Visual art, Reviews

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The Inventors of Tradition profiles traditional garments and social histories

26 Jan 20114 stars

Exhibition charts history of textile industry in Scotland

That ubiquitous ‘Scotland with Style’ byline invented by city marketing in Glasgow gets renewed historical validation in this exhibition that is many things woven into one. Inventors of Tradition is an archival show of the Scottish textiles industry…

Dirk Bell - Powerful exhibition plays with imagery of magick and mysticism

26 Jan 20114 stars

Works invoke old-fashioned ideas of belief systems, ritual, myth and healing

There is something otherworldly about the energy that Dirk Bell has conjured up in this space: a droning sound reverberates, the inorganic steel structures are sanded down to a holographic shine, and devoid of human presence, technology will sustain…

Seeing Ian Hamilton Finlay's work indoors proves claustrophobic

26 Jan 20113 stars

Exhibition of work by polymath behind Little Sparta garden is hymn to nature

There’s something slightly claustrophobic about seeing Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work indoors. As anyone who’s basked in the glories of the radical polymath’s Little Sparta garden in Dunsyre near Edinburgh will be aware, Hamilton Finlay was so at one with…

Jonathan Horowitz: Minimalist Works from the Holocaust Museum

14 Jan 20114 stars

Colourful response that lends a quietly inclusive wit to its world-changing intent

Don’t be fooled by the apparent dryness of the title of this major solo show by one of the most provocative American artists of the last 20 years. Rather than mimic the worthy but dull, opaque works that populate the United States Holocaust Museum…

Marc Camille Chaimowicz

14 Jan 20114 stars

Journey of Parisian artist from the punk performance early work to lyrical, introspective and politi

Echoing the words of his hero Gustave Flaubert, Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s first solo exhibition in Scotland is testimony to the notion that ‘Art requires neither complaisance nor politeness; only faith and freedom.’ Parisian Chaimowicz’s art shares…

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New Work Scotland Programme: Nicolas Party & Catherine Payton

14 Jan 20113 stars

A series of site-specific works from two very different artists

For the second instalment of the New Work Scotland Programme, artists Nicolas Party and Catherine Payton provide the Collective with a series of site-specific works. However, this manipulation of the gallery space is where the similarity between the…

Borders-based artist James Hugonin's network of coloured grids

12 Jan 20113 stars

Quietly insistent solidity and strength to Hugonin’s minimalism

Music and movement is at the heart of this display of eight works by the Borders-based artist to mark his 60th birthday. Identical in scale and scope, each canvas painstakingly maps out an interlocking network of coloured brick-shaped grids that dance…

Common Guild showcases a selection of works by English artist Tacita Dean

3 Jan 20114 stars

YBA-associated artist's recent work is a splice of German and British cultures

In a superbly attractive autumnal exhibition, The Common Guild is showcasing a selection of works by English artist Tacita Dean. Though associated with the generation of YBAs, and once nominated for the Turner Prize, Dean’s practice is of a different…

A Little Bit of Magic Realised

3 Jan 20114 stars

Common theme of the natural world in work from Anna Atkins, Garry Fabian Miller and Susan Derges

‘Cameraless’ photography is one of those seeming contradictions in terms that seems intended to deliberately confuse. However, the curiosity inspired by the theme gives way to wonder as you explore the immediate and vivid world depicted in this…

Revealing the Invisible: The Art of Stansfield / Hooykaas from Different Perspectives

3 Jan 20114 stars

Time-based work of the late Scottish artist and her Dutch collaborator

The time-based work of the late Scottish artist Elsa Stansfield and her Dutch collaborator Madelon Hooykaas oscillates between the terrains of the arts and sciences. In an overview of their practice, with works spanning three decades, the CCA showcases…

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Childish Things

23 Dec 20104 stars

Fruitmarket Gallery, until Sun 23 Jan 2010

Installation Childish Things Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 23 Jan David Hopkins, curator of Childish Things, has created a wonderfully subversive tribute to childhood. The title is deceiving: the imagery and atmosphere of this exhibition…

Interference with Twigs

22 Dec 20104 stars

Finely executed exhibition brings together work spanning world and generations

Like a casting of the runes, Interference with Twigs brings together the work of artists from four corners of the world across two generations to weave together new interpretations and enter into dialogue like old friends in this finely executed…

Glasgow artist collective The Mutual showcases work

16 Dec 20104 stars

Calum Thom, Tawny Kerr, Ralph Mackenzie and Richard Davies

The Mutual artist collective was formed in 2009 by four Glasgow School of Art Fine Art graduates in an attempt to stave off postgraduate malaise. Two years later, with a 200-strong member base, they have invited their artists to participate in a…

Interference with Twigs shows work from four artists

16 Dec 20104 stars

Audrey Capel Doray, Hanna Sandin, Nicolas Party and Lotte Gertz

Like a casting of the runes, Interference with Twigs brings together the work of artists from four corners of the world across two generations to weave together new interpretations and enter into dialogue like old friends in this finely executed…

Bobby Niven: Hermit’s Castle, Chez Galip

23 Nov 20104 stars

Glasgow-based artist's film diptych with pitch perfect cinematic aesthetic

Film diptych Hermit’s Castle and Chez Galip brings together two geologically extreme landscapes in which two characters, an architect in Scotland and a potter in Turkey, have erected idiosyncratic structures. Hermit’s Castle journeys to cold, austere…

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Myths and Legends: From the Ancient to the Modern

23 Nov 20103 stars

Printmakers all-you-can-eat group show overwhelms but maintains interest

Myths and Legends is an all-you-can-eat buffet of printmaking encompassing a vast range of techniques. Enticing images creep out into the stairwell, and the main rooms are filled to the brim with ever more imaginative takes on the theme, including a…

Alasdair Gray: Gray Stuff

15 Nov 20105 stars

Murals, posters, books and doodles from Glasgow polymath artist

Alasdair Gray is the very definition of a polymath, and Gray Stuff is a loving testament to his industry and curiosity. The artist’s murals, theatre posters, books and doodles fill the gallery space at Talbot Rice, despite being of rather small…

Blue and Silver: Whistler and the Thames

15 Nov 20104 stars

Superbly executed exhibition documents London in the 1860s

This superbly executed exhibition builds a narrative around a major work in James McNeill Whistler’s oeuvre. ‘Blue and Silver’ depicts the old Battersea Bridge as it stands tall against the ethereal night-time skyline of the river. Brush strokes of a…

Social Documents: The Ethics of Encounter Part 1

15 Nov 20104 stars

Film documents artist’s two-year journey across the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Screened as part of Stills’ The Ethics of Encounter programme, which comprises exhibitions, screenings and workshops exploring artists’ use of documentary processes, Renzo Martens’ feature-length filmwork Episode III Enjoy Poverty (run ended) is a work…

Subodh Gupta: Take off your shoes and wash your hands

3 Nov 20104 stars

Collection of splendid things by Indian art superstar explores changing cultural life of India

Coinciding with the handover of the Commonwealth Games from Delhi to Glasgow, Tramway is showcasing a magpie collection of splendid shiny things by Indian art superstar Subodh Gupta. Take off your shoes and wash your hands consists of four works.

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Tommy Grace, Ged Quinn and Tony Swain: Restore Us and Regain

3 Nov 20103 stars

Taking its title from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, a warped and windswept romanticism pervades this triple bill of work. With four works apiece from Grace and Swain – both already established in these parts – and three from Quinn, each artist creates…

Portrait of the Nation explores work by and of famous Scots

3 Nov 20103 stars

Exhibition contains portraiture from Henry Raeburn and David Wilkie

During the refurbishment of Edinburgh’s National Portrait Gallery, some of the permanent collection has found a temporary home in the National Galleries building on the Mound. The exhibition explores work by and of famous Scots, resulting in a blend of…

Babette Mangolte: Yvonne Rainer – Testimony to Improvisation 1972–75

27 Oct 20104 stars

‘Improvisation Time in the Rehearsal Room’, a caustic poem by the late Adrian Mitchell, appeared in the 1981 edition of New Departures, Michael Horowitz’s organ for 1960s counter-culture’s literary survivors. In eight short lines, which depict the…

Joanne Tatham and Tom O’Sullivan: Direct serious action is therefore necessary

27 Oct 20104 stars

Breaking through the concrete floors of the CCA, large, vibrant worm-like sculptures draw attention to the architecture of the building, its function and history as a public exhibition space. Black and white photographs, depicting Glasgow locations, are…

Raydale Dower: On Memory and Chance

27 Oct 20104 stars

Raydale Dower’s ad hoc art-cabaret speakeasy, Le Drapeau Noir, played with space at this year’s Glasgow International via a restless sonic excitability developed during his stint with post-Captain Beefheart hollerers Uncle John and Whitelock. His…