First of the Summer Wine (3 stars)

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

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First of the Summer Wine

Heather Nevay | Alchemists in an industrial landscape

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 Joan Eardley, Vanessa Bell, George Leslie Hunter, Donald Clark, Philip Reeves and many others.

The salon style show makes for a pleasant visiting experience if you are more used to overly didactic interpreted exhibitions. Director Jill Gerber is at hand to tell you about the work and the artists, pointing out highlights and keenly discussing lesser known hidden gems.

Charcoal drawings by newcomer Scott McMurdo, who graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in 2007, trace the contours of a face or a hand, over and over, searching and tapping into the memories etched on elderly skin, so that the form becomes solid and monumental.

Ann Christopher’s bronze sculptures merge ancient lithic forms with modern day abstraction to create futuristic totem objects.

An arresting work by Heather Nevay, ‘Alchemists in an industrial landscape’, plays with symbols and newfound mythology. Meticulously painted in the style of the illustrated manuscript, two children dressed in Elizabethan apparel confront the onlooker whilst engaged in a strange game or ritual that imitates the alchemical distilling process, tears spraying from the girl’s eyes and blood spurting from the boy’s arm, as a little undead girl observes from the background. The complexity of their childhood innocence mixes gothic sinisterism with Hieronymus Bosch’s eschatological playfulness.

Cyril Gerber Fine Art, Glasgow, until Wed 31 Aug

First of the Summer Wine – The Summer Exhibition 2011

  • 3 stars

Works by Vanessa Bell, Elizabeth Blackadder, FCB Cadell, Donald Clark, Ann Christopher, Robert Colquhoun, Joan Eardley, JD Fergusson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jack Knox, Robert MacBryde, J McLauchlan Milne, SJ Peploe, Philip Reeves, Tom Shanks and many others.

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