The best visual art exhibitions of 2012

The best visual art exhibitions of 2012

Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege

Featuring Glasgow International, Ian Hamilton Finlay, David Peat, Susan Philipsz and Studio 58

1 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art

Glasgow International returned for its fifth edition with the usual impressive city-wide programme of Scottish and international artists. Highlights included new work by Karla Black, whose layer cake of sawdust, resembling a giant tiramisu, took over the ground floor of the Gallery of Modern Art, while Jeremy Deller’s ‘Sacrilege', which recreated Stonehenge as a huge bouncy castle, proved a massive popular hit.
Various venues, Glasgow, Apr.

2 Ian Hamilton Finlay: Twilight Remembers

The Ingleby Gallery curated one of the highlights of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, a remarkable retrospective of work by the late poet, artist and creator of the Little Sparta garden in the Pentlands. While the centrepiece was the intermedia work ‘Carrier Strike’, which depicts an epic naval battle, the exhibition also included sculptures, postcards and posters exploring everything from football to Fishing News headlines.
Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh Art Festival, Aug.

3 David Peat: a Retrospective

Following his death early in 2012 at the age of 65, Street Level Photoworks mounted this wonderful collection of documentary filmmaker David Peat’s street photography. The result was a rich historical document, giving insight into life in and around the condemned tenements of Glasgow in 1968 as well as later international street scenes, showing the humanity and pathos in Peat’s work.
Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, Jul.

4 Susan Philipsz: Timeline

The Glasgow-born artist and 2010 Turner Prize winner created a typically intriguing and provocative sound sculpture for this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. Inspired by the electrical cable that once ran from Nelson’s Monument on Calton Hill to Edinburgh Castle to mark out the speed at which the sound of a gun travels, the piece took the form of an otherworldly three-note female harmony that segued into the noise of the One O’Clock Gun being fired.
Edinburgh Art Festival, Aug.

5 Studio 58

Curator Dr Sarah Lowndes brought together the work of 54 women artists with a connection to Glasgow, exploring the impact women have had on the city’s art scene since World War II. The exhibition charted the ways in which the current crop of celebrated Glasgow artists such as Karla Black and Christine Borland had been influenced by previous generations.
Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Jul.