We all experience colour differently. Our perceptions are influenced by biological, cultural, and psychological factors which vary for everyone. Colour is never neutral. These selected works showcase artists who harness the immersive power of colour, presenting contrasting works in dialogue.

Paintings and prints with colourful shapes by Helen Frankenthaler and Corita Kent are juxtaposed with artworks that use colour to tell a story or evoke a sense of place, like Roger Brown’s Misty Morning. For centuries artists have used colour to express energy, movement, nature and space, discord and harmony. This approach is shared equally by abstract and representational art. Artists understand that colour can provoke reactions from their viewers – its impact can be surprising, joyful, and even overwhelming.  

Colour is both a personal experience and shaped by progress in science, industry, and technology. These artworks span a century of immense change in the manufacture and availability of paint products. These advances altered how artists handled colour: new materials leading to new techniques.  By the early 20th century, paints were made on an industrial scale, creating vast colour ranges for artists like Josef Albers to choose from, straight from the can or tube.  

Event accessibility

Display accessibility

  • Wheelchair access



Gallery facilities

Detailed information on accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

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. There is free accessible parking for blue badge holders.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing places toilet
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Disabled parking
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Parking
  • Café
Getting here

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.

Venue map
73 & 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

Conversations with the Collection

Conversations with the Collection

This is display is part of Conversations with the Collection, a changing programme of displays that offers visitors a brand new way to experience the national collection. 

A celebration of Scottish and international modern and contemporary art, the thematic displays place creativity and conversation at their core by considering how dialogue and exchange shape and reshape artistic process.

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.

What's on

Browse what's on at the galleries below, or filter results to narrow your search.

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