Visual art, Reviews

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Luke Fowler: The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott

15 Jul 20144 stars

The film artist turns his attention to Marxist historian and CND activist EP Thompson

Luke Fowler’s ongoing fascination with icons of radical thought has extended from film works on punk band The Homosexuals and composer Cornelius Cardew to his Turner-nominated dissection of anti-psychiatrist RD Laing. Each of these has cut-and-pasted…

Sara Barker: For Myself and Strangers

15 Jul 20143 stars

Barker's delicate, three-dimensional structures invite a greater sense of engagement with the viewer

One of the strengths of GENERATION (the Scotland-wide visual art event currently taking place) is that it showcases not only the work of well-known Scottish contemporary artists but also of those who have quietly built up careers here without become…

Hayley Tompkins: Digital Light Pools

8 Jul 20144 stars

Playful painted objects transform our ideas of ordinary items in this solo show

It's the brightest and airiest of environments that have housed Hayley Tompkins’ floor-based bird’s-eye picture-postcard views of holy-hued rainbows, high-rise cityscapes, earth-bound stone formations, tranquil blue seas and fog-bound multi-lane traffic…

Lucy Skaer: Leonora

10 Jun 20143 stars

A mixed-media tribute to surrealist painter Leonora Carrington that resists easy definitions

In 2006, the Glasgow-based artist Lucy Skaer came across two small drawings in the Tate by the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington. More than the works themselves, she was struck by the fact that the artist, then in her nineties, was still alive and…

Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2014

10 Jun 20144 stars

Charlotte Nash, Theo Shields, Tiina Lilja and Jack Wrigley among the stand-out ECA 2014 graduates

The Glasgow School of Art fire has cast a plume of black smoke over this year’s degree show season. But even as the Mack burned, at the other end of the M8, Edinburgh College of Art was unveiling the work of more than 500 students in disciplines from…

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Gareth Moore: Blocked Arch, Deferred Ceremony, Dawn Chorus, Tra-diddle da. Like a fly in slow suspense

14 May 20144 stars

Strong, thoughtful and well-made works somewhat ill-served by needless wrong-footing

Vancouver-based sculptor Gareth Moore seems to have spent his three-month residency at Glasgow Sculpture Studios making the most of the local discarded materials, and given the building’s location next to the Forth & Clyde Canal, he’s had plenty to…

Richard Forster: Modern

14 May 20144 stars

Photo-realist drawings that examine the act of recreating the real

At first glance these are photographs, innocent documentary works in a sharp, cobalt monochrome that suggests a fascination with 20th-century modernism as viewed through the prism of the realist photo-essayist. There are buildings everywhere, high-rises…

Norman Kirkham RGI

13 May 20143 stars

Kirkham’s paintings may be products of long experience, but they have no shortage of flair

A painter can find fascination in all manner of things: pigeons taking flight from a tenement roof; the sleek skin of an aubergine; the peculiar qualities of winter light in Glasgow. All these and more are investigated by RGI veteran Norman…

Rebecca Gouldson: Industrial Shift

24 Apr 20144 stars

A printmaking exhibition that finds beauty and intrigue in redundant tools and relics

Rebecca Gouldson’s first solo show concentrates on the images and objects of historic industry, with beauty and intrigue found in its redundant tools and relics. Scratches, scribbles and signs of wear and tear guide Gouldson’s mark-making on rich…

Gabriel Kuri: All probability resolves into form

23 Apr 20143 stars

Kuri's Glasgow International survivalist sculpture show puts a political twist on hard theory

In case of emergency, natural disaster, nuclear fallout or biblical engulfment, Mexican artist Gabriel Kuri is probably a very good man to have on your side. By stocking up on blankets, fire extinguishers, boxes of matches, bottles of water and assorted…

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188th RSA Annual Exhibition: Focus on Film

23 Apr 20144 stars

An expansive and essential Scottish film art showcase, featuring Rachel Maclean and Peter Capaldi

Perhaps the biggest criticism that can be levelled at this year’s Royal Scottish Academy annual members’ exhibition is that there’s almost too much to soak up. Between the vast submission-based selection upstairs and the curated rooms downstairs, there…

Bigert and Bergström: The Weather War

23 Apr 20143 stars

The Swedish duo explore man's attempts to control the weather

Man’s attempt to control the weather is the focus of this exhibition by the Swedish artists Bigert and Bergström. The installation’s focus is a film, which serves as both a walk through the history of the weather and contemporary methods of weather…

Alex Frost: Reproduction

23 Apr 20143 stars

Astute, creative comment on the commodification of human reproduction, part of Glasgow International

The birth rate in Britain has leapt 18% in the last decade. That means, in statistical terms, we’re in the midst of a baby boom. Alex Frost uses this as a playful stepping-off point to explore issues of reproduction, human and artistic, in his solo show…

Jordan Wolfson

22 Apr 20143 stars

An exhibition of high-end corporate ad-land stylings and provocative animations, as part of GI 2014

It’s the soft-core gloss that sucks you in first in ‘Raspberry Poser’, the 14-minute billboard-size video projection that forms the heart of Jordan Wolfson’s life-and-death fusion of high-end corporate ad-land stylings and provocative animations. A…

U Always Know the Right Thing to Say

18 Mar 20143 stars

Group show for emerging talent, including Jenna Bliss, Ash Reid, Bernie Reid and Darren Rhymes

This latest group show from long-established home to Edinburgh’s finest emerging art talent the Embassy promises that it’s ‘about friendship in relationship to networks, in real time and virtual spaces.’ How that translates in real terms is often…

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Adele Patrick (ed.) - 21 Revolutions

25 Feb 20144 stars

An eye-opening collection of art and writing from a who’s who of Scottish women creatives

21 Revolutions is the culmination of celebrations marking 21 years of the Glasgow Women’s Library. This ambitious coffee-table book is a success both in terms of the quality of its content and, perhaps more significantly, in the way it shines such a…

Sonia Boyce, Pavel Büchler and Susan Hiller: Speaking in Tongues

18 Feb 20144 stars

Three artists demonstrate how memory can be moulded, shaped and customised to order

It's the sound of clacking typewriter keys that strikes you first, stepping into this show, which, in different ways, reflects on the colour of memory. In the case of all three artists, who have a long history with the CCA building, it reveals how that…

Visual art review: Summerhall's spring shows

18 Feb 20144 stars

Featuring the work of Stefan Roloff, Ian Hughes, Colin Jarvie, Harry Papadopoulos & Kevin Williamson

Loss, migration, the Holocaust and a strange form of post-apocalyptic euphoria filter in various ways through the nine new exhibitions at Summerhall. The former is seen most explicitly in Kindness of Strangers, the first UK show by German-American…

Ellsworth Kelly: Twelve Colour Prints From the Artist’s Collection

20 Jan 20144 stars

Series of 12 prints covering 40 years of output by artist

Ingleby Gallery’s current exhibition showcases a series of 12 prints by Ellsworth Kelly, selected by the artist and taken from his own collection. The works span a period of 40 years; the earliest, a rectangular block filled with horizontal lines of…

Henry Coombes and Carles Congost: Man of the Year

5 Dec 20133 stars

A successful collaboration is disrupted in order to explore competitive, masculine notions

‘Man of the Year’ takes its title from Time magazine’s popular series (now re-named ‘Person of the Year’), which selects influential and illustrious figures for the iconic magazine’s annual award. The CCA’s exhibition seeks to tackle the notions of…

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Jill Todd Photographic Award 2013

5 Dec 20133 stars

The selected works carefully and imaginatively handle the theme of home

The Jill Todd Photographic Award was set up in memory of the talented young photographer Jill Todd, who trained at Edinburgh Napier University and was at the start of a promising career when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and died…

Hiraki Sawa: Lenticular

6 Nov 20134 stars

Japanese artist's first solo exhibition in Scotland

There's something quietly starstruck about the subject of 'Lenticular' (2013), the new film work by Hiraki Sawa, which forms the centrepiece of the Japanese artist's first solo exhibition in Scotland. Robert Law is a self-taught astronomer who works at…

Beth Dynowski: New States

6 Nov 20134 stars

Artist's first solo show ia a three-part installation that prods and pokes at perception

The first solo show from Beth Dynowski comprises a curious set of objects, which extend across Market Gallery’s three exhibition spaces. The ceramic, metal and found items that litter the galleries’ floors hold their own aesthetic fascination…

Viviane Sassen: In and Out of Fashion

6 Nov 20133 stars

First ever retrospective of Dutch photographer whose work hovers between fine art and fashion photog

Viviane Sassen’s work is located at the intersection of fine art and fashion photography. Primarily focused on the female form, the figures she captures are treated like a sculptural material, moulded and deformed by simple interruptions of light…

Kabuki: Japanese Theatre Prints

6 Nov 20134 stars

Vivid arrangement provides insight into Japanese theatre culture rarely put on display

The 19th century woodblock prints depicting Kabuki – a traditional form of Japanese theatre performed exclusively by men – could easily be compared to the celebrity magazines of today. Displayed here like comic-strip panels, the coloured ink is as…