Visual art, Reviews

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Maximilian Zentz Zlomovitz: Rape Me

7 Mar 20112 stars

With such an aggressive and punky title it can be assumed that Maximilian Zentz Zlomovitz is looking for some attention with his dirty attack on aesthetics. Aptly named, Zlomovitz’s latest UK exhibition makes abundant references to BDSM culture through…

John Cage: Every Day is a Good Day

24 Feb 20114 stars

A testament to Cage’s philosophy on art and sound

With a title derived from a 300-year-old Zen Buddhist proverb Every Day is a Good Day is a testament to Cage’s philosophy on art and sound. As previously exercised by the curators at the BALTIC Centre, Newcastle, the show’s large collection of some 50…

Jean-Marc Bustamante: Dead Calm

24 Feb 20113 stars

Toulouse born artist’s debut Scottish show

Toulouse born artist Jean-Marc Bustamante’s debut Scottish show carries with it the weight of Dickens’ sentiment that, ‘There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.’ Bustamante’s ‘thing’ is incongruity in technique…

Craig Murray-Orr Ingleby show a hymn to power of nature

24 Feb 20113 stars

New Zealand artist's work suggests an unspoilt land before colonialism

There are many painted works in this new exhibition by Kiwi artist Craig Murray-Orr, but the first item that catches the attention is the large rifle mounted on the wall. It’s not a rifle at all, but a mahogany carving in the rough but unmistakeable…

Craig Murray-Orr documents self-imposed exile in the wilderness

18 Feb 20113 stars

New Zealand-born artist captures magnificent isolation

There’s a sense of magnificent isolation as you go walkabout in New Zealand-born Craig Murray-Orr’s first show for a decade, that says much about self-imposed exile in the wilderness. Both Henry David Thoreau’s novel Walden and the sprawl of Jack…

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Provocative exhibition from Rosemarie Trockel both haunting and unnerving

11 Feb 20114 stars

Drawings, collages and book drafts makes for powerful show

This provocative exhibition of Rosemarie Trockel’s works on paper is at once haunting and unnerving; the German artist’s handling of dark and sometimes uncomfortable subject matter successfully challenging the viewer through the blurring of reality and…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…