The latest and greatest modern and contemporary art additions to Scotland’s national collection are on display in a free exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One). With more than 100 works to see, New Arrivals: from Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville presents a stunning showcase taking up the entire ground floor of the Gallery.
A wide range of styles and movements spanning 110 years will be represented, from an early-twentieth-century Cubist collage by Pablo Picasso to recent time-based media works by leading contemporary artists. Works by famous names such as René Magritte will be shown alongside those by brilliant but less-celebrated figures such as Marie-Louise von Motesiczky and Benjamin Creme. New Arrivals will also change throughout its run, revealing several pieces which for now must remain under wraps.
Highlights of the exhibition include striking and vibrant woodcuts by Alberta Whittle, who will represent Scotland at the 59th International Venice Biennale; a large-scale diptych by France-Lise McGurn, the Glasgow-based artist renowned for works paintings comprised of intuitive brushstrokes, and a painting by the acclaimed Scottish painter and printmaker Barbara Rae CBE RA RSA RE.
Many artworks are on public display for the very first time since they arrived at the Galleries. They include:
The first work by the highly sought-after artist Marc Chagall to enter Scotland’s national collection. L’Écuyère [The Horse Rider] (1949 – 1953) is a stunning example of Chagall’s fixation with depicting female circus horse-riders.
Bows (about 1910), a painting by Frances Macdonald MacNair, a member of the celebrated ‘Glasgow Four’, which explores the theme of female sexuality in her distinctive Spook School style.
Wangechi Mutu’s Histology of Different Classes of Uterine Tumors (2004 - 2005), a series of twelve politically resonant collages which challenge the cultural objectification of women of colour. These were purchased with help from the Heinz Fund and Art Fund.
The exhibition is the fruit of five years’ worth of acquisitions work, all made possible by the generosity of National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) supporters through gifts, bequests and grants. Art Fund has been instrumental in strengthening NGS’ Surrealist collection, which is now one of the best in the world. This includes Salvador Dalí’s iconic Lobster Telephone (1938), Leonora Carrington’s Portrait of Max Ernst (c. 1939) and Dorothea Tanning’s Tableau vivant [Living Picture] (1954). Tanning’s painting will be accompanied by a second acquisition of a work by the artist, a sculpture titled Primitive Seating (1982) made up of a re-upholstered chair with a long cat-like tail: it has been acquired with generous support from Alison Jacques.
NGS is immensely indebted to the Arts Council’s Acceptance-in-Lieu and Cultural Gifts schemes, which enabled the acquisition of Damien Hirst’s life-size bronze sculpture Wretched War (2004); the first portrait Oskar Kokoschka painted in Britain after arriving as a refugee in 1939, and a remarkable set of twenty-one monotypes by the great Russian Constructivist artist Naum Gabo.
The exhibition serves as a testament to the many individuals who have given works or helped NGS to buy them over the past five years.