Gloriously disparate jumbled-up wonderland of art for art’s sake that’s a joy to wander through
‘Beauty’, according to that man David Hume, whose tercentenary year is almost up, ‘is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.’
So it goes in this bumper grab bag of some 50 works, each subjectively selected by a far-reaching network of artists, curators, movers, shakers and other organisers who populate Scotland’s fecund visual landscape. Their brief, as Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler tells Lovborg when he heads off to commit suicide, is to ‘do it beautifully’. The result is a gloriously disparate jumbled-up wonderland of art for art’s sake that’s a joy to wander through.
Classicism and conceptualism rub up against each other, as do the institutions with the DIY pop-up spaces in an all too rare fit of democratic inclusivity in the best sense of both words. Beholder also speaks volumes about taste. So what’s an ugly-bugly portrait in the corner to some will have others in raptures. Yoko Ono and LS Lowry prove as surprising as each other, abeit in radically different ways. And just take a peek at Bruce McLean’s puddle-like floor-mirror, ‘Narcissus’. Wow! Now that really is something pretty beautiful.
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 18 Feb