A guide to the galleries and artworks of Edinburgh and Glasgow
Salvador Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ugo Rondinone and more
Rosalie Doubal picks out the best galleries and exhibition spaces, from national institutions to pop-up venues showcasing Scotland’s up-and-coming talent
Glasgow is famed for its DIY exhibition culture and you’re as likely to uncover an artistic gem at one of the many pop-up exhibitions as you are in one of the city’s main galleries. Music and art go hand-in-hand here, so if you are after a warehouse party vibe head to SWG3, Market Gallery or one of the many events organised by The Mutual. If you’re in need of a giant cabinet of curiosity to entertain you on a drizzly afternoon, then get lost in the incredible Kelvingrove or explore floor upon floor of art at GoMA. With Turner Prize winners around every corner, Glasgow is an international art hotspot, so make sure you check out the trendsetters at Mary Mary and The Modern Institute.
Within a stone’s throw of each other are Edinburgh’s Collective, Fruitmarket, Stills and Ingleby galleries – four diverse art spaces offering the capital’s best in up-and-coming, homegrown and international art. Head over to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to check out some of the nation’s treasured collections, or if you fancy ogling some faces of times past, dip into the recently refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Its not all blockbuster shows – the very best of grassroots organisations are buzzing with events in June as part of the Annuale Festival.
Pablo Picasso – Weeping Woman
The pained expression of this famous face represents the emotional horrors of the Spanish Civil War, and is the last in a series offering an emotional response to Guernica. It hangs as part of an exhibition examining the Spaniard’s influence on British art.
Picasso & Modern British Art, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 624 6200, until 4 Nov, £10 (£7).
Vincent Van Gogh – The Sower
Vincent famously gifted his left ear to a prostitute called Rachel. He also painted some of the most revered landscapes in Western history, such as this pastoral scene, upheld as a symbolist masterpiece and early study in colour theory.
Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880–1910, Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, 0131 624 6200, until 14 Oct, £10 (£7).
Ian Hamilton Finlay – Carrier Strike
Arguably one of the most important Scottish artists of the 20th century, Ian Hamilton Finlay had a rebellious anti-establishment streak, famously staging protests against Arts Council officials and sheriffs alike. The artist’s explorations into the tumultuous relationship of man vs. nature make his work as relevant today as ever before.
Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, 556 4441, until 27 Oct, free.
Ugo Rondinone – Primitive
Ornithophobics best stay away, for this Swiss artist is taking over the gallery with a Hitchcockian hoard of life-sized bronze birds. The first time his work will be shown in Scotland, the show continues The Common Guild’s reputation for presenting challenging exhibitions by highly acclaimed international artists.
The Common Guild, Glasgow, 428 3022, until 17 Nov, free.
Dieter Roth – Diaries
For this hugely influential German artist, art and life slipped into one long steady stream of consciousness. Essentially comprising one large self-portrait, this consummate exhibition delves deep into the world of this multi-media practitioner via over 100 video diaries and collected ephemera.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 225 2383, until 14 Oct, free.
Turning the least prepossessing objects into art, UK artist Richard Hughes is interested in our subcultures and our detritus. Often fashioning something intriguing from the most mundane of objects, Hughes is the master of the double take and his artworks will have you looking at everything with fresh eyes.
Tramway, Glasgow, 0845 330 3501, 26 Oct until 16 Dec, free.
Salvador Dali – Christ of St John on the Cross
Back in the ’60s someone took great offence at this Spanish Surrealist’s canvas, hurling a brick at it because they felt that the artist’s perspective was out of sorts. It’s since been lovingly restored and is upheld as one of the nation’s favourites.
Kelvingrove, Glasgow, 276 9540, permanent collection, free.
Tania Kovats – Rivers
There’s no better city escape than Jupiter Artland, with its celestial name and star-studded collection of outdoor artworks to match. Looking at the relationship between humans and nature, artist Tania Kovats has just installed a boathouse on the edge of lake, and filled it with vials of water from 100 British rivers.
Jupiter Artland, 01506 889900, permanent collection, £8.50 (£4.50).
Turner Prize-nominated Glasgow artist Wilkes is known for her sculptural installations that often make use of unusual materials, such as shop mannequins. These are often disturbing and always stacked with hidden meanings and narrative. This solo show exhibits new work by this home-turf favourite.
The Modern Institute, Glasgow, 248 3711, 27 Oct until 24 Nov, free.
Peter Hujar – David Lighting Up
See this prolific American photographer’s work as part of an exhibition showcasing GoMA’s new world-class collection purchased on behalf of the city. The presentation concentrates on artists’ relationships with urban environments and includes an impressive host of contemporary Scottish artists alongside international greats.
Tales of the City, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 287 3050, until 28 Oct, free.