The best visual art shows of 2013, featuring Lucy Skaer, Louise Bourgeois and Nam June Paik

The best visual art shows of 2013, featuring Lucy Skaer, Louise Bourgeois and Nam June Paik

Peter Doig's Grande Riviere, 2001-2002, National Gallery of Canada

Peter Doig and the Scotland + Venice exhibition also among the year's art highlights

Three Glasgow School of Art graduates – Corin Sworn, Duncan Campbell and Hayley Tompkins – made an impressive mark on the international art scene in Scotland’s presentation at the 55th Venice Biennale. Their acclaimed range of work at the Palazzo Pisani – Scotland + Venice – was curated by Katrina Brown and Kitty Anderson from the Common Guild in Glasgow, where all three artists will present their work in 2014 for what will be anticipated solo shows.

The Edinburgh Art Festival, meanwhile, presented some of its most interesting exhibitions and commissions to date since its foundation in 2004, under director Sorcha Carey. Among a long list of innovative shows, performances and installations were the stand-outs Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds at the Talbot Rice Gallery and Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands at the Scottish National Gallery. Also part of the Edinburgh International Festival, Transmitted Live celebrated the 50th anniversary of Paik’s first solo exhibition from 1963, Exposition of Music – Electronic Television. Curators at the Talbot Rice not only demonstrated how the Korean artist brought television into the realm of art for the first time, but highlighted the influence his work still has on contemporary art. Showcasing a far more traditional medium, No Foreign Lands demonstrated the continuing relevance of painting in the art world today, and also of Edinburgh-born Doig, showing him to be at the peak of a career that has already spanned three decades.

Two major Edinburgh galleries collaborated to present a retrospective of Louise Bourgeois’ work in 2013. With I Give Everything Away, the Fruitmarket concentrated on the late French artist’s works on paper, while Modern One presented A Woman Without Secrets – a sensitive and evocative collection of her two- and three-dimensional work as part of the Artist Rooms series. At the Tramway in Glasgow, Lucy Skaer returned from New York to present Exit, Voice and Loyalty – her largest and perhaps most impressive show since the Turner Prize exhibition in 2009.

Louise Bourgeois: I Give Everything Away

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was a tiny Frenchwoman with an impish smirk, who made sculptures, installations and images that gave unforgettable shape to her lifelong theme: human relationships and the trouble they cause. She is a hero to artists as diverse as Dorothy Cross and Tracey Emin, and her work, although often…

Lucy Skaer: Exit, Voice and Loyalty

New sculptural work engaging with notions of history, using heavy 'sinker' mahogany recovered from rivers in Belize, precious metals and the stone steps from the house where the artist grew up.

Louise Bourgeois: A Woman Without Secrets

Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010) was one of the great artists of the 20th century, who drew on her own private demons and made them into works of art. This major exhibition focuses on her sculptural work, including pieces such as Spiral Woman, Avenza and Cell (Eyes and Mirrors).

Corin Sworn

The third of three Common Guild artists' exhibitions originally shown at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Sworn's installations explore notions of storytelling and history.

Duncan Campbell

Films that look at the representation of people and events, questioning the authority, integrity and intentions behind the information presented.

Hayley Tompkins

Work by gallery artist, previously presented at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Tompkins' painted objects reconfigure relationships to commonplace items.

Post a comment