Contemporary Painters

Temporarily closed

Until Sun 31 May 2020

Gallery closed


Admission Free


In order to help protect the health of our staff and visitors during this difficult time, we have closed all of our Galleries.

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

Despite their distinctively individual styles and often semi-autobiographical references, these artists all display a mutual contemporary sensibility towards global concerns such as race, identity, multiculturalism and post-colonial politics. Often referencing painters of the past, they share an interest in the process of painting itself while simultaneously challenging prevailing artistic orthodoxies, traditional techniques and use of materials.

Chris Ofili (b.1968) is a Nigerian British painter based in Trinidad whose paintings are renowned for their intricate layering and inventive use of media, such as elephant dung, resin, glitter and magazine cut-outs. His work examines both the contemporary and historical black experience.

Michael Armitage (b.1984) is a Kenyan born artist, currently living and working between London and Nairobi. Instead of a conventional surface, Armitage paints on Lubugo, a traditional bark cloth from Uganda that is more commonly used to make sacred or ceremonial fabrics. His paintings intertwine Western and East African narratives mixing local mythologies and personal memories with socio-political commentary.

Born in Calcutta, India, the London-based Raqib Shaw (b. 1974) uses enamel paints to create intricate, jewel-like paintings that are often inspired by European Old Masters. Many of his opulent scenes are set against Kashmiri landscapes, where the artist spent his formative years. His complex scenes combine eastern and western traditions, fantasy and reality and autobiographical details.

Carol Rhodes (1959-2018) was born in Edinburgh but grew up in Bengal before returning to the United Kingdom at the age of fourteen. Her paintings often depict semi-fictional views of commonly disregarded locations viewed from an aerial perspective, which makes them look almost abstract.

The paintings of the German artist Thomas Scheibitz (b.1968) skirt the boundary between figuration and abstraction. His 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.

Event accessibility

Display accessibility

  • Large print labels
  • Wheelchair access


Gallery facilities

The Changing Places toilet is located in the rear car park of Modern One with accessible parking spaces located nearby. The unit is open 9am-5pm, every day, a key is not required.

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

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing places toilet
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • On-site parking (£2)
  • Disabled parking
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack

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.

  • <strong>Gallery closed</strong>
  • <strong>Gallery closed</strong>
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

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