Andrew Kerr – So Ensconced (3 stars)

Andrew Kerr – So Ensconced

Over 70 new paintings in this debut solo exhibition from the Glasgow-based artist

Absence makes the heart grow fonder in Andrew Kerr’s first major solo show in Scotland. Almost 70 new paintings discreetly dominate both floors, only interrupted by the odd smattering of drawings or sculptural intervention. Most of the mainly sketchbook-sized works are urgent Zen abstractions awash with counterpointing colours that swoosh into vivid life as if racing to catch a moment before it disappears.

Some look like splodged-in blueprints for flags of imaginary countries. Others are rich with implied veldts and blurred deltas, a jungle drum soundtrack the only thing missing along with the blank corners where the works were pinned down while being made. Occasionally more tangible shapes squint through the heat-haze; an alligator here; a motor in motion there.

The nails embedded in a small arc of wood give it a sad-eyed cartoonish feel. The bone-like structure dividing the room turns out to be made of paper. A wall of exercise book doodles features pencilled-in dreamers in black-and-white repose. Kerr’s best dreams, however, come in colours only the most haunting of sense memories can conjure up.

Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, until Sun 22 Jan.

Andrew Kerr: The Other Shop

Small-scale acrylic works on paper from the Glasgow-based artist.

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