Visual art, Reviews

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Alex Dordoy

3 Feb 20124 stars

Overarching sense of the mutability of physical objects

Alex Dordoy’s new body of work mixes the digital and the analogue, the abstract and the real, in a search for new means of perception. Three bright and eye-catching panoramic canvases – meticulously painted reproductions of digitally abstracted figures…

The Sculpture Show

1 Feb 20124 stars

Well-managed and educational group sculpture show also contains big impressions

Those who find their attention can escape the orbit of this show’s central spectacle – Ron Mueck’s striking ‘A Girl’, a life-like model of a quite grumpy-looking newborn baby girl rendered as a vast monolith many dozens of times the size of nature…

Allan Sekula: Ship of Fools

1 Feb 20124 stars

Large-scale images explore shipping industry’s role in exploitation of labour

Now that capitalism is a sinking ship with assorted captains scrambling for the lifeboats, Allan Sekula’s ongoing photographic exploration of globalisation in motion is the perfect metaphor for a world all at sea. This most recent series by the…

Anna Barriball

1 Feb 20124 stars

Sculpture show from the Plymouth-born artist contains a relaxed humour

There’s a certain fascination in concealment within the work of Plymouth-born Anna Barriball, a tension between what the works appear to be and what they actually are. Is a framed, full-sized pencil rubbing of a door a drawing of said door, or are its…

Alasdair Gray: City Recorder

19 Dec 20115 stars

Fantastic exhibition of drawings chronicling Glasgow's past

For one year in 1977, at a time when many of Glasgow’s famous old industries were closing, Alasdair Gray was commissioned to capture the life of the city in ink, watercolour, acrylic and oil on paper. Glasgow’s local history museum, the People’s Palace…

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What Presence! – The Rock Photography of Harry Papadopoulos

19 Dec 20115 stars

Stunning exhibition of post-punk music photography

Harry Papadopoulos is the great unsung documenter of post-punk, who, between 1978 and 1984, captured a crucial era in pop history in all its geeky glory. Having started out taking snaps for Bobby Bluebell’s fanzine, The Ten Commandments, and orbiting…

Alison Watt – Hiding in Full View

19 Dec 20113 stars

The artist's paintings are good, but suffer in comparison to the photography of Francesca Woodman

‘All rooms will hide you, if you stand just so – ghosts know this, that’s really all they know,’ declares one of the poems by Don Paterson (a credited collaborator in this show), which are printed in fluid lower case type just below eye level on the…

Andrew Kerr – So Ensconced

19 Dec 20113 stars

Over 70 new paintings in this debut solo exhibition from the Glasgow-based artist

Absence makes the heart grow fonder in Andrew Kerr’s first major solo show in Scotland. Almost 70 new paintings discreetly dominate both floors, only interrupted by the odd smattering of drawings or sculptural intervention. Most of the mainly…

Beholder

9 Dec 20114 stars

Gloriously disparate jumbled-up wonderland of art for art’s sake that’s a joy to wander through

‘Beauty’, according to that man David Hume, whose tercentenary year is almost up, ‘is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.’ So it goes in this bumper grab bag of some 50 works, each subjectively…

Torsten Lauschmann: Startle Reaction

9 Dec 20114 stars

Explores tangled-up mess of interconnectivity

You don’t immediately notice the quieter, more domestic pieces in Torsten Lauschmann’s biggest box of tricks to date. The subverted digital clock above the DCA box office and the wired-up chandelier that hangs in Gallery One, where two of Lauschmann’s…

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Henrik Håkansson: The End

9 Dec 20114 stars

Video installation centres around death of several flies

Its body cracks under the whip. Wings tear apart, legs fall open, torso flinching, and its head flops lifeless to one side. The momentous instant of the death of the fly is elongated, scored and played back on a grand scale. Then another appears. The…

Hidden City

9 Dec 20113 stars

Edinburgh Printmakers members’ show a mixed bag

In compiling their latest, largest annual members’ show, Edinburgh Printmakers have imposed an unwitting watermark of quality with their decision to give it a theme. ‘Edinburgh Uncovered’ is the subtitle, and the collection claims to offer ‘an intimate…

Bill Bollinger

15 Nov 20114 stars

The contemporary of Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse et al gets his own well-deserved retrospective

Onscreen in black and white, a man is attempting to stand a log upright of its own volition. Time and again the man methodically lifts the log off the ground, moving it from horizontal to vertical before it topples as though felled with some invisible…

The Scottish Colourists series: FCB Cadell

15 Nov 20114 stars

Retrospective of the early 20th century colourist's work displays a life-long development of talent

To modern eyes this retrospective of the work of early 20th century Edinburgh colourist FCB Cadell might appear a little staid, a procession of chintzy New Town interiors and still life compositions involving china crockery and the distinctive white…

Thea Djordjadze - Lost Promise in a Room

15 Nov 20114 stars

A considered display of sculpture and objects in effective, minimalist setting

Strange objects roughly sculpted in plaster, propped up against walls, placed in corners and laid out in unusual places, are contrasted against minimalist lines of steel and smooth mirrored cubes. A lump of chicken wire is securely contained in a…

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Transmission Gallery Group Show

15 Nov 20114 stars

Sam Derounian, Graham Kelly and Conor Kelly shine in local artist showcase

A commendable group show brings together new work by nine Glasgow-based artists at the Transmission Gallery. Without a didactic theme to tie the exhibition together the viewer is free to contemplate works individually and to make subtle links with…

The Writing On Your Wall

28 Oct 20114 stars

Rob Tufnell-curated group show chronicling the history of radical print

When Jeremy Deller put Rupert Murdoch’s walnut face on a sky-blue ‘Vote Conservative’ poster to raise funds for the Labour Party, it looked like satire. Given the ongoing phone-hacking saga, it now feels like prophecy. The ‘Murdoch Doesn’t Give A XXX…

Ciara Phillips: The only rule is work

21 Oct 20114 stars

Exhibition the result of a three-month residency at Kendall Koppe, inspired by Sister Corita Kent

‘The only rule is work’ is one of ten accommodating rules for students and teachers developed by artist and educator Sister Corita Kent. Ciara Phillips’ exhibition is the result of her three-month residency in the gallery space where she shared a…

Graham Fagen: Missing

21 Sep 20114 stars

Moving video installation running parallel to the Tramway's Andrew O'Hagan-penned theatre production

Graham Fagen’s moving video diptych Missing explores the experience of going missing, and what it is like for those left behind. Commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait gallery, it is produced in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland…

Lucy Roscoe - The Beach House

21 Sep 20114 stars

Collection of sea-themed prints and paper sculptures in convivial deli setting

Edinburgh-based artist-illustrator and founder of the Book Tree Press, Lucy Roscoe, brings a body of new work to Edinburgh’s Broughton Deli. The Beach House is the tenth in a specially curated series by Nicola Brooks and fills the space with delicate…

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Nick Sargent: A Scottish Land

16 Sep 20114 stars

Bold and charming celebration of the Scottish landscape

With A Scottish Land, one-time set and costume designer and Edinburgh resident Nick Sargent returns to Oliver Chapman Architects in-house gallery space for the first time since their inaugural exhibition. Inspired by a photograph of a generic…

Alan Reid: Boudoir Concrete

16 Sep 20113 stars

Delicately balanced clashing of art and design

Looking for all the world like propaganda posters for Nazi leisure organisation Kraft durch Freude, Alan Reid’s representational drawings of lissome young bodies appear to promote healthy living and sexless appeal. Lithe bodies are interrupted by…

Gary Rough - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. . .

16 Sep 20112 stars

Meshing of conceptual ideas that leaves no lasting impression

Running at Sorcha Dallas for the next month is Gary Rough’s latest Glasgow exhibition Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc..., a meshing of two conceptual ideas, the ongoing collection of 1,984 copies of George Orwell’s classic, 1984, and the attempted…

Paul Muzni: Configure

30 Aug 20113 stars

Versatility found among abstracted oil and pastel pieces of Edinburgh artist

Edinburgh artist Muzni treats the eyes in this collection of life works focusing on the female nude, constantly striving to keep his approach as fresh as the colours that make up his delicately abstracted oil and pastel pieces. The use of pastel is a…

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings

25 Aug 20114 stars

Breathtaking exploration of both photography and science

To say that Sugimoto's contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival is striking would be an understatement. This is the first time these works have been displayed in Europe. The Japanese photography pioneer’s huge analogue 'Lightning Fields…