The best visual art exhibitions in Scotland 2010
Martin Creed, Christoph Büchel, Alasdair Gray and Julie Roberts
Martin Creed: Things
A playful, humorous and beautifully installed exhibition by Turner Prize-winning artist Creed. Seventeen of the artist’s works were on show under the wonderfully vague title of Things, including piled-up boxes, pot plants, nails painstakingly arranged in a wall and a mischievously placed doorstop. The Common Guild, Glasgow, Mar/Apr.
Christoph Büchel: Last Man Out Turn Off Lights
One of the shining highlights of this year’s Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art had, as its centrepiece, a defunct aeroplane, blown up by Swiss artist Büchel to set up a fictitious scenario showcasing a futile attempt to put the plane’s pieces back together again. Powerful stuff, created with painstaking sweat and tears. Tramway, Glasgow, Jun/Jul.
This year’s flagship exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland surpassed even the popular Impressionists and Scotland show of two years ago in its ambition and scope. The dizzying display included iconic works by Monet, Manet, Pisarro, van Gogh and Klimt. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Aug-Oct.
Julie Roberts: Child
The Glasgow School of Art-trained painter Julie Roberts created one of the most striking exhibitions at this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, a frank and compelling exploration of childhood and the displacement of children in the mid-20th century, whose stylised doll-like figures seemed both truthful and fantastical. Talbot Rice, Edinburgh, Aug/Sep.
Alasdair Gray: Gray Stuff
The Glasgow-based novelist, poet and painter topped off a busy year with this highly praised exhibition of murals, theatre posters, book cover designs and sketches, which showcased the depth and breadth of his craft and revealed the thought process and editing behind his works. Talbot Rice, Edinburgh, Nov/Dec.