's a good time to survey the highlights of forthcoming National Galleries of Scotland shows.

The major Festival in summer 2019 would be at home at the Edinburgh Science Festival or might have leapt out of the Camera Obscura. Contemporary British painter Bridget Riley's abstract paintings explore the fundamental nature of perception.

In her work, she explores the ways in which we learn through looking, using a purely abstract language of shapes, forms and colour to create sensations of light, space, volume, rhythm and movement.

This is the first major survey of the artist’s work to be held in the UK for 16 years, and the first of its scale to be staged in Scotland and covers a career that has spanned seven decades,

Organised by the NGS in close collaboration with the artist herself, and presented in partnership with Hayward Gallery, London, the exhibition will be shown first in Edinburgh, before travelling to Hayward Gallery, where it will be shown from 23 October 2019 until 26 January 2020.

Highlights include early paintings inspired by the work of Georges Seurat, such as Pink Landscape (1960); Riley’s first abstract paintings, Kiss and Movement in Squares (both 1961).

Other iconic works, including Current (1964), from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Paean (1973) from Tokyo’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition also includes Late Morning (1967-8) and Rise 1 (1968), key, large-scale colour paintings first shown at the 1968 Venice Biennale, where Riley became the first British contemporary painter and the first woman artist to be awarded the International Prize for painting. The exhibition will trace developments throughout Riley’s career, right up to her latest works, including a selection from her recent series of disc paintings, entitled Measure for Measure (2016-18).

400 Years of Collage

Apparently there's never really been a major survey exhibition of collage anywhere in the world. "Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage" at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) this summer, aims to rectify that.

Collage is often associated with the modernists of the twentieth-century invention (or school projects), but the 250 works on show span more than 400 years, from sixteenth-century anatomical ‘flap prints’ to computer-based images.

With work by amateur, professional and unknown artists, collages by children and seminal cubist masterpieces by Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris; from nineteenth century do-it-yourself collage kits to collage films of the 1960s.

Highlights include a three-metre-long folding collage screen, purportedly made in part by Charles Dickens; a major group of Dada and Surrealist collages, by artists such as Kurt Schwitters, Joan Miró, Hannah Höch and Max Ernst; and major postwar works by Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol and Peter Blake, including source material for the cover of the Beatles’ album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The importance of collage as a form of protest in the 1960s and ’70s will be shown in the work of feminist artists such as Carollee Schneemann, Linder and Hannah Wilke; Punk artists, such as Jamie Reid, whose original collages for the Sex Pistols album and posters will feature; and the famously subversive collages of Monty Python founder Terry Gilliam.

The exhibition also features the legendary library book covers which the playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell doctored with collages, and put back on Islington Library’s shelves – a move which landed them in prison for six months.

Owing to the fragility of much of the work, the exhibition will not tour: it can only be seen at the SNGMA in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Portrait Gallery

The Tate/National Gallery of Scotland ARTIST ROOMS partnership continues from 6th April with exhibitions of work by Francesca Woodman, Diane Arbus and Robert Mapplethorpe. Around 40 works draw on particular on self-portraiture and representation, exploring the connections and similarities between these three American acclaimed and often controversial artists.

Francesca Woodman began exploring self-identity through photography at thirteen years old and continued to experiment and develop her practice in the following decade, until her suicde at aged 22 in 1981. Her photographs speak to her agency in being both the subject and creator of the work.

Drawing from the significant holding of Diane Arbus within ARTIST ROOMS, the exhibition will include the limited-edition portfolio, A Box of Ten Photographs (1969-1971), which was selected by Arbus herself and as such, can be seen as representing her creative expression and how she wished to be seen as a photographer.

Finally a series of portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe explores the photographer’s varying personas, as expressed for the camera, and poignantly document his declining health as a result of having contracted AIDS. The exhibition will occur during the thirty-year anniversary of his death.

Scottish Photography

From 2019 to early 2020 the Scottish National Portrait Gallery also shows a collection of historic Scottish photography recently acquired jointly by the NGS and the National Library of Scotland.

Amassed by collector Murray MacKinnon, The MacKinnon Collection documents Scottish life and identity from the 1840s through to the 1940s and includes photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, Julia Margaret Cameron, Thomas Annan, Roger Fenton, George Washington Wilson, and others. The MacKinnon Collection is distinguished by the work of photographers who captured unprecedented images that brilliantly transport us back to a century of changing rural communities, growing cities and enduring historic sites, but also illuminate the faces and places that continue to affect our lives today.

Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland Sir John Leighton has called the MacKinnon collection "stunning".

Paul Rego

Paula Rego is an ambitious retrospective of the Portuguese artist’s work that brings politics to the fore. Spanning Rego’s career from the 1950s through to 2012, the works in this exhibition address António de Oliveira Salazar’s fascist regime, the 1997 referendum on legalising abortion in Portugal, the invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States and its allies and, from 2009, female genital mutilation – all of which resonate strongly with contemporary feminist and political issues. Highlights of the exhibition include Dog Woman (1952), Snow White and her Stepmother (1995), The First Mass in Brazil (1993) and Joseph’s Dream (1990). Curated by independent curator Catherine Lampert and organised by MK Gallery (Milton Keynes), and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the exhibition includes over 60 loans.

NOW Part 5

NOW is the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s dynamic three-year series of contemporary art exhibitions. The fifth instalment in the series will be centred on a major survey of work by Paisley-born Anya Gallaccio.

Nominated for the Turner Prize in 2003, Gallaccio was a prominent figure in the Young British Artists generation, and is renowned for her spectacular installations and sculptures.

Using all kinds of organic materials, including trees, flowers, candles, sand and ice, she creates temporary works that change over time as they are subjected to natural processes of transformation and decay.

Gallaccio also makes more permanent artworks in bronze, ceramics, stainless steel and stone that attempt to capture or arrest these processes. Exploring themes of change, growth and decay, some of the other artists appearing in NOW are Turner Prize nominee Roger Hiorns, the French artist Aurélien Froment and Scottish artist Charles Avery.

ARTIST ROOMS: WOODMAN, ARBUS AND MAPPLETHORPE
6 April – 20 October 2019
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200 | Admission FREE
#NGSArtistRooms

NOW
Anya Gallacio
Charles Avery
Aurelien Froment
Roger Hiorns
And others
1 June – 22 September 2019
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh EH4 3DR
0131 624 6200 | Admission FREE
#NGSNOW

CUT AND PASTE: 400 YEARS OF COLLAGE
29 June – 27 October 2019
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two)
73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DS
0131 624 6200 | Admission TBC
#NGSCutPaste

BRIDGET RILEY
15 June – 22 September 2019
Royal Scottish Academy
Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
0131 624 6200 | Admission TBC
#NGSRiley

THE MACKINNON COLLECTION
15 November 2019 – 16 February 2020
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JD
0131 624 6200 | Admission FREE
#NGSMacKinnon

PAULA REGO
23 November 2019 – April 2020
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two)
73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DS
0131 624 6200 | Admission TBC