Our top picks for Glasgow International ‘16
Highlights from Glasgow's biennial festival of contemporary art
courtesy the artist and Galerie Neu
This biannual festival is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on our arts calendar, but with over 50 events, 220 exhibiting artists and 78 exhibitions located in venues across Glasgow, knowing where to start and what to visit can be tricky. We’ve compiled some of our must-see exhibitions from the 2016 programme, which brings together new commissions from some of Scotland’s most acclaimed artists and shows by exciting new creatives from further afield.
Tessa Lynch: Painter’s Table
Lynch has been exploring the concept of the female flaneur, or ‘flaneuse’ in her work for the last few years, previously presenting a solo show at Glasgow Sculpture Studios in 2014 on the subject. She describes her new show at GoMA as an ‘architectural drama’, with sculptural works that loosely mimic events and objects encountered on the artist’s daily commute through Glasgow. Far from the romanticized 19th century figure written about by Baudelaire who saunters around the city observing society, Lynch considers the realities of navigating the city for a female artist today and the pressures, dangers and obstacles that often make the very existence of a flaneuse impossible.
Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Fri 8 Apr–Mon 13 Jun.
Claire Barclay: Bright Bodies
Barclay’s new commission in Kelvin Hall is inspired by the history of the building, particularly the 1951 Exhibition of Industrial Power that was hosted at the site as part of the Festival of Britain. Barclay is interested in the tension between the glorification of industry at these kinds of events, and the brutal reality of the production celebrated. Given Barclay’s long-standing fascination with how meaning is held within material and the interplay of distinct, often unlikely pairings of material and form that define her sculptural practice, this promises to be an impressive and memorable new commission from the artist.
Kelvin Hall, Fri 8–Mon 25 Apr.
Alisa Baremboym and Liz Magor
Baremboym and Magor share a similar set of concerns in their work – both are fascinated by the human body’s inextricable connection to the manmade, and the impact of new industries and technologies on it. The boundary between the organic and inorganic blurs in their work: organic materials appear mechanical and synthetic materials are often presented like bodily substances. Despite the similarities of their practice, Magor and Baremboym have not exhibited alongside one another before – so there’s much to be gained from viewing their work together.
Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Fri 8 Apr–Sat 4 Jun.
Cosima von Bonin – Who’s Exploiting Who in the Deep Blue Sea?
On first glance German artist Cosima von Bonin’s works seem kitsch – childish even, but appearances are deliberately deceptive in her work and seemingly empty playthings are vessels for von Bonin to explore art history, popular culture and craft, and to destabilise perceived constructions of feminism. The cast of underwater characters that make up her GI exhibition will be no different.
Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Fri 8 Apr–Mon 8 Aug.
Sol Calero: Desde el Jardín
The transformation of David Dale Gallery by Venezuelan artist Sol Calero is one of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions at this year’s GI. Calero creates impressive, immersive installations that completely challenge the audience’s expectations of what a gallery can be. She’s previously turned Studio Voltaire into a Carribean School, Laura Bartlett into a hair salon and the gallery’s booth at Frieze into an internet café. This latest commission, Desde el Jardín takes its title from the Spanish translation of the film and novel Being There and will take cues from a tropical garden or patio.
David Dale Gallery, Fri 8–Tue 26 Apr.
Derek Alexis Coard
This is the first solo exhibition outside of the United States by the New York-based artist Derrick Alexis Coard and will be installed at Project Ability in collaboration with Scottish artist Jim Lambie. The show will present a collection of Coard’s most recent works – expressive portraits of black men imagined by the artist. His work is infused with political and religious overtones, describing it Coard says: 'During my adolescence I started drawing images of bearded black men. I use bearded black men as a symbolic expression for possible change in the African American community. My work is a form of testimonial where black men can be seen in a more positive and righteous light.'
Project Ability Gallery, Fri 8–Mon 25 Apr.
Sam Smith: The Horizontal Window
Sam Smith borrows and appropriates the language of cinema – using framing, montage and composition to explore forms through the camera lens. For his first solo exhibition in Scotland, the artist will present a new work, commissioned by The Telfer Gallery and made in response to the interior and exterior spaces of the ground floor and public facing space of the gallery, situated in the heart of the Barras Market. ‘The Horizontal Window is conceptualised as a multi-faceted project that explores the window as a framing device in Modernist architecture and how it can be related to the language of the cinematic frame,’ explains Rebecca Howard, programmer for the Telfer Gallery. ‘Smith will present a large-scale architectural installation that will act as a site for a new video work and performance.’
The Telfer Gallery, Fri 8–Mon 25 Apr.
Josée Aubin Ouellette: Body Blocks
Josée Aubin Ouellette: Body Blocks
Inspired by the ergonomic design of medical support cushions, Body Blocks is set to be a playful installation of soft sculptures by Glasgow School of Art graduate Ouellette. Situated within Govanhill Baths – a space that similarly blurs the line between art and wellbeing - Ouellette will encourage her audience to directly engage with her work, treating them as props for exercise practice and relaxation. The artist has also produced an accompanying performance and sound work made in response to the pervasive contemporary trend for self help through mindfulness apps.
Govanhill Baths, Fri 8–Tue 26 Apr.