Visual art, Reviews

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The Scottish Colourists series: FCB Cadell

15 Nov 20114 stars

Retrospective of the early 20th century colourist's work displays a life-long development of talent

To modern eyes this retrospective of the work of early 20th century Edinburgh colourist FCB Cadell might appear a little staid, a procession of chintzy New Town interiors and still life compositions involving china crockery and the distinctive white…

Thea Djordjadze - Lost Promise in a Room

15 Nov 20114 stars

A considered display of sculpture and objects in effective, minimalist setting

Strange objects roughly sculpted in plaster, propped up against walls, placed in corners and laid out in unusual places, are contrasted against minimalist lines of steel and smooth mirrored cubes. A lump of chicken wire is securely contained in a…

Transmission Gallery Group Show

15 Nov 20114 stars

Sam Derounian, Graham Kelly and Conor Kelly shine in local artist showcase

A commendable group show brings together new work by nine Glasgow-based artists at the Transmission Gallery. Without a didactic theme to tie the exhibition together the viewer is free to contemplate works individually and to make subtle links with…

The Writing On Your Wall

28 Oct 20114 stars

Rob Tufnell-curated group show chronicling the history of radical print

When Jeremy Deller put Rupert Murdoch’s walnut face on a sky-blue ‘Vote Conservative’ poster to raise funds for the Labour Party, it looked like satire. Given the ongoing phone-hacking saga, it now feels like prophecy. The ‘Murdoch Doesn’t Give A XXX…

Ciara Phillips: The only rule is work

21 Oct 20114 stars

Exhibition the result of a three-month residency at Kendall Koppe, inspired by Sister Corita Kent

‘The only rule is work’ is one of ten accommodating rules for students and teachers developed by artist and educator Sister Corita Kent. Ciara Phillips’ exhibition is the result of her three-month residency in the gallery space where she shared a…

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Lucy Roscoe - The Beach House

21 Sep 20114 stars

Collection of sea-themed prints and paper sculptures in convivial deli setting

Edinburgh-based artist-illustrator and founder of the Book Tree Press, Lucy Roscoe, brings a body of new work to Edinburgh’s Broughton Deli. The Beach House is the tenth in a specially curated series by Nicola Brooks and fills the space with delicate…

Graham Fagen: Missing

21 Sep 20114 stars

Moving video installation running parallel to the Tramway's Andrew O'Hagan-penned theatre production

Graham Fagen’s moving video diptych Missing explores the experience of going missing, and what it is like for those left behind. Commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait gallery, it is produced in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland…

Nick Sargent: A Scottish Land

16 Sep 20114 stars

Bold and charming celebration of the Scottish landscape

With A Scottish Land, one-time set and costume designer and Edinburgh resident Nick Sargent returns to Oliver Chapman Architects in-house gallery space for the first time since their inaugural exhibition. Inspired by a photograph of a generic…

Alan Reid: Boudoir Concrete

16 Sep 20113 stars

Delicately balanced clashing of art and design

Looking for all the world like propaganda posters for Nazi leisure organisation Kraft durch Freude, Alan Reid’s representational drawings of lissome young bodies appear to promote healthy living and sexless appeal. Lithe bodies are interrupted by…

Gary Rough - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. . .

16 Sep 20112 stars

Meshing of conceptual ideas that leaves no lasting impression

Running at Sorcha Dallas for the next month is Gary Rough’s latest Glasgow exhibition Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc..., a meshing of two conceptual ideas, the ongoing collection of 1,984 copies of George Orwell’s classic, 1984, and the attempted…

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Paul Muzni: Configure

30 Aug 20113 stars

Versatility found among abstracted oil and pastel pieces of Edinburgh artist

Edinburgh artist Muzni treats the eyes in this collection of life works focusing on the female nude, constantly striving to keep his approach as fresh as the colours that make up his delicately abstracted oil and pastel pieces. The use of pastel is a…

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings

25 Aug 20114 stars

Breathtaking exploration of both photography and science

To say that Sugimoto's contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival is striking would be an understatement. This is the first time these works have been displayed in Europe. The Japanese photography pioneer’s huge analogue 'Lightning Fields…

Futureproof 2011: New photography in Scotland

24 Aug 20114 stars

Cross section of work by recent graduates

As the third in a series of exhibitions initiated by Street Level Gallery, Futureproof profiles a cross section of work by graduates from the five Scottish university photography departments. The pictures on show are taken by nimble-fingered light…


24 Aug 20112 stars

Feeble collection riffing off ill-conceived ideas

Between the Spangles wrapper psychedelia of its poster to the feeble collection of art in the gallery, Smile does nothing to live up to its name. Riffing off ill-conceived ideas honed from (a misunderstanding of) the Fluxus movement and the writings of…

John Byrne: Moonlight and Music

17 Aug 20114 stars

Major exhibition of works by much-loved Scottish artist

So recent are some of the pieces in this show – timed to coincide with the launch of a biography of the artist by Lund Humphries – that self-portrait ‘Chop Suey’ and Byrne’s children’s book Donald & Benoit: A Story of a Cat and a Boy arrived close to…

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Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys

17 Aug 20114 stars

An art world friendship under a Scottish sky

A single rose can make a garden; a single friend can make a world. Writer, artist and philosopher Richard Demarco’s friendship with the humanistic artist Joseph Beuys was something special. These two passionate, occasionally obtuse men were drawn to…

Mystics or Rationalists?

17 Aug 20113 stars

Elegant conceptual works bend associations of the ordinary

Stealing the show, Susan Hiller’s new levitation works are exemplary of the conceit at the heart of this group exhibition. Having infused conceptual and minimalist strategies with the influence of psychoanalysis and pop culture since the late 1960s…

Peace at Last!

16 Aug 20114 stars

Photorealist style of Kate Davis focuses on political history with feminist narratives

This small collection of works by Kate Davis is a response to the Glasgow Museums’ collection. The show focuses both on political history with feminist narratives and the archiving process mixed in with her own interventions. In the first room is the…

Early Relativity: Karen Cunningham and Zara Idelson

16 Aug 20114 stars

Good pairing of Glasgow-based artists

Every year for their summer show The Duchy pairs a recent graduate with a more established artist. This year Glasgow School of Art graduate Zara Idelson shows paintings and interventions alongside the work of Glasgow-based Karen…

Stephen Sutcliffe: Runaway, Success

11 Aug 20113 stars

Biography-obsessed artist hides behind his heroes

It’s been a while since Yorkshire-born Glasgow resident Sutcliffe has trotted out his curious wares in Scotland, and it’s not difficult to see why. His work is moody and peppered with arch cultural references to complex arty prima donnas Joe Orton…

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Carmen Sylva

11 Aug 20113 stars

Established artists take on a new and exciting identity

A procession of odd assemblages punctuates the centre of Sierra Metro’s exhibition space. They are Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff’s latest artistic response to Peles, a late 18th Century Romanian castle that has inspired their practice for over six…

Chris Drury - Land, Water and Language

11 Aug 20112 stars

A man, his boat and some nice scenery

Life’s a journey not a destination and other such homilies. God preserve us from the travelogue artists. Chris Drury is one such artist. This exhibition, which was initially created for Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre in North Uist, takes its…

Norman McBeath & Robert Crawford: Body Bags / Simonides

11 Aug 20113 stars

Mournful collaboration between photographer and poet

Scots translations of epitaphs by the ancient Greek poet Simonides, coupled with black and white photographs, adorn the high-rising walls of two lofty Edinburgh College of Art studios. Joined by tall vases of white lilies, classical casts from the…

Live Your Questions Now

10 Aug 20114 stars

Group show featuring Alasdair Gray, Ana Jotta, Colin McCahon, Rainer Maria Rilke and Sam Ainsley

As a triumphant call to the graces of old age and experience Live Your Questions Now is a survey show reacting to the art world’s obsessive youth fads. The show’s title is derived from a letter seeking guidance from poet Rainer Maria Rilke: ‘live your…

First of the Summer Wine

10 Aug 20113 stars

Group show featuring Joan Eardley, Vanessa Bell, George Leslie Hunter and Donald Clark

Now at their new location on West Regent Street, Cyril Gerber’s annual summer show, First of the Summer Wine, is full of variety, placing artists from different generations alongside one another. A mix of modern British and Scottish masters includes…