Edinburgh Art Festival 2018 celebrates the best of visual art for its 15th edition

Edinburgh Art Festival 2018 celebrates the best of visual art for its 15th edition

Phyllida Barlow in her studio

Solo presentations by female artists and comprehensive art-historical survey shows are at the centre of this year's art festival

Edinburgh Art Festival has announced the first details of the 15th edition of one of the biggest annual festivals dedicated to the visual arts in the UK. This year the partner programme will feature over 35 exhibitions in 22 venues across the city to celebrate the very best in the visual art world.

For the 2018 programme it's all about the women, with a remarkable number of solo presentations by female artists, including exhibitions by contemporary artists Tacita Dean, Jenny Saville, Joana Vasconcelos, Lucy Skaer and Victoria Crowe. Highlights include Tacita Dean's display of landscape, portrait and still life that examines the theme of performance at Fruitmarket Gallery. Phyllida Barlow's commision for Jupiter Artland's tenth anniversary titled quarry is another highpoint and features three sculptural objects that embody her trademark textural style.

Themes that are prevalent at this year's festival are the natural world; our relationship to space, landscape and the environment; and the power of place, community and belonging. Space and the environment are explored by Ravi Agarwal in his show at Edinburgh Printworks, which draws from experiences in New Delhi to deal with the challenges posed to urban nature in Scotland. Over at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, the themes of place, community and belonging are manifested in newly commissioned work from Birthe Jorgensen, Santiago Poggio and Scott Rodger which was the culmination of a six-month international exchange between Scotland and Argentina.

Edinburgh Art Festival 2018 celebrates the best of visual art for its 15th edition

credit: Ravi Argawal
Large-scale art-historical and survey shows are one of the most rousing aspects of this year's festival. Canaletto & the Art of Venice is the largest presentation of the artist's work that Scotland has ever seen, while Britain's Discovery of the Master at the Scottish National Gallery is an exclusive Rembrandt expo which is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

There's a strong photography and film lineup, with In Focus: Scottish Photography at City Art Gallery, and Stills Gallery maintains the emphasis on Scottish photography with a two-part exhibition of work by Gunnie Moberg and Margaret Tait.

The festival continues to be a key platform for early career artists by making an impressive effort to offer selections of work from emerging artists living and making in Edinburgh. Lucy Wayman's display of sculptural works at Dovecot Gallery and ECA graduate Robert Powell's work at The Fine Art Society are examples of some of the freshest faces on the scene.

Director of the festival, Sorcha Carey, remarked: 'As we enter our 15th edition, this year's partner exhibitions continue to demonstrate the ambitious and inspiring programming that has shaped our Festival from its inception.'

The Edinburgh Art Festival, Thu 26 July--Sun 26 Aug, Various Venues, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Art Festival

Scotland’s largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods.

Various venues: Edinburgh

Thu 26 Jul

Times & prices vary / 0131 226 6558

Fri 27 Jul

Times & prices vary / 0131 226 6558

Sat 28 Jul

Times & prices vary / 0131 226 6558

…and 29 more dates until 26 Aug

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