February 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Highland dress and tartan fabric are universally recognised signs of Scotland and Scottish identity. This display explores what these distinctive garments and this highly recognisable textile meant to six different people who were painted between 1680 and 1780.
At first associated specifically with the Gaelic north and west of the nation, in particular with the flowering there of an elite warrior culture, the ‘Highland habit’ was subsequently used to convey various and sometimes conflicting messages. Highland dress was adopted by the Hanoverian army as it struggled to impose authority within Scotland, and the kilted soldier soon became a powerful symbol of the wider British Empire. « Read the rest of this entry »
December 20, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell is one of the four artists known as the Scottish Colourists, along with JD Fergusson, GL Hunter and SJ Peploe. They all spent time in France early on in their careers and had direct contact with French painting from Manet and the Impressionists to Matisse and the Fauves. They shared a preference for bright colour and pronounced brushwork and are recognised as being amongst the most important modern Scottish artists. Exhibitions of the work of Peploe and Fergusson will be held at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in autumn 2012 and 2013 respectively.
This is the first solo exhibition of Cadell’s work to be held in a public gallery in seventy years, following the retrospective held at the National Gallery of Scotland in 1942. Cadell is perhaps the most elegant of the Colourists. He is renowned for his stylish portrayals of Edinburgh New Town interiors and the sophisticated society that occupied them; equally celebrated are his vibrantly coloured, daringly simplified still lifes and figure studies of the 1920s and his evocative depictions of his beloved island of Iona.
July 20, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Tony Cragg Sculptures and Drawings at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 30th July – 6th November 2011
This exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is Tony Cragg’s first museum show in Britain for more than a decade, and features around fifty major sculptures, some of which are on a huge scale and are sited in the Gallery’s grounds. Cragg has brought an investigative, intuitive approach to sculpture, using an extraordinary range of materials. He came to prominence in the late 1970s for works composed of brightly coloured plastic objects, but since the mid-1980s has worked extensively in other materials such as bronze, glass, stainless steel and wood. Focusing mainly on Cragg’s work from the past fifteen years, this exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to see new work by one of the world’s greatest living sculptors.
Born in Liverpool in 1949, Tony Cragg began his career as a laboratory assistant, helping to test, manipulate and develop different types of rubber. At the time he was also studying art, and began to use drawing to understand the experiments in the laboratory. Gradually, these drawings came to have more significance for him than the experiments themselves. Cragg’s background in science partly informed his imaginative approach to making sculpture. His work reflects an intense curiosity that has driven him to create, test, push and pull materials, to see what each one does most naturally: this has been a defining characteristic of Cragg’s work throughout his career.You can buy tickets online at nationalgalleries.org/tickets
July 18, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Artists Rooms: Damien Hirst, Leeds Art Gallery, until 30th October 2o11
A major new exhibition of work by British artist Damien Hirst will be coming to Leeds Art Gallery on Friday, 15th July, as part of the national Artist Rooms programme which will see collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display at venues around the country.
Hirst has strong links with Leeds, as he grew up in the city and also attended Leeds College of Art and Design before shooting to national and international prominence in the mid-1990s with his groundbreaking and controversial use of animals preserved in formaldehyde in many of his works. The Leeds Art Gallery exhibition will be the first dedicated display of Hirst’s work ever seen in Leeds, and will trace the artist’s career from his student days to his later works after he had established himself as one of the world’s highest profile artists. The key ideas behind his career – birth, illness, death and religion – will all be identifiable in the display, and it will include one of his seminal works ‘Away from the Flock’ which was first exhibited in 1994 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.