Contemporary Painters

Open Sun-Tue, 10am-5pm

Admission free | Advance booking required


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This room brings together six artists whose work engages critically with, and expands, the field of painting. Included in the display are works by Michael Armitage, Chris Ofili, Carol Rhodes, Thomas Scheibitz, Victoria Morton and Raqib Shaw.

Despite their distinctively individual styles, they all display a sensibility towards contemporary concerns, including social connection, identity and multiculturalism, whilst drawing from an eclectic range of sources and sharing an interest in the process of painting itself.

Image: Michael Armitage, Nasema Nawe 2016 © The Artist and White Cube

Michael Armitage’s paintings intertwine European and East African narratives. He paints on Lubugo, a traditional bark cloth from Uganda, mixing local mythologies and personal memories with socio-political commentary.

Chris Ofili's paintings are renowned for their intricate layering, decorative surfaces and inventive use of media. His symbolically rich works draw from a wide range of sources including Zimbabwean cave painting, popular music, Biblical themes and mythology.

Born in Calcutta, India, the London-based artist Raqib Shaw uses enamel paints to create elaborate, jewel-like paintings that are often inspired by European Old Masters. His complex paintings combine diverse cultural traditions, fantasy and reality, and autobiographical details

Skirting the boundary between figuration and abstraction, Thomas Scheibitz’s works are based on a vast archive of imagery sourced from both personal experience and memory, alongside a variety of media, including magazines, films and newspapers.

Using geography textbooks and aerial photographs as her source material, Carol Rhodes predominantly painted semi-fictional scenes of typically disregarded locations viewed from an aerial perspective, which makes them look almost abstract.

Victoria Morton’s paintings are influenced by fashion, art history and experimental music composition. In her abstract canvases, she aims to involve the viewer by creating a mind-expanding and overwhelming expanse of pictorial space.

Event accessibility

Display accessibility

  • Wheelchair access


Gallery facilities

A full accessibility guide is available at www.accessibilityguides.org for Modern One and Modern Two.

Parking for visitors is available at both Modern One and Modern Two. A donation is requested of £3 for up to 4 hours and £6 for 4-8 hours. Our payment meters have contactless capability.

  • Wheelchair access
  • Disabled parking
  • Bike rack
  • Parking

Getting here

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

  • <b>Modern One</b><br> Open Sun-Tue, 10am-5pm<br> (daily from 29 July)<br> <b>Modern Two</b><br> Open daily, 10am-5pm
  • <b>Modern One</b><br> Open Sun-Tue, 10am-5pm<br> (daily from 29 July)<br> <b>Modern Two</b><br> Open daily, 10am-5pm
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

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Book your visit to Modern One

Book your visit to Modern One

We will be limiting the number of visitors in each gallery at any one time. To manage this we've instituted a free, timed ticketing system for both venues.

Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance.

Our Friends

Our Friends

Friends of the Galleries get free unlimited entry to all exhibitions, and enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits including early exhibition access, special events and 10% discount in our cafes.

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