Press releases 2009
Press releases 2009
DALÍ, MAGRITTE, MIRÓ AND THE SURREALISTS
10 July 2010 - 9 January 2011
DEAN GALLERY, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Admission £7 (£5 concessions)
Press view - Friday 9 July 2010, 11.30am – 1pm
A comprehensive survey of Surrealist art, which will bring together masterpieces by Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Joan Miró, will be the major summer exhibition at the Dean Gallery in 2010. Another World, which will be the centrepiece of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s 50th anniversary celebrations, will offer a fascinating overview of arguably the most important art movement of the twentieth century. The exhibition will include major loans from public and private collections and will offer visitors the chance to see the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s world-famous collection of Surrealist art in its entirety for the first time.
Surrealism is the name given to an art movement which began in Paris in the 1920s and soon spread around the globe. Meaning 'beyond realism', the term refers to the world of dreams, nightmares, the irrational and the strange. Today Surrealism has become part of our daily visual language, infiltrating every aspect of art, design and advertising.
The Surrealist collection of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA) is one of the largest anywhere in the world and rivals those found in New York, Paris, Chicago and London. As well as containing dozens of famous paintings and sculptures, it also includes a substantial number of prints, archival material, periodicals, books, letters and other publications. Another World will explore this collection in its totality and will include several print portfolios which have never been shown before by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst and Yves Tanguy. The holdings of Surrealist art are particularly rich thanks to two major acquisitions: in 1995 the SNGMA purchased part of the collection formed by the English Surrealist artist Roland Penrose; and that same year, Gabrielle Keiller bequeathed her magnificent collection to the Gallery.
Befitting an art movement which championed the irrational, Another World will be displayed in an unusual and exciting manner. Coloured walls will be densely hung alongside display cases filled with the Gallery’s extensive collection of books and manuscripts. In this dynamic setting visitors will be able to experience the visceral intensity of Surrealist art shown as it was originally intended. This is the only UK showing of this major exhibition.
Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, said: 'The 50th anniversary of the Gallery provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our world-famous collection of Surrealist art. The collection contains over sixty paintings, including masterpieces by artists such as Dalí, Miró and Picasso, as well as four of Magritte’s best paintings, collages and prints by Max Ernst, major sculptures by artists including Giacometti and Duchamp, and a vast collection of rare and beautiful, illustrated books. This will be the first time the entire collection will have been shown together, and will occupy the whole of the Dean Gallery. We have also negotiated some outstanding loans, to produce a really comprehensive and stunning exhibition.'
LEONARDO'S MADONNA OF THE YARNWINDER GOES ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND
The National Gallery of Scotland is delighted to announce that the painting, The Madonna of the Yarnwinder by Leonardo da Vinci will go on display in the Gallery from today. In 2003 it was stolen from Drumlanrig Castle, the Dumfriesshire home of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The painting was recovered in 2007. The Madonna of the Yarnwinder is the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in Scotland and is on loan to the Gallery from the Duke and the Trustees of the Buccleuch Heritage Trust.
In this pioneering and influential composition, an unusually large Christ Child is shown perched on a rocky outcrop beside his mother. He gazes intently at the cross-shaped form of a wooden yarnwinder, precociously aware of his future Crucifixion. The Virgin's tender, sorrowful expression and hesitant gesture reinforce the poignancy of the action.
This little panel is probably identical with one described in a letter dated 14 April 1501 from Fra Pietro da Novellara, head of the Carmelite order in Florence, to Isabella d'Este, Marchioness of Mantua and avid patron and collector of art. The letter clarifies that Leonardo was painting it for Florimond Robertet, a trusted minister and diplomat of the King of France, who had close ties to Italy. Leonardo had a notoriously poor record for bringing his works to completion, and it is unclear whether the painting was ever actually delivered to Robertet.
There has been much debate regarding the extent of Leonardo's direct involvement in the painting, but it seems likely that the overall design, and the execution of the figures and the foreground rocks, are entirely his. The background landscape, on the other hand, is not characteristic of Leonardo, and was probably added or completed by another artist, possibly quite a bit later. Technical examination has revealed landscape features and figures in the background that are no longer visible on the surface. That some of these reappear in early copies and variants of the composition supports the idea that the background may have been left unfinished by Leonardo and completed only later.
The painting was the focus of an exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: The Mystery of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder, organised here at the National Gallery of Scotland in 1992.
BP PORTRAIT AWARD 2009
12 December 2009 - 21 February 2010
THE DEAN GALLERY, SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART,
Belford Road, Edinburgh
A stunning group of fifty-six paintings selected for the BP Portrait Award 2009 will be shown at the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh this winter. Organised by the National Portrait Gallery in London, this prestigious annual award attracts entrants from around the world, and carries a first prize of £25,000. Now in its thirtieth year, and twentieth year of sponsorship from BP, the award promotes the best in contemporary portrait painting, by encouraging artists to focus upon and develop the theme of portraiture in their work. Peter Monkman, a 44-year-old art teacher from Surrey, has won the 2009 award with a haunting portrait of his daughter Anna, titled Changeling 2.
This hugely popular exhibition, which will be shown at the National Galleries of Scotland for only the third time in its history, will bring together the cream of this year’s submissions. The judges for 2009, who had the difficult job of choosing from a record field of 1,901 entries, included James Holloway, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery; Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London; and the artist Gillian Wearing. Among the works on display will be the prize-winners, who were announced in June: Peter Monkman’s Changeling 2; Michael Gaskell’s Tom, which was awarded the second prize of £8,000; Manuel by Annalisa Avancini, which won the third prize of £6,000; and Benfica Blue by Mark Jameson, who received the £5,000 BP Young Artist Award.
Other highlights will include Dan Llewelyn Hall’s striking portrait of Harry Patch, who, until his death in July, at the age of 111, was the last surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches during World War I, and Edinburgh artist James Metcalfe’s thoughtful, though topless, portrait of Gregor Fisher, the actor celebrated for his portrayal of Rab C. Nesbitt.
Reflecting the international profile of the competition, the BP Portrait Award 2009 includes the work of artists from Russia, South Africa, Spain, the USA, Israel, Canada, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Belgium, Ireland, Italy and the UK. Also on show will be a series of exquisite portraits by Emmanouil Bitsakis, winner of the BP Travel Award 2008, who used his £5,000 bursary to visit north-west China where he sketched and painted the Uigur people, a Muslim minority. (The BP Travel Award 2009 has gone to Isobel Peachey, who will travel to Belgium and Switzerland to depict enthusiasts taking part in historical re-enactments).
Closer to home, the exhibition encompasses a broad range of talent, from young artists fresh from college to established portraitists with an international reputation, from self-taught painters to retired academics. Artists over the age of 40 have been able to enter the competition since 2007, but it remains a powerful springboard for the careers of exceptional young painters (the renowned Scottish artist Alison Watt won the award in 1987).
Scottish artists selected for this year’s exhibition include Glasgow-based Jennifer Anderson, with an ethereal portrait of her sister, titled White Linen; Isle of Lewis-born Donald Macdonald, whose touching portrait of his future father-in-law, shows the sitter recovering from open-heart surgery; and Jennifer McRae, a well-established portrait painter, whose work has appeared in the BP Portrait Awards on many occasions since 1995.
Nicola Kalinsky, Deputy Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and co-ordinator of the exhibition said: “It’s tremendously exciting to be welcoming back the BP Portrait Award, but this time in new surroundings - we will be using the beautiful rooms of the Dean Gallery whilst the Portrait Gallery in Queen Street is closed for its refurbishment. This year’s selection is full of variety, demonstrating a range of painterly techniques, from flawless photo-realism to rich, expressive handling, and depicting a wide range of sitters, from children still unformed and new to the world, to those whose faces embody a lifetime’s experience.”
Tim Smith, External Affairs Director for BP in Scotland said: “We are delighted to bring the prestigious BP Portrait Award 2009 to the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh for its only Scottish showing. This year’s awards attracted a record number of entrants and the quality and variety of entries shows that portraiture continues to thrive in the UK and internationally. The exhibition is free to attend and I would encourage you to go along to see the 56 fascinating and diverse portraits selected by the judges.”
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHERE YOU’RE AT
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
From 28 November 2009
Press view: 27 November 2009, 11.30am – 1pm
For the first time in twenty-five years the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will be re-hung in its entirety to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding. Opening during the Homecoming Scotland Finale Celebrations, the display will reveal the richness and range of the collection in a series of rooms which aim to delight and surprise.
Since its opening in Inverleith House in 1960, in Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, its move to a larger building on Belford Road in 1984 and the expansion into the Dean Gallery in 1999, the collection has grown to more than 5000 works and is now considered one of the best in Europe.
Thematic displays will bring together iconic works, forgotten pieces and new acquisitions in innovative and often unexpected combinations and contexts: a room focusing on still-life will include work by Chardin, Morandi and Peploe; collage will bring together work by Picasso, Paolozzi, Agar and Burra; two successive rooms will contrast the use of colour internationally around 1910 with the use of colour in Pop and Op art from the 1960s; a further room is devoted to an exploration of white.
Interspersed among these thematic displays, other spaces will focus on a single artist, or work. The centrepiece of the re-hang will consist of an extraordinary, large-scale installation by Martin Boyce, who represented Scotland at this year’s Venice Biennale. This specially commissioned work is a recent acquisition to the collection and is being shown for the first time. Supported by Homecoming Scotland, and entitled Electric Trees and Telephone Booth Conversations, the installation makes full use of the height and dramatic scale of the largest room in the Gallery.
Other rooms devoted to solo artists include a spectacular installation of works by Douglas Gordon, whilst the artist Callum Innes has been given total freedom to curate a two-room display with works from the collection and selected loans. American artist David Schutter, alumni of the Randolph Cliff artist-in-residence programme which is supported by Edinburgh Collage of Art and the National Galleries of Scotland, will be marking his first showing in the UK with a room of new works. There will also be new work by the young German artist Kitty Kraus, who is shortly to show at the Guggenheim, New York. The re-hang will also include displays from ARTIST ROOMS, a new collection of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation. Outside, a major work by Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, will be installed in the grounds of the Dean Gallery, the installation of this work has been supported by the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland. Whilst a new work by Martin Creed, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, will illuminate the facade of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Culture Minister Michael Russell said: “This collection belongs to the people of Scotland, so I am thrilled that the Gallery is being re-invigorated in time for this year’s St Andrew’s Day celebrations.
“The unveiling of this major new installation by Martin Boyce is a fitting contribution to the Homecoming Scotland Finale Celebrations. Having just completed a very successful run representing Scotland at the world-renowned Venice Biennale of Art, there is no doubt that Martin’s work is of the highest quality. At the forefront of contemporary visual art, he continues the long history of Scots making important contributions to the world – exactly what the Homecoming celebrations are all about”
Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, said: “The 50th anniversary of the Gallery provides us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate one of the great European collections of modern and contemporary art, and to demonstrate our commitment to collecting and showing the very best national and international art here in Scotland. We are extremely grateful to Homecoming Scotland for their support in helping us bring such world-class art to a wider audience. “
Throughout our anniversary year the displays will change on a rotating basis. As well as showcasing new displays from the collection, this dynamic programme will also consist of new commissions from many leading Scottish and international artists. Details of which will be announced throughout the year.
For further information and images please contact the National Galleries of Scotland’s press office on 0131 624 6325/6247/6314/6332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIR PETER LELY: ARTIST AND COLLECTOR
13 November 2009 – 14 February 2010
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
This winter the National Gallery of Scotland celebrates one of the most fashionable portraitists in 17th-century Britain, Sir Peter Lely (1618-80), in a display of 28 works on paper. Lely was one of the greatest artists working during one of the most turbulent periods of British history, the English Civil War. As Principal Painter to Charles II, he was the most celebrated artist at the glamorous Restoration court and was also famous for being one of the first great collectors of art in Britain, amassing an important collection judged by the artist himself as ‘the best in Europe’. This exhibition of rarely seen art works will explore his life and career considering him as both artist and collector.
Lely was a painter of Dutch origin but spent most of his working life in England. He began his career producing history and landscape paintings but he became renowned as a portrait painter and was appointed Principal Painter to Charles II in 1660. In this privileged position he produced magnificent portraits of the Restoration courtiers including controversial subjects such as Charles II’s infamous mistress Nell Gwyn and his favourite illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth.
Lely was one of the first artists in Britain to have his work copied in mezzotint, a printmaking technique used to reproduce paintings using half tones to achieve a particular richness in quality. Lely saw the potential in this method as a means to publicise his own work, and embraced the technique whilst actively encouraging a number of Dutch printmakers to come to England and practice it. Due to his interest and love of collecting, at his death in 1680 he left behind a large collection of art works including 10, 000 prints and drawings and nearly 600 paintings .
This exhibition includes drawings, engraved prints and mezzotints by and attributed to Lely, by Italian and Flemish Old Masters and by a variety of established print makers.
Sir Peter Lely: Artist and Collector comprises works on paper from both the Scottish National Gallery and Portrait Gallery. This exhibition demonstrates not only the influence of one of Britain’s greatest 17th-century artists, but also highlights the wealth and importance of the National Galleries of Scotland’s collection of works on paper.
'Painter' and The Studio
Paul McCarthy and the Myth of the Artist
The Dean Gallery, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
17 October 2009 - 14 February 2010
This winter, a display at the Dean Gallery will examine how art institutions present the figure of the artist. ‘Painter’ and The Studio will contrast the Gallery’s own re-creation of a studio of sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi with the video work Painter (1995), a deliberately provocative artwork by American artist Paul McCarthy (b.1945).
Painter shows the grotesque figure of the artist at work, taking a comic and savage look at myths of artistic creativity and the art-world: a self-obsessed painter waiting for inspiration in his studio, labouring on the canvas, holding narcissistic meetings with an art dealer, and self-important curators.
Images of artists in their studio have a long tradition in art history, spanning the Renaissance to Romanticism and beyond. In picturing themselves at work, artists often created flattering and dramatic portraits, intended to reflect a particular self-image. Since the 1960s, these self-images have been increasingly questioned. While art criticism exposed clichés and stock phrases, artists themselves attacked and criticised old-fashioned artistic stereotypes. Paul McCarthy is one of the most influential of these artists. With a traditional background in painting, McCarthy made his name with performance art, mocking traditional artistic ideas.
McCarthy’s piece is shown next to the Dean Gallery’s own ‘Paolozzi Studio’. This display is an educational stage-set, exhibiting the generous donation of Scottish artist Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), and is one of our most popular and successful displays. By contrasting the ‘Studio’ presentation with McCarthy’s critique, ‘Painter’ and The Studio casts a second glance at how art galleries present the making of art.
Paul McCarthy (b. 1945, USA) lives and works in California. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2005); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2005); Tate Liverpool (2003). Recent Group Exhibitions include MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; Barbican Art Gallery, London; J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
PAUL SANDBY (1731–1809): PICTURING BRITAIN
A Bicentenary Exhibition
7 November 2009 – 7 February 2009
National Gallery Complex, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
This winter the National Gallery of Scotland will present a major exhibition celebrating the bicentenary of the artist Paul Sandby (1731-1809). A pioneer landscape painter and brilliant innovator with watercolour, Sandby played a key role in promoting the appreciation of spectacular scenery across Britain and inspired many later travellers and artists. Although the significance of his work has long been acknowledged, this is the first exhibition to include and analyse the full range of Sandby’s achievement.
Paul Sandby was born in Nottingham in 1731. He visited Scotland early in his career as a part of the Military Survey, which through map making, formed part of the campaign to control the country after the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. During his time as the Survey’s chief draughtsman he was based in Edinburgh and produced numerous ground-breaking landscape and genre studies. These works became well known through prints, and stand at the beginning of the rich tradition of depicting the drama and beauty of Scottish landscape – which was later developed by artists such as Runciman, Nasmyth, More and Turner. Sandby also came to know the work of important Enlightenment figures, such as the poet Allan Ramsay and the architect Robert Adam. Key works by Sandby exploring Scottish subjects in the exhibition include Roslin Castle (Yale Center for British Art), Horse Fair on Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh (National Gallery of Scotland), and part of the ‘Great Map’ of Scotland of c.1753 (British Library).
Following his time in Scotland, Sandby settled in London where he worked as a teacher, landscape painter and printmaker, forging a considerable reputation. Thomas Gainsborough considered him ‘the only Man of Genius… [for] real Views from Nature’. From the 1760s he made many highly finished watercolours and gouaches at Windsor, which are in a number of cases the outstanding works of his career. They include Sandby’s dramatic View of Windsor on a Rejoicing Night of 1768 (Royal Collection), which was painted in the year the artist became a founder member of the Royal Academy.
Sandby has often been considered the ‘father’ of watercolour painting in Britain; he refined the use of the medium and employed it to explore a broader range of subject matter than any previous artist in the country. He delighted in the study of rural and urban views, street scenes, royal parks and ancient castles, and always retained an interest in fascinating anecdotal details – which embrace the fashions, occupations and entertainments of the people he encountered. Picturing Britain features over one hundred loans, including oil paintings, watercolours, gouaches, prints and sketchbooks, coming from all the major collections which house his work: The Royal Collection, The British Museum, The British Library, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The Yale Center for British Art. It also includes some outstanding works from private collections, which have never previously been published.
This exhibition was organised by Nottingham City Museums and Galleries in association with the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. Its catalogue has been published by the Royal Academy of Arts, and in 2010 the Mellon Centre in London will host a complementary academic conference. The research for the exhibition and accompanying catalogue have been generously funded by The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.
A MODEL OF ORDER: CONCRETE POETRY
3 October 2009 – 3 January 2010
DEAN GALLERY, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DS
Telephone 0131 624 6200
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish Poetry Library will join forces this autumn in celebrating Concrete Poetry, an art form that crosses easily between the literary and the visual. A Model of Order will take in a number of exhibitions and displays, in venues across Edinburgh, as well as a programme of special events. These will explore Concrete Poetry as an international movement, together with other, related forms of literary and artistic experimentation. Highlights of the display at the Dean Gallery will include original publications containing the work of major proponents of the movement, such as Eugen Gomringer, the Swiss/Bolivian poet, and printed works by Ian Hamilton Finlay, the internationally acclaimed Scottish artist, who died in 2006. This will be the first time that the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish Poetry Library have collaborated in this way.
During the early twentieth century, the European avant-garde set out to demolish the boundaries between traditional art forms. Artists, writers and poets began to combine words and imagery in a variety of ways that created many different visual effects. Scraps of newsprint and painted words found their way into Cubist oil paintings, while writers embraced a radical use of typography, as seen in early Futurist, Dada and Surrealist publications.
The term Concrete Poetry was coined in the 1950s, to describe the work of an international group of artists, based largely in Brazil and Germany. For them, each poem (which might consist of just a single word, crisply positioned on the page) was a thing in itself, real and concrete, having a clear structure and a material presence of its own. Scotland also played an important role in this movement, with the involvement of writers and artists such as Edwin Morgan and Ian Hamilton Finlay. For Finlay, the concrete poem was ‘a model, of order, even if set in a space which is full of doubt’.
Artist Films in Scotland: 1960 to Now
17 October 2009 – 22 November 2009
The Dean Gallery, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
The National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to announce a major new exhibition at the Dean Gallery, which explores artists’ film and video from the 1960s to the present day. The first exhibition of its kind dedicated exclusively to film and video in Scotland, Running Time will reveal the richness and diversity of filmmaking in this country. This ambitious programme presents a unique collection of single screen film and video works, featuring more than 100 films by over 60 artists, revealing this fascinating legacy.
Scotland has a long and important history in the development of works in film and video. From the early pioneering works of Margaret Tait and David Hall, to the internationally renowned works of contemporary artists such as Douglas Gordon and Luke Fowler, Running Time will demonstrate how film and video has developed its own language and become the medium of choice for many artists. The exhibition will be presented in five thematic programmes which will change weekly throughout the run of the show.
Each programme will invite thematic comparisons between generations of artists, revealing continuing common interests. Portraits in Action will explore an ongoing concern with performative film, placing work by Douglas Gordon and Mark Neville alongside earlier videos by Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield. Places in Time will assess the manipulation of the documentary genre in artist film and video, from Margaret Tait’s ethereal, avant-garde films of the 1960s to Luke Fowler’s recent multi-layered films which combine new and archival footage to create atmospheric, sampled histories, such as Pilgrimage from Scattered Points (2006).
Drama and Suspense brings together a group of films videos and animations that suggest the uncanny and subvert the cinematic conventions of narrative to create a state of tension in the viewer, including Henry Coombes’ powerful 19th century drama, The Bedfords (2009) and a series of unusual films by Matt Hulse, who won a ‘best of the fest’ award in Edinburgh’s International Film Festival 2009.
Sound and Vision and Form in Motion are both grouped to reveal important developments in the history of film and video in Scotland. Sound and Vision explores the influence of experimental music on artists’ work, revealing a distinctive stylistic approach to film-making, as seen in the work of Katy Dove and Craig Mullholland. Form in Motion will present a selection of works which interrogate the formal conventions of the medium, with a number of seminal videos from the 1970s including work by David Hall and Stephen Partridge, first shown together in the exhibition Video: Towards Defining an Aesthetic (1976) at the Third Eye Centre in Glasgow, juxtaposed with a number of experimental, digitally edited films made since the 1990s.
This diverse programme will be shown on the upper floor of the Dean Gallery. The two large rooms will both screen a reel of projected films, whilst the smaller rooms will exhibit work on television monitors. In addition a new commission at the entrance to the gallery, by Glasgow-based artist Torsten Lauschmann, will form a dramatic prelude to the exhibition. This film installation by one of Scotland’s most exciting emerging artists has been commissioned by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and funded by the Scottish Arts Council to complement this exhibition.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
6 August – 8 November 2009
A rare display of one of America’s foremost abstract painters will be unveiled this summer as part of the programme of ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The presentation of late works by Agnes Martin (1912-2004) will include three paintings held in ARTIST ROOMS, complemented by a group of works on loan from a private collection.
Martin is acclaimed for her singular, abstract practice that spanned a career of nearly five decades. Born in Canada, Martin was descended from Scottish pioneers who moved from the Isle of Skye to Canada in the late 19th century. She moved to New York in 1957 where she became influenced by the work of the American Abstract Expressionist artists. Her development of a pure, abstract style led her work to be aligned with Minimalism. However, Martin refuted this, maintaining that her concern was with the inner, emotional world. For most of her career, Martin worked in isolation, inspired by her reading of ancient Chinese Tao philosophy and by the bare desert landscapes in New Mexico where she resided from 1967 until her death in 2004.
Dating from between 1994 and 2003, the eight paintings presented at the Gallery of Modern Art, highlight the scope of Martin’s late practice, particularly her tactile handling of paint and use of a broader range of hues in her palette. In contrast to the large grid-based works the artist made in the 1960s, these paintings are primarily composed of horizontal bands of ethereal colour, and all are painted on a uniform size of canvas, reduced in scale. These works move between a preoccupation with ordered geometry and the irregularity created by hand-drawn pencil lines. She viewed this deliberate inconsistency which undermines the possibility of geometric perfection as analogous to the human condition. In the late 1990s after a long period of leaving her works untitled, Martin reintroduced titles into her work to evoke states of euphoria and memories of past happiness, such as the two paintings Happy Holiday (1999) and Faraway Love (1999) which will be on show at the Gallery of Modern Art this summer.
This exhibition forms part of the programme of ARTIST ROOMS, a new collection of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation. ARTIST ROOMS was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS is being shared with museums and galleries throughout the UK with the support of independent charity The Art Fund, and within Scotland, the Scottish Government.
Throughout 2009, National Galleries of Scotland and Tate and 13 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by the nation in February 2008. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of The Scottish Government.
This exhibition is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.
RECORD-BREAKING YEAR FOR NGS ART COMPETITION FOR SCHOOLS
Sponsored by Scottish Widows
The best young artists in the country are to be celebrated on 17 June 2009 at the National Galleries of Scotland, when the prize-winners of the 2009 Art Competition for Schools will receive their awards from John Leighton, Director General of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS). Fantastic prizes for individual winners, classes and schools will be collected by over fifty of Scotland’s most talented young artists and their prize-winning works of art will tour the country for the next year. Keith Brown MSP for Schools and Skills will speak at the event to congratulate the winners. In addition Douglas Johnson, Director of Public Affairs will represent Scottish Widows who are sponsoring the competition for a fourth consecutive year.
With a record-breaking 5,796 entries received this year, a 44% increase on last year. Entrants faced tough competition in all six categories: nursery, primary schools (P1-3 and P4-7), secondary schools, special education schools and groups. Young artists were inspired by a variety of themes including Food is Fantastic, Super Duper Animal, A Sense of Place, and Look Up Look Down. The competition was launched online in December when schools from all over Scotland were invited to enter. Thousands of artworks were subsequently received from across Scotland from Portree to Perth.
Praising the high standard of entries this year, Linda McClelland, event organiser, said:
“The judges always have a difficult task but with a 44% increase in entry numbers, 2009 has proved a particularly memorable year. After last year’s hugely successful exhibition, which toured to venues in Inverness and Glasgow, we hope the 2009 show can be another record breaker!”
As part of last year’s touring exhibition, works from the 2008 competition were displayed in Pentagon Centre in Glasgow from November 2008 to January 2009 and then to the Raigmore Hospital, Inverness from February to May 2009. Work by winners of the 2009 competition will tour to two venues across Scotland.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
From Wednesday 17 June until 20 October 2009 the winning pieces will be on show in the Weston Link at the National Galleries of Scotland. Full details of how to enter in for 2010 will be online from August this year.
Category A Nursery: Food is Fantastic
1st: Abbie Turner, Musselburgh
2nd: Megan O'Reilly Rae, Edinburgh
3rd: Alejandro Oroz Storm, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Ella Macmillan, Inverness
Special Merit: Emma Kelly, Nielston
Special Merit: Jasmine Tucker, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Ryan Brown, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Harry Moir, Aberdeen
Special Merit: Max von Habsburg, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Niamh McDougall, Bellsmyre
Category B Primary 1-3: A Super Duper Animal
1st: Ben Murray, Kelso
2nd: Baillie Cuthbert, Midlothian
3rd: Thomas Holmes, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Stuart Mackay, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Shadri Nel, Isle of Skye
Special Merit: Cerys Baird, Tarbert
Special Merit: Chelsea Horne, Midlothian
Special Merit: Leon Hepburn, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Ewan Hodgson, Pitlochry
Special Merit: Mark MacQueen, Isle of Skye
Category C Primary 4-7: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
1st: Lara Bauchop, Edinburgh
2nd: Steven McDiarmid, Portree
3rd: Ruby Partridge, Isle of Skye
Special Merit: Sarah Robertson, Isle of Skye
Special Merit: Andrew Johnson, Inverkeithing
Special Merit: David Walker-Lothian, Clackmannanshire
Special Merit: Angelika Maly, Livingston
Special Merit: Sophie Miller, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Alistair Burnett, Perth
Special Merit: Zoe Kelly, Paisley
Category D S1-S2: A Sense of Place
1st: Alexander Crawford, Clackmannanshire
2nd: Stephanie Gibson, Ross-shire
3rd: Rory Irwin, Clackmannanshire
Special Merit: Ben Wilmot, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Linnet McGregor, Perth
Special Merit: Lucy Allison, Penicuik
Special Merit: Maxine Walker, Aberdeen
Special Merit: Katie Ross, Clackmannanshire
Special Merit: Jay Pettie, Perth
Special Merit: Eleanor Couser, Clackmannanshire
Category E Special Education Schools: Look Up, Look Down
1st: Jack Johnstone, Edinburgh
2nd: Daniel Cole, Glasgow
3rd: Jamie Kamal, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Liam Finlayson, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Thomas Williams, Port Glasgow
Special Merit: Mathew Coyle, Coatbridge
Special Merit: Matthew Docherty, Glasgow
Special Merit: Lorna Shimmons, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Tony Schofield, Edinburgh
Special Merit: Christopher Graham, Glasgow
Category F Group Work
1st: Hillside School, Aberdour
2nd: Prospect Bank School, Edinburgh
3rd: Wester Coates Nursery, Edinburgh
THE DISCOVERY OF SPAIN
BRITISH ARTISTS AND COLLECTORS: GOYA TO PICASSO
18 July 2009 – 11 October 2009
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 6246 6200; recorded information 0131 332 2266
The exhibition is generously supported by The Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland, The Spanish Tourist Office, The Spanish Ministry of Culture and The University of Edinburgh.
Admission £8.00 (concessions £6.00), FREE to children under 12
A spectacular celebration of Spanish culture will bring some Mediterranean colour to Edinburgh this summer, as the National Gallery of Scotland unveils the highlight of its festival programme for 2009. The Discovery of Spain will explore the fascination for Spanish art and culture in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain, and examine the taste of Hispanophile collectors and artists. Outstanding examples of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez, El Greco, Murillo and Zurbarán, will form a dramatic centerpiece for the exhibition. Paintings by major British artists who were captivated by the experience of travelling through Spain will also dominate the show; these include important paintings by Sir David Wilkie, David Roberts, John Phillip, Arthur Melville and David Bomberg.
The Discovery of Spain can only be seen in Edinburgh, and will include over 130 paintings, watercolours, drawings, prints and photographs, with important loans from the Royal Collection, the National Gallery, London, Tate, and other distinguished public and private collections across the UK.
Spain is now a familiar and much-loved part of the British view of Europe, but in the eighteenth century it was relatively little known. The Discovery of Spain will explore the process by which this changed, and convey the excitement of the period from 1800 to the 1930s (the eras of Goya and Picasso), when the country’s architecture, customs, fashions and painting were gradually ‘discovered’ by artists and collectors, and created a sensation in Britain.
The period covered by The Discovery of Spain begins and ends with conflicts which prompted extraordinary artistic responses from both Spanish and British painters - the Peninsular War (1807-14) and the Spanish Civil War. In the first of these, British military intervention played a key role in Spain’s struggle for independence from France, and artists from both countries drew inspiration from the dramatic events of the war. Goya sensitively depicted the British hero, The Duke of Wellington (National Gallery, London), and the harrowing reality of the conflict in his Disasters of War prints; while Sir David Wilkie adopted a more romanticised approach in his magnificent The Defence of Saragossa (Royal Collection).
The Defence of Saragossa proved extremely popular on Wilkie’s return to Britain and the series of paintings to which it belongs was quickly acquired by King George IV. Its popularity reflected a growing enthusiasm among British artists for Spanish subjects, which developed throughout the nineteenth century. A major stimulus to this was the publication in 1845 of Richard Ford’s Handbook for Travellers in Spain. A landmark in travel literature, it helped shape the British perception of Spain, as did the brilliant watercolours and oil paintings of artists such as John Frederick Lewis, David Roberts and John Phillip, who toured extensively through the country, delighting in its culture, customs, costumes and architecture.
Phillip painted animated studies of Spanish life, sometimes on an epic scale, among which ‘La Gloria’: A Spanish Wake (National Gallery of Scotland) is the supreme example. At the time of its purchase in 1897, Phillip’s masterpiece was the most expensive painting the Gallery had ever acquired. David Roberts’ extended trips to Spain in the 1830s and ’40s (during which he produced beautiful studies of buildings such as the cathedrals in Burgos and Seville) were a prelude to his work in Africa and the Near East. To their fascinated British audience, the work of these artists depicted an irresistible culture hovering between the familiar and the exotic. The architecture of Moorish Spain, represented in the exhibition through the work of Owen Jones, provided a decorative vocabulary which was to have a significant impact on Victorian design, and enriched further the perception of Spain as being quite unlike any other part of Europe.
Richard Ford was also a discerning critic and connoisseur who contributed to the growing awareness of Spanish art in Britain. The Discovery of Spain will celebrate the extraordinary quality of the collections of Spanish painting formed in the nineteenth century by figures such as the Duke of Wellington, Sir William Stirling-Maxwell and John and Joséphine Bowes. Among the outstanding loans exploring their taste will be Velázquez’s A Spanish Gentleman (Apsley House), Zurbarán’s St Francis in Meditation (National Gallery, London), El Greco’s The Tears of St Peter (Bowes Museum) and Woman in a Fur Wrap (Pollok House), and Murillo’s Flower Seller (Dulwich Picture Gallery). Such works created a complex and layered image of the ‘golden age’ of Spanish art, ranging from the moving and profoundly spiritual paintings of Zurbarán, to the sensual appeal of El Greco’s portraits, and charm of Murillo’s scenes of everyday life. It was above all Velázquez’s achievement which exerted a powerful influence upon generations of painters in Britain. The various ways in which this was felt will be explored in the exhibition through works such as Sir John Everett Millais’s Souvenir of Velázquez (Royal Academy of Arts), John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of W. Graham Robertson (Tate) and James McNeill Whistler’s Brown and Gold (Self-Portrait) (Hunterian Art Gallery).
In the closing years of the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth, the explorations of British artists in Spain extended beyond the urban centres, when painters such as Arthur Melville, William Nicholson and David Bomberg became attracted to the qualities of brilliant light and vibrant colour to be found in the varied landscapes across the country. The sun-filled exuberance of Nicholson’s Plaza del Toros, Málaga (Tate), was in stark contrast to the more sober tones for which the artist is better known, while Melville’s vivid sense of colour found its perfect expression in watercolours such as The Orange Market, Saragossa (Fleming Collection) and oils such as A Spanish Sunday; Going to the Bullfight (Dundee University).
The exhibition’s last section will address the crisis of Spanish Civil War in the 1930s, which prompted a new sense of sympathy with Spain on the part of many British people. It will include Picasso’s extraordinary Weeping Woman (Tate), which toured Britain with the artist’s iconic depiction of the devastation and suffering caused by warfare - Guernica - in 1938. The painting will be shown along with the artist’s preparatory drawing for it and a related etching. This group will form a powerful finale to The Discovery of Spain. They will be shown alongside diverse and richly imaginative responses to the conflict from major British artists, such as Percy Wyndham Lewis, Edward Burra and Henry Moore.
The Discovery of Spain has been organised by Christopher Baker, Deputy Director at the National Gallery of Scotland, and guest-curated by Dr David Howarth (University of Edinburgh) and Dr Paul Stirton (University of Glasgow). A team of specialists will contribute essays to the catalogue, which will make a major contribution to the study of Hispanic-British cultural relations: David Howarth, Paul Stirton, Nick Tromans, Hilary Macartney, Michael Jacobs and Claudia Heide.
To complement the exhibition, a special education programme has been devised to cater for a wide variety of audiences. This will include lectures for adults, theatrical and musical evenings, and events for schools and community groups. Speakers contributing to the lecture programme include the broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon, the artist Alison Watt, the critic Richard Cork, and Gabriele Finaldi, Deputy Director of the Prado. In addition, an international conference exploring the issues raised by the exhibition will be held at the National Gallery of Scotland in October 2009; the papers will be published in 2010.
A TASTE OF SPAIN
To coincide with the opening weekend of the exhibition Edinburgh – A Taste of Spain (17-19 July) will be held on the Mound, outside the National Gallery in the heart of Edinburgh. The Spanish regions will provide live music, theatrical performances and the opportunity to taste superb food and wine. Taste of Spain is FREE. For more information see www.tastespain.info.
ROBERT ADAM’S LANDSCAPE FANTASIES:
WATERCOLOURS AND DRAWINGS FROM THE PERMANENT COLLECTION
25th April – 2nd August 2009
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
This spring the National Gallery of Scotland will reveal an undiscovered side to the work of Robert Adam (1728 – 1792), his landscape fantasies. Adam was a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, and one of the most innovative architects in Britain in the eighteenth century, world renowned for his “Adam Style”. This exhibition is dedicated to his picturesque landscapes which were made towards the end of his life, purely for his own relaxation and enjoyment.
The watercolours on display feature magnificent castles perched perilously on towering mountain tops and steep cliff faces surrounded by gushing waterfalls, rivers and gorges. Adam’s atmospheric landscapes are spectacularly lit, with dark heavy skies and long brooding shadows. Though imaginary, these Romantic views often take as their reference points the sublime landscape and alluring architecture of Adam’s native Scotland.
Robert Adam was born in Kirkcaldy in 1728, and moved with his family to Edinburgh at a young age. He started his professional career working in his father’s successful architectural practice in the capital. One of his first commissions was to undertake the building and rebuilding of the Highland forts after the conclusion of the Jacobite Rising of 1745. In 1754 Adam left Scotland for Italy on a modified Grand Tour, where he studied classical ruins and perfected his drawing skills. When he returned to Britain in 1758, he moved to London where he opened his own architectural practice. He quickly became the fashionable architect of the day and in 1761 was appointed Royal Architect to King George III. Adam’s strength lay not only in designing grand buildings but also providing fantastic decorative schemes for their interiors and all the furnishings down to the smallest details.
Robert Adam’s Landscape Fantasies will include over 30 watercolours, including his spectacular rendition of Cullen Castle. A number of early drawings by his sketching partners Paul Sandby and John Clerk of Eldin will also be on display. These works were never shown in Adam’s lifetime, and this exhibition is a unique opportunity to see the private visions of one of the greatest architects of the eighteenth century.
RAPHAEL TO RENOIR
Master Drawings from the Collection of Jean Bonna
5 June - 6 September 2009
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Admission £4 / £3 concession
This exceptional exhibition consists of 120 European master drawings, watercolours and pastels by many of the greatest names in Western art. They come from the distinguished collection formed over the past twenty years by Jean Bonna, who is based in Geneva. The show has been organised in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where it was shown earlier this year. The National Gallery Complex in Edinburgh will be the only European venue.
The exhibition offers the rare opportunity to view outstanding examples of European drawings spanning some 500 years, from the Italian Renaissance to late nineteenth-century France. The principal strength of the collection lies in the Italian and French schools, including such celebrated artists as Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Guercino, Claude Lorrain, Canaletto, Watteau, and, from the nineteenth century, Ingres, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin and Redon.
Michael Clarke, Director of the National Gallery of Scotland said: “We are thrilled by this prestigious collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum and the opportunity to play host to one of the most significant private collections of drawings to have been formed in recent times.”
Highlights include extraordinary drawings such as Raphael’s Study of Soldiers (ca. 1515-16), Parmigianino’s The Holy Family with Shepherds and Angels (ca. 1523-24), Hans Hoffmann’s beautifully rendered watercolour A Wild Boar Piglet (1578), an atmospheric Woman in a White Bonnet (ca. 1882-85) by Georges Seurat, and a vibrant pastel, La Barque (ca. 1900), by Odilon Redon. Gratifyingly, two of the Bonna drawings – Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Three Studies of Female Heads (ca. 1718-19) and Paul Gauguin’s Two Tahitian Women (ca. 1899) – are preparatory studies for paintings in the National Gallery of Scotland’s permanent collection.
Jean Bonna’s first love was books, and he has built up a very important private library. Inspired in part by book illustrations, he developed an interest in old master prints, and from there to collecting drawings. Over the past two decades he has become one of the most discriminating living collectors of old master and nineteenth-century drawings. The Bonna collection now comprises some 400 drawings, the best of which have been selected for this exhibition, all to be displayed in period frames.
OLD SEA DOG POINTS THE WAY TO THE FUTURE AT THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is delighted to announce the acquisition of James Coull (1786-1880) by Scottish portrait painter James Irvine (1822-1889). The painting was acquired through Peter Johnson of Ackermann and Johnson based in London and is the final acquisition before the Portrait Gallery closes for refurbishment on Sunday 5 April 2009.
The portrait shows an Ordinary Seaman, one of tens of thousands who manned Britain’s Merchant and Royal navy’s during the age of imperial and economic expansion. James Coull’s story is one which will be told in the new Portrait Gallery when it reopens in November 2011.
In the past the Portrait Gallery has looked at history through the eyes of the great and the famous rather than, in this case, the sailors below deck. Portrait of the Nation, the Portrait Gallery’s exciting renovation project, will change that. This is why the purchase of James Coull’s portrait is of such importance.
James Holloway, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, said “James Coull’s eye view of life at sea in the nineteenth century is as valuable as that of the admirals who were his superiors. Press-ganged into the British navy, James Coull fought the French at Trafalgar, was wounded by the Americans at Chesapeake Bay and manned Arctic Whalers. His portrait is a particularly valuable acquisition for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery because it is such a rare portrait of an ordinary seaman who lived long enough to become an international celebrity. At his death both the London and New York Times published his obituary.”
James Irvine was a successful Scottish portrait painter born in Menmuir, in the region of Angus in 1822. After displaying a natural, artistic flair for painting he was sent to serve an apprenticeship with acclaimed artist, Colvin Smith, also from the same area. Irvine went on to establish himself in a studio in Edinburgh but continued to work in the areas of Arbroath and Montrose.
His subject James Coull was also a local man and a subject with a very compelling past. Coull was born near Montrose in 1786. The death of his father at a young age left his family destitute and Coull was forced to work at sea as a cabin boy at the age of eight years old. An apprenticeship in navigation skills left Coull trained as a Quartermaster and many an adventure ensued Coull’s life at sea. He fought alongside Lord Nelson in historical naval battles like the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) and the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). The War of 1812 between the British Empire and the United States of America, in which Coull was Quartermaster of the victorious Royal Navy vessel HMS Shannon, saw Coull badly wounded by a musket ball to the arm. The injury resulted in Coull losing his left hand and having to retire from the Royal Navy with an annual pension of £16. However, a handicap could not keep Coull from the seas and he continued his naval life as a ship’s cook on Montrose whaling ships. He died in Montrose at the age of 95, ‘a very popular and much loved man’ and was buried with full military honours.
Irvine painted ‘Old Coull’ five times and obviously found him to be a fascinating man and subject. Undoubtedly anecdotes of Coull’s adventurous naval life kept Irvine entertained whilst he focused on Coull’s craggy and expressive face. This painting is likely to be the same picture Irvine exhibited in 1874 at the Royal Scottish Academy with the title: Coull, Quartermaster, one of the boarders of the Chesapeake.
WORKS FROM THE COLLECTIONS OF CHARLES ASPREY AND ALEXANDER SCHRÖDER
28 February – 19 July 2009
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Telephone 0131 6246 6200; recorded information 0131 332 2266
Two Horizons presents a unique opportunity to see a fascinating selection of works by internationally regarded contemporary artists from the collections of Charles Asprey and Alexander Schröder. This exhibition brings together the work of established artists, such as Andreas Slominski, Isa Genzken, and Marc Camille Chaimowicz, with that of the younger emerging generation, including Kitty Kraus, Lucy McKenzie and Gillian Carnegie. Comprising of painting, sculpture, and installation, Two Horizons showcases works by leading figures of the international art world which will be on display in Scotland for the very first time.
This exhibition marks an exciting new collaboration between the Gallery of Modern Art and the London and Berlin-based collectors Charles Asprey and Alexander Schröder. Long time friends and collaborators, both Asprey and Schröder have been collecting contemporary art since the early 1990s, but have never shown their collections together before now.
Both collectors have championed the original and the daring, allowing striking new parallels to be drawn between artists as seemingly diverse as, for example, Lucy McKenzie and Marc Camille Chaimowicz. Glaswegian artist Lucy McKenzie’s work presents a lively critique of the art world. Her metal sculpture Panache (2001) and the painting One Pound (2001) both humorously subvert primary symbols of power in the art market, whilst Marc Camille Chaimowicz’s beautiful and elegiac Man Looking out of Window (for SM) emphasises the notion of the artist as a staged persona, surrounded by the symbols of his trade. In Two Horizons, McKenzie’s and Chaimowicz’s works enter into a lively and original dialogue, all the more forceful for being so unexpected.
Two Horizons is an eclectic meeting of works, which allows the visitor to look again, do a double-take and discover new perspectives. With humorous observations and challenging juxtapositions, this exhibition showcases some of the most significant and up-and-coming names in contemporary art.
Full list of artists:
Tom Burr (b. 1963 in New Haven, USA; lives and works in New York)
Gillian Carnegie (b. 1971 in Suffolk)
Marc Camille Chaimowicz (born in Paris, lives and works in London and Burgundy)
Lukas Duwenhögger (b. 1956 in Munich; lives and works in Istanbul)
Keith Farquhar (b. 1969 in Edinburgh; lives and works in Edinburgh)
Ian Hamilton Finlay (British, 1925-2006)
Isa Genzken (b. 1948 Bad Oldesloe, Germany; lives and works in Berlin)
Kitty Kraus (b. 1976 in Heidelberg; lives and works in Berlin)
Lucy McKenzie (b.1977 Glasgow; lives and works in Glasgow)
Raymond de Lafage (French, 1656-1684)
Matt Mullican (b. 1951, Santa Monica, USA; lives and works in New York)
Henrik Olesen (b. 1967 Esbjerg, Denmark; lives and works in Berlin)
Manfred Pernice (b. 1963 Hildesheim, Germany; lives and works in Berlin)
Andreas Slominski (b. 1959 Meppen, Germany; lives and works in Hamburg)
25 YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY
CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE NATIONAL COLLECTION
14 February - 19 April 2009
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 6246 6200; recorded information 0131 332 2266
The enormous contribution of Scottish photographers to the development of their medium will be celebrated this spring, in a special display marking the first quarter-century of the Scottish National Photography Collection. Since 1984, nearly forty thousand photographs – dating from the beginnings of the art-form in the 1840s to the present day – have been acquired for the collection, which is housed at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Comprising a selection of 38 works, both historic and modern, 25 Years Of Photography will document the remarkable growth of the collection in its short history, and highlight the vast wealth of material in its holdings.
In 1984 the National Galleries of Scotland took the decision to build upon the Portrait Gallery’s existing collection of works by the pioneering, Edinburgh-based photographers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, and formally established the Scottish National Photography Collection. Its remit is to collect, research and exhibit photography, and to produce publications on the subject, with a Scottish bias to its energies. Scottish photographers have been internationally renowned since the very earliest days of the medium, and the collection now offers an unrivalled archive of their work and achievements.
Highlights in the display will include Hill and Adamson’s engaging portrait of The Misses Farnie with Brownie (about 1845); J Craig Annan’s stunning highland landscape The Dark Mountains (1890); Alfred Buckham’s breathtaking aerial photograph of Edinburgh and the Forth Estuary, Sunshine, Wind and Rain (about 1918); and the collection’s most recent addition, Iain Stewart’s richly atmospheric landscape, Erribol (from the series Darkeden), which was purchased in February 2009, and has been printed specially for the display.
25 Years Of Photography will bring together the work of historic and current photographers working in similar areas, to see how they echo, reflect or react against each other, and to explore three broad themes: People; Land and Stone; and Staged and Constructed.
The first of these will illustrate the strong tradition of social documentary in Scottish photography, with examples such as Grace Robertson’s Mothers’ Pub Outing (1954) and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert’s Calderari Gypsy Children (1994). It will also explore different strands of portraiture, with fine examples by Pradip Malde (Richard Walker (1985) and David Williams (Six form girl, primary 1 girl, St Margaret’s School, from the series Pictures from No Man’s Land (1984)).
Land and Stone will examine the response of Scottish photographers to the country’s rural and urban geography, including Raymond Moore’s spare and beautiful Raes Knowes (1980); Thomas Annan’s Close No. 101, High Street, Glasgow (1868-71); and Patricia Macdonald’s remarkable aerial photograph Castle, Island and Cracking Ice, Loch Leven (1987).
Staged and Constructed will feature the work of photographers who have a more direct hand in arranging their subject matter, or constructing images, such as Calum Colvin (untitled image from the series Constructed Narratives (1985)) and Andy Wiener (Separation, from the series, Love Scenes (1989)).
25 Years Of Photography will also highlight the important work of the National Galleries of Scotland in commissioning modern prints of historic photographs that currently exist only as negatives. Using photographers who are particularly sympathetic to their predecessors’ work, or who are working in a similar area of practice, the collection has helped to revive the beauty and impact of lost images such as George P Lewis’s Corporation tram-driver and conductor Glasgow (1918), and Fred Bremner’s River Crossing, River Jhelum, Kashmir (1900).
The display will also reflect the international collection, which includes the work of distinguished European photographers, particularly those whose practice (exemplified by Roger Mayne’s Children playing on a lorry, Glasgow (1958)) was of particular importance in Scotland in the mid-twentieth century.
DIANA AND ACTAEON IS SECURED FOR THE NATION
The National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and the National Gallery, London (NGL) are delighted to announce that Titian’s Diana and Actaeon has been acquired for the nation from the Duke of Sutherland. The acquisition has been made possible with the generous contributions from private and public donations, Scottish Government, the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund charity and NGL and NGS funds.
The painting will be shared by the National Galleries of Scotland and National Gallery, London and will be displayed for 5 years at each institution in turn. The purchase of Titian’s Diana and Actaeon brings this extraordinary painting into public ownership and we have received assurances that the rest of the Bridgewater Collection will remain on loan to the National Galleries of Scotland for the next 21 years.
The National Galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery, London, formed a partnership in August 2008 to raise £50 million to acquire Diana and Actaeon by 31 December 2008. We are grateful to the Duke of Sutherland for offering the painting at much below its market value and for giving us several years in which to make payments.
John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said 'We are absolutely thrilled that one of the most important paintings in the world will be added to the national collections for the enjoyment and inspiration of the public and we are delighted that the world-famous Bridgewater Collection will continue to be available on long loan to Scotland. We are hugely grateful to all the individuals and all the funding bodies who responded so warmly and wholeheartedly to this campaign over the past four months.'
Dr Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery, London said 'The response to our appeal to buy this great painting has been astonishing. The notes pressed into collecting boxes and the cheques sent to us by the general public, the generosity of individual friends of the gallery and the support given by the trustees of charitable bodies combine to make this a great success story. It testifies to the power of Titian's painting and the conviction that public access to the greatest works of art is of the utmost importance.'
Spokesman for the Duke of Sutherland said 'A spokesman for the Duke of Sutherland said that the Duke was delighted to have reached agreement for this wonderful work to remain in Britain, on public view. He expressed his great appreciation to the Galleries for their helpful and supportive approach over the past 18 months of complex and painstaking negotiations, and he looked forward to many more years association between his family and the National Galleries of Scotland through the continuing loan of the Bridgewater Collection.'
Breakdown of funding:
• £7.4 million in donations and pledges from individuals trusts and the general public, of which £150,000 was donated via The Art Fund. (The amount raised from the general public in response to leaflets, direct mail, collection boxes, sales of badges and the media is circa £400,000).
• £2 million from The Monument Trust
• £1 million from The Art Fund
• £10 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund
• £12.5 million Scottish Government Special purchase grant
• £12.5 million from NGL, comprising £11.5 from bequests, general donations and investment income from these sources and £1 million Grant-in-Aid
• £4.6 million from NGS purchase funds, trust funds and reserves
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Galleries have also been granted the opportunity to buy a second painting - Diana and Callisto - for a similar amount by 2012.
ABOUT THE BRIDGEWATER COLLECTION
The Bridgewater Collection, currently on view at the National Galleries of Scotland, is the most important private collection of Old Master paintings on loan to an institution in the UK and counts among the most important art collections anywhere in the world. The loan includes masterpieces by artists such as Raphael (3), Titian (4), Rembrandt (1) and Poussin (8). The pictures have been on continuous public view in the National Gallery of Scotland since the collection was placed there in 1945 by the then 5th Earl of Ellesmere, later 6th Duke of Sutherland. It forms the core of the National Gallery of Scotland’s world-famous displays of European art.
ABOUT DIANA AND ACTAEON
Diana and Actaeon is one of six large-scale mythologies inspired by the Roman poet Ovid that Titian painted for King Philip II of Spain (Titian’s great portrait of whom featured in the recent Renaissance Faces exhibition at the NGL). Titian began the picture and its companion Diana and Callisto in 1556, the year of Philip’s coronation. Spurred on by the prestige of royal patronage, he unleashed all his creativity to produce works of unprecedented beauty and inventiveness.
Titian worked for three years to perfect these masterpieces, which were shipped to Spain in 1559. He claimed their lengthy genesis was due to the relentless pains he took to make sumptuous works of art worthy of the king.
Linda Fabiani MSP, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture said 'I am delighted to announce that this world-class collection has been saved for Scotland, underlining the prestige of our National Galleries and offering real educational and economic benefits for years to come. This is a significant investment in Scotland’s future, securing a collection worth many millions of pounds for future generations at a fraction of the market cost. Over 1.5 million people visited the Bridgewater Collection last year, with two thirds of those coming from outside Edinburgh. The collection is a significant tourist draw with a half day visit to the National Galleries equating to an estimated annual £27 million tourist spend, with the indirect economic impact of this rising to an estimated £50 million a year. The Bridgewater Collection clearly represents significant educational opportunities, allowing the National Galleries to teach with the most famous artists in art history: Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Poussin to name a few. This collection is a vital source of artistic excellence and inspiration for research, scholarship and the creative industries. The international interest and support generated around this campaign offers a golden opportunity for our National Galleries to raise its profile and show the world that Scotland will continue to punch above its weight in cultural excellence.'
Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, said 'We're so delighted that generations to come will be able to enjoy this truly extraordinary work of art. Our grant of £10million was a big challenge for us financially, but is exactly what the National Heritage Memorial Fund was set up to do. The generous help of all the partners and the public have ensured the painting is now safe. And because our grant will be made in staggered payments the Fund will continue to be able to help save other heritage treasures.'
David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund said 'The Art Fund was the first to put money on the table for Diana and Actaeon – at £1 million our largest donation ever for a single work of art. Since 1903, our members have enabled The Art Fund to keep thousands of great works of art on public display, and none has a more distinguished pedigree than this magnificent painting. We are proud to have played our part in ensuring that it will never now be lost to public view.'
The National Heritage Memorial Fund
The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) was set up to save the most outstanding parts of our national heritage, in memory of those who have given their lives for the United Kingdom. It currently receives £10million annual grant-in-aid from the government. www.nhmf.org.uk. For more details, please contact Katie Owen or Alison Scott, NHMF Press Office, on (020) 7591 6036/32.
The Monument Trust
The Monument Trust is a charitable foundation established by the late Simon Sainsbury. It supports a wide range of charities in the fields of arts and heritage, health and social care, and criminal justice. For more details, please contact Alan Bookbinder, Director, Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts, on 020 7410 0330
The Art Fund
The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is entirely funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped museums and galleries all over the UK secure 860,000 works of art for their collections. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org
The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174
ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund, supported by The Scottish Government
• Tour Schedule
• 50 rooms of contemporary art by 25 artists
• 10 additional works by 7 artists
• Anthony d’Offay biography
Head of Press
National Galleries of Scotland
Tel: 0131 624 6325
Mobile: 0131 343 3250
Head of Press
Tel: 0207 887 4940
Mobile: 07887 952375
Erica Bolton & Jane Quinn Ltd
Tel: 020 7221 5000
Mobile: 07711 698186
Interim Head of Press
The Art Fund
0207 225 4820
Tour Schedule 2009
2 March 2009 – 2010
Ian Hamilton Finlay
(BP British Art Displays 1500-2009)
Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Sailing Dinghy 1996 is a monumental one-room installation comprising a full-sized sailing boat and poem. The sailing boat, which Hamilton Finlay has sailed on the sea, measures over five metres tall and four metres wide, while a poem forms a ‘key’ that describes the parts of the boat and evokes its movement. In the 1960s Hamilton Finlay was widely known as one of Britain’s foremost concrete poets, and much of his early poetry concerns sailing and fishing boats. His work, often collaborative and in a wide variety of materials, is a unique blend of art and poetry - this installation combines his love of ships and the sea with his love of literature and the potency of words. A second ARTIST ROOMS display of Gilbert & George will open at Tate Britain in late April as part of the BP British Art Displays 1500-2009.
Louise Butler, Press Officer, Tate Britain
Tel: 020 7887 8732 Email: email@example.com
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
14 March – 8 November 2009
Andy Warhol – stitched photographs
Damien Hirst, Vija Celmins and Alex Katz are among the artists whose work will be shown in a series of inaugural displays at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Highlights will include Vija Celmins’ beautiful, delicate images of seas, deserts and the night sky, a complete series of landscape and portrait paintings by the American painter Alex Katz and Francesca Woodman’s intimate, surrealist influenced photographs. Damien Hirst, the most prominent British artist of today, will feature in an expanded display across several rooms. This will bring together works from ARTIST ROOMS - such as the iconic Away from the Flock 1994 (an early example of Hirst’s animals in formaldehyde) and a recent butterfly painting - with additional loans from further collections. A further ARTIST ROOMS display dedicated to the work of Agnes Martin will open at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in early August. ARTIST ROOMS transforms the ability of the Gallery of Modern Art to display modern international art now and into the future.
National Galleries of Scotland Press Office
Tel: 0131 624 6325/6247/6314/6332 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wolverhampton Art Gallery
28 March – 21 September 2009
Andy Warhol – posters and paintings
This exhibition of major portrait paintings and a selection of posters will represent some of the most important themes in Andy Warhol’s practice. Highlights include the iconic multi-part paintings Skulls 1976 and Self-Portrait Strangulation 1978 as well as the celebrated four-part mural-size work of 1986, Camouflage. Portraits and posters of Man Ray 1967, Mick Jagger 1980, Gilbert and George 1975, and Muhammad Ali 1978 reveal Warhol’s enduring fascination with glamour, celebrity and contemporary icons. Whilst film posters provide new insights into the breadth and depth of the artist’s career as well as his eye-catching ability as a graphic artist. On display alongside these works will be Andy Warhol’s work Jacqueline 1964 from Wolverhampton’s Pop Art Collection.
Zoe Papiernik, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Tel: 01902 552040
April 2009 – 2010
Andy Warhol - black and white diptychs
(UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection)
Six ARTIST ROOMS including Anslem Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Ed Ruscha, Robert Therrien and Andy Warhol will be unveiled at Tate Modern in April as part of UBS Openings: Tate Modern Collection. Robert Therrien’s gigantic sculpture No Title (Table and Four Chairs), 2003 will fill the central gallery of a display exploring scale. Other highlights include major paintings by Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol in the States of Flux galleries on Level 5. Works by Jannis Kounellis and Anslem Kiefer will go on show in a suite of galleries dedicated to the Arte Povera movement.
Bomi Odufunade, Press Officer, Tate Modern
Tel: 020 7887 4942 Email: email@example.com
17 April – 31 May 2009
This exhibition features works by the internationally celebrated American artist, Bruce Nauman. Highlights include two unique neon pieces: the early work, La Brea/Art Tips/Rat Spit/Tar Pits, 1972; and a loan from Anthony d’Offay’s own collection, Trust Me Only Big Studio, 1984; two sculptures, Untitled, Hand Circle, 1996 and Partial Truth, 1997; the important unique two-monitor video work, Raw Materials Washing Hands, 1996; and two further videos dated 1986 and 1999. The exhibition will take place in Tramway’s new gallery Tramway 5, a beautiful new space located at the front of the historic building.
Andy Lindsay, Marketing Officer, Tramway
Tel: 0141 276 0950 Mob: 07901 677730
20 April 2009 – 2010
Gilbert & George
(BP British Art Displays 1500-2009)
This display will comprise eleven works ranging from 1970 to 1991 including eight from ARTIST ROOMS complemented by three works from Tate Collection. The display will be part of Tate Britain’s BP British Art Displays 1500-2009. It will include early black and white pictures from the 1970s, including the video A Portrait of the Artists as Young Men 1970 and bold-coloured works of the 1980s and 90s such as Existers 1984, and Family Tree 1991. Since 1970 Gilbert & George have been important figures in the international art world. Working as a pair and presenting themselves as ‘living sculpture’, incorporating themselves into their art, they set out to provoke their viewers, making them think and question conventions and taboos. Their early work emphasised the artists’ own image, their place as misfits in society and their concept of ‘art for all’. But by the late seventies their work explored the world and the people around them in the East End of London.
Louise Butler, Press Officer, Tate Britain
Tel: 020 7887 8732 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
26 April – 27 June 2009
The Highland Council will be hosting a special exhibition of works by the celebrated American photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery. The group of photographs in the ARTIST ROOMS collection is probably the best collection in the world of the artist’s work after the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The selection focusses on Mapplethorpe’s portraits - many depicting the most influential artists, writers and musicians of his day including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Patti Smith - and his iconic self-portraits.
Tel: 01463 663861 Email: email@example.com
12 May – 13 September 2009
Sol LeWitt (1928–2007) was a pioneer of Conceptual Art and Minimalism. The monumental and colourful Wall Drawing #1136 from the ARTIST ROOMS collection was first installed at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco in 2004 and is a late example of LeWitt’s work, where vibrantly coloured bands are painted directly onto the wall of the gallery space. At Tate Liverpool it will span the 22 metre long wall of the ground floor gallery. This display of Sol LeWitt’s work from ARTIST ROOMS runs in parallel with Tate Liverpool’s exhibition Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour 1950 to Today (29 May – 13 September 2009).
Stacey Arnold, Press Officer, Tate Liverpool
Tel: 0151 702 7444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland
20 May 2009 – May 2010
Cornish Slate Ellipse will be made by Richard Long this year especially for ARTIST ROOMS and will be installed in an external site located in the Botanic Gardens, Belfast. The work will take the form of a large floor-based sculpture comprising cut slate pieces arranged as an ellipse. Long has been a major figure in international and British art since the late 1960s. His practice is based on his relationship with the natural environment, and on his response to walks made outdoors in nature. Works by Long often take the form of geometric shapes made from organic materials such as stone, sticks or mud. Cornish Slate Ellipse will be installed outside in 2009 but in future years may also be exhibited in the context of a gallery or museum.
Contact: Anne Stewart, Curator of Fine Art, Ulster Museum
Tel: 028 90395234 Email: Anne.Stewart@nmni.com
Tate St Ives
16 May – 20 September 2009
This display comprises a cycle of ten wall text works from 1988. All of the texts seem to refer to a manipulation of objects or matter in the physical world and have a very powerful sculptural quality: ‘CRUSHED BETWEEN COBBLESTONES’, TUCKED IN AT THE CORNERS’ or ‘DAUBED WITH MUCK AND MIRE’. Lawrence Weiner is one of the most acclaimed American artists working today. A key member of the New York conceptual art world of the 1960s, for over 40 years Weiner has been using language as the material for his work. Whilst it usually takes the form of large typographic wall texts, he refers to his work as sculpture, and the words, phrases and statements he employs are often representative of states or processes grounded in materiality. His works exist simultaneously as instructions, propositions and evocations as well as the thing in itself.
Contact: Helen Munro Berry, Press Officer, Tate St Ives
Tel: 01736 792185 Email: email@example.com
National Museum Cardiff
9 May – 19 August 2009
The work of the legendary New York photographer, Diane Arbus, will be the subject of the ARTIST ROOMS exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff. 69 black and white photographs will be shown, including the rare and important portfolio of ten vintage prints: Box of Ten, 1971. This is one of the most important collections of Arbus’ work in the world.
Catrin Mears, Communications Officer, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
Tel: 029 2057 3185/07920 027067 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
New Art Gallery, Walsall
15 May – 5 July 2009
Andy Warhol – drawings
An exhibition of drawings by Andy Warhol will go on show at The New Art Gallery, Walsall. Andy Warhol (1928-1987) is the most influential artist of the post-war period and this exhibition of early illustrative works will reveal an alternative side of Warhol’s character and career. The unique collection of 50 early works on paper dating from c. 1950 to 1962 and four later drawings, demonstrate Warhol’s move between the worlds of commercial art and advertising and the New York Pop Art scene. In the 1950s, Warhol was one of the best known and highest paid illustrators in New York. His colourful and whimsical drawings of people, animals, insects, shoes and accessories adorned advertisement features, shop windows, and book covers. As Warhol developed his own concept of Pop Art, he, himself became a household brand. His self-portrait along with those of Mick Jagger and David Hockney reflect his enduring fascination celebrity, fame and mortality.
Marketing and Development Manager
Tel: 01922 654402 Email: LathamH@walsall.gov.uk
Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney
19 June – 5 September 2009
The work of one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists is to be shown at the Pier Arts Centre in Stromness for the first time. Bill Viola has been creating emblematic installations in video and sound for over 35 years. Curated by the Pier Arts Centre, the exhibition will feature video works from the artist’s Passions series created between 2000 and 2002. The two works in ARTIST ROOMS, Four Hands and Catherine’s Room, will be complemented by Surrender from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland and Ascension on loan from the artist’s studio.
Tel: 01856 850 209 Email: email@example.com
De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea
4 July – 27 September 2009
This exhibition provides an exciting opportunity to show work by Joseph Beuys in a building whose architecture, like the work of the artist, is rooted in socialist ideals and whose purpose is to provide a cultural centre for its locality. The exhibition will feature sculptures, photographs, drawings, and watercolours as well as a selection of posters recalling live actions and events by Beuys. Highlights will include the vitrine, Fat Chair 1964 – 85, the late sculpture Scala Napoletana 1985 and works on paper such as the lithograph A Party for Animals, 1969. The exhibition will explore Beuys’s ideas on economics, politics, activism, anti-establishment, teaching, learning and philosophy and raise questions as to how these ideas have extended beyond Beuys’s own lifetime and how they can continue to inform new thinking today.
Sally Ann Lycett
Tel: 01424 229137 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
6 August – 8 November 2009
In August 2009, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will dedicate a room to the work of the influential minimalist artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Featuring the three late paintings included in ARTIST ROOMS, the display will be complemented by further works lent by the artist’s estate. Martin’s delicate technique expresses a quiet tension between ordered geometry and the irregularity of hand-drawn pencil lines, an inconsistency which she viewed as analogous to the human condition. This presentation will enable audiences in Scotland to experience at first hand the ethereal beauty and subtlety of the artist’s practice.
National Galleries of Scotland Press Office
Tel: 0131 624 6325/6247/6314/6332 Email: email@example.com
mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
28 August - 15 November 2009
One of the world's greatest living artists, Gerhard Richter is receiving widespread attention in the UK at present. The exhibition will feature paintings from several phases of the artist's career, from the 1980s to the present. Highlights will include a rare sculpture from 1971, a number of acclaimed monochrome abstractions and the 2004 sculpture 11 Scheiben (11 Panes of Glass).
Tel: 01642 726 710 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aberdeen Art Gallery
29 August – 31 October 2009
Australian-born, London-based, Ron Mueck has become widely recognised for his sculptures, which replicate the human figure at greatly exaggerated or reduced scale, but always in the utmost detail. His incredibly life-like works have been exhibited internationally and have captivated the public wherever they have been shown. The exhibition will feature the three sculptures from ARTIST ROOMS: Wild Man, 2005; Spooning Couple, 2005; and Mask III, 2005 along with a further work lent by the National Galleries of Scotland.
Deirdre Grant, Cultural Services Promotions Officer
Tel: 01224 523711 Email: DeGrant@aberdeencity.gov.uk
The Lightbox, Woking
14 November 2009 – 14 February 2010
Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s blue light installation, BLUE PURPLE TILT, is the centrepiece of this exhibition. The work, which is over 4 metres high, features seven doubled-sided vertical LED signs with messages from several of Holzer’s early text series. The show will also feature two large paintings Protect, Protect and Shape the Battlefield, in which Holzer presents declassified American military documents relating to the war in Iraq. Holzer’s dynamic and thought-provoking work aligns well with the creative and inspirational programmes which The Lightbox aims to bring to its various target audiences throughout the year
Tel: 01483 737800 Email: email@example.com
Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield
19 December 2009 – 27 March 2010
The city’s very first exhibition of works by one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century. Born in 1946, Robert Mapplethorpe produced some of the most iconic images of the last 50 years. His work includes intimate pictures of friends and acquaintances, acclaimed studies of the statuesque male and female nude, delicate flora still lifes, and a wealth of enduring celebrity portraits, with subjects including Patti Smith, Grace Jones, Andy Warhol and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The exhibition will include highlights from throughout Mapplethorpe’s career.
Chris Harvey, Communications Officer, Museums Sheffield
Tel: 0114 278 2664 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
firstsite, Colchester (Offsite Project)
The contemporary visual arts organisation firstsite are delighted to be in discussions to work with ARTIST ROOMS in presenting Johan Grimonprez’s important video work Dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y, 1997 as an offsite project in autumn/winter 2009. In this work the Belgian artist Grimonprez used found television and video footage to trace the history of airplane highjackings from 1931 up to 1997. With a powerful soundtrack that includes spoken extracts taken from novels by Don DeLillo the work reflects upon the concept of history and its documentation. Dial H.I.S.T.O.R.Y holds a particular resonance for Colchester and firstsite since it was shown in the town in 2001 as part of firstsite's exhibition Trauma, which opened in the week of the 9/11 attacks in New York. firstsite is currently based in offices in Colchester and are running a programme of offsite works in locations around Essex until they move into a new landmark premises that will house a vibrant programme of changing exhibitions, workshops, lectures and community events. Further details about the presentation of Grimonprez's work will be announced in the spring.
Lindsey Evans, Press and Marketing Assistant, firstsite
50 ROOMS OF CONTEMPORARY ART BY 25 ARTISTS
Gilbert & George
Ian Hamilton Finlay
10 ADDITIONAL WORKS BY 7 ARTISTS
50 ROOMS OF CONTEMPORARY ART BY 25 ARTISTS
Diane Arbus 1923-1971
Three rooms comprising 69 black and white photographs, including the rare and important portfolio of ten vintage prints: Box of Ten, 1971.
Diane Arbus pioneered the photographic approach that bridges the gap between documentary and fine art. She explores the amazing variety of the lives, inner emotions and exotic appearances of ordinary people. Her subjects transcend social convention and establish an intense relationship with the viewer through the direction of their gaze. In so doing they reveal Arbus’ method which relied upon a sense of trust between the artist and her sitter. Arbus studied photography during the 1940s and 50s in New York and her first published photograph appeared in Esquire in 1960, she began making portraits in the early 1960s and was the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships. In 1970 Arbus embarked on a project to create a series of limited editions of her work, but tragically committed suicide shortly after the first Box of Ten was produced. Less than a dozen copies of this work were printed before the artist’s death, making the body of work in ARTIST ROOMS - put together in collaboration with the artist’s daughter and the Trustees of her Estate - one of the best collections in existence.
Despite her reputation as one of the great figures of American photography to date, neither Tate nor the NGS hold any works by Arbus. Both institutions are committed to expanding their representation of twentieth-century photography. Tate recently acquired works by earlier twentieth-century photographers, such as Claude Cahun (1894-1954) and Jindřich Štyrský (1899-1942), as well as more contemporary photographers. The NGS has an important collection of historical photography, and a growing collection of contemporary photographers, including work by John Coplans (1920-2003), Lee Miller (1907-1977) and Andreas Gursky (b.1955). The addition of this remarkable group of works by Arbus will radically alter the way in which photography can be shown as a key medium in the history of twentieth-century art.
Joseph Beuys 1921-1986
Six rooms comprising 136 works including: 20 sculptures; Untitled, 1970 (a portrait of the artist on canvas on the theme of Elastic Foot: Plastic Foot), two further photographic works dated 1980; 110 drawings and watercolours, three multiples and the family’s archive of 422 posters.
Beuys is recognised as one of the most influential figures of the second half of the twentieth century. Artist, political and social activist (he was a founder of the Green Party) and educator, Beuys’s philosophy proposed the healing power and social function of art in which all people can participate and benefit. His works are based on what he called ‘constellations of ideas’ and can incorporate any kind of material or object to represent these ideas according to their various inherent properties or purposes. From the 1950s onwards many of his works are made from or allude to a distinctive group of materials in particular, felt, fat and copper for their insulating, conductive and protective, transmitting and transforming properties. Beuys produced a vast body of work that bridges art and science and includes performance, drawing, print-making, sculpture and installation. His complex interlocking themes cover archaeology, geology, anthropology, zoology, myth, history intuition, medicine, energy and communication, amongst others. Beuys’s own image and life story is inextricably linked to his work and he registers as a shamanistic presence throughout his oeuvre. This group of works brings together important subjects from the sixties such as the Fat Chair with later works from the eighties culminating with the important Scala Napoletana which dates from the period of Beuys’s final work Palazzo Regale. It was made at the same time in Naples, only a few months before his death, and relates to the same theme of the shaman/king’s death and communication with the beyond.
Tate’s holdings include: Animal Woman, 1949 cast 1984; Bed, 1950; Bathtub for a Heroine, 1950, cast 1984; Fat Battery, 1963; Felt Suit 1970; Four Blackboards, 1972; Untitled (Vitrine), 1983; The End of the Twentieth Century and Three Part Drawing, 1983; as well as a number of prints. The NGS holds a complete collection of Beuys’s multiples, but only one sculpture, Three Pots for the Poorhouse, 1974. The addition of ARTIST ROOMS, which includes a large number of important early sculptural works and a unique and important group of drawings, offers the opportunity of establishing a comprehensive national collection of the artist’s work, covering major themes over a range of media. The group of drawings is one of the finest in existence and represents an aspect of Beuys’s activity not currently represented in either Tate or NGS’s collection. Together with key works such as Scala Napoletana, the Donation will create a public collection of international importance.
Vija Celmins born 1938
One room comprising 24 works on paper, including three unique drawings: Untitled (Desert-Galaxy), 1974; Night Sky #19, 1998; and Web #1, 1999.
American artist Vija Celmins makes paintings, drawings and prints. Using charcoal, graphite and erasers she produces delicate monochromatic images based on photographs of the sea, deserts, the night sky and other natural phenomena. Through her slow rigorous approach, the meticulous precision of her technique, and serial exploration of her subjects, Celmins seems to question the nature of representation. The seminal drawing Web #1 is typical of her apparently fragile, ephemeral images and is the first of nine works on the theme of the spider’s web made between 1998 and 2006. It is accompanied by a series of four ‘web’ prints from 2001 and 2002. These web images echo the web-like construction of the universe in her parallel preoccupation. Among other works in the Donation are a series from the 1980s Concentric Bearings and two negative images of night-skies in which the sky appears white and star formations are transformed into black markings. All these works focus on something small and individual in the context of vastness. The images they depict seem fragile because they record a specific human glimpse through a telescope or camera which is ephemeral and frozen in time. Yet the subjects are strong and timeless and beyond our comprehension in the detail of their existence.
These works will be the first by Celmins to join the NGS collection, and will significantly augment the four lithographs from the 1970s by the artist currently held in Tate’s collection (Sky 1975, Galaxy 1975, Ocean 1975, Desert 1975).
Gilbert & George b. 1943, b. 1942
Two rooms comprising nine works: an early magazine sculpture, George the Cunt and Gilbert the Shit, 1970; Crusade, 1980; Fallen Leaves, 1980; Thirst, 1982; Hunger, 1982; Existers, 1984, Family Tree, 1991; Light Headed, 1991; Faith Drop, 1991.
Gilbert & George have been important figures in the international art world since 1970. Working as a pair and presenting themselves as ‘living sculpture’, incorporating themselves and their lives into their art, they set out to provoke their viewers, to make them think and question conventions and taboos. In the key 1970 magazine sculpture included in ARTIST ROOMS they are smiling up at the viewer with cut-out letters pinned to their chests, which read ‘George the Cunt’ and 'Gilbert the Shit’ respectively. Their early work emphasised the artists’ own image, their place as misfits in society and their concept of ‘art for all’. But by the late seventies they had moved beyond the enclosed spaces of their house, their drinking and their life as artists, to explore the world and the people around them in the East End of London. The ‘Dirty Words’ series focused on graffiti photographed in the streets of the city. Gilbert and George were now not just taking art to the people but incorporating the people into the art. At the same time they declared their purpose was to find and accept all that was good and bad in themselves. The big multi-part brightly coloured works from the eighties in ARTIST ROOMS come mainly from this period of huge energy and change, when Gilbert and George were also developing new and specifically modern techniques of photography and printing to make their art appropriate to the people with and for whom it was made. Throughout the decade they also exhibited their work around the world in a highly modern way, masses of huge brightly coloured images made from glazed panels arranged and hung according to their precise instructions.
Tate holds only two works by Gilbert & George from the eighties. The strong group of major works of the period in ARTIST ROOMS would greatly enhance the emotional and environmental impact of their multi-part works in the collection. The NGS only holds one work by Gilbert & George, Exhausted, 1951; the addition of the works from ARTIST ROOMS will enable proper representation of their work in Scotland.
Johan Grimonprez born 1962
One room video installation dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y, 1997.
The young Belgian artist and film-maker Johan Grimonprez came to prominence when his highly acclaimed one-hour video montage, dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y was first shown at Documenta X in 1997. Using found television and video footage the artist traced the history of airplane highjackings, from 1931 up to 1997, to reflect upon the concept of history and its documentation. The video footage and televised images of hijackings are juxtaposed with clips referencing the Cold War and other collective activities, while a voiceover reads quotations from Don DeLillo’s novels White Noise and Mao II. While the title suggests the possibility of ‘calling up’ history, the work highlights the subjective conditions under which any connection can be made or any conclusion drawn. Grimonprez draws attention to both the abundance of information available via the television and the missing links – the knowledge that hidden or unseen events occur that cannot be recorded – and thus presents the viewer with the potential impossibility of recording historical fact.
dial H-I-S-T-0-R-Y will be the first work by Grimonprez to enter both Tate and NGS.
Ian Hamilton Finlay 1925-2006
One-room installation, Sailing Dinghy, 1996, comprising sailing boat and poem
Ian Hamilton Finlay combines his love of nature, his garden and the sea with his love of literature and the potency of words. In the 1960s he was widely known as one of Britain’s foremost concrete poets, but went on to extend his ideas beyond the printed page to become objects in the world. His work, often collaborative and in a wide variety of materials including stone carvings, constructions and neon lighting, is a unique blend of art and poetry. The room installation Sailing Dinghy encapsulates the artist’s passion and affection for ships and the sea. It consists of a boat used by Hamilton Finlay himself, accompanied by a poem which evokes its movement. Much of his early poetry concerns sailing and fishing boats.
Tate has extensive holdings of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s work – the majority of these (130) are works on paper and they are complemented by a number of artist’s books and thirty-nine objects including sculptures, reliefs and installations. Similarly, the NGS has important and extensive holdings of Hamilton Finlay’s works on paper and smaller objects. Sailing Dinghy relates to many of the artist’s works in both Tate’s and NGS’s collection which also explore ships, the sea and sailing (mostly smaller scale works on paper or sculptures in glass), and will be the first monumental work by the artist to enter Tate and NGS collections.
Damien Hirst b. 1965
One room featuring five works: the largest early spot painting in the series, Controlled Substances Key Painting, 1994; the important formaldehyde piece, Away from the Flock, 1994; the significant recent triptych, Trinity – Pharmacology, Physiology, Pathology, 2000; the very large butterfly diptych, Monument to the Living and the Dead, 2006; and a photograph, With Dead Head, 1981/1991.
Damien Hirst is the most prominent artist to have emerged from the British art scene in the 1990s. His role as an artist and curator has proved fundamental in the development of the group, mainly from Goldsmiths College, that became internationally known as ‘the YBAs’. Hirst’s work forces viewers to question their understanding of issues such as the fragility of life, our reluctance to confront death and decay and other dilemmas of human existence. He is best known for his ‘Natural History’ works – large-scale sculptures featuring dead animals floating in Minimalist looking vitrines – but also for his mirrored pharmacy cabinets lined with shelves full of evenly spaced drug bottles, pills, sea shells or cigarette butts, and his paintings, which he produces in series. An example of these, included in ARTIST ROOMS, is the early Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a): a canvas where a grid of dots of different colours is accompanied by letters in alphabetical order that seem to dissect and reorganise the very matter of painting into cells. Also included in ARTIST ROOMS is the key work Away from the Flock, a version of which was first exhibited in Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away which Hirst curated for the Serpentine Gallery in 1994. This work, which features a sheep floating in formaldehyde, represents an important step in Hirst’s practice: on this occasion, rather than the safety we might experience when contemplating a dead shark, what resonates in this clinical display of dead matter, is the religious theme of the death of an innocent lamb. The large butterfly diptych Monument to the Living and the Dead, 2006 was made specifically for ARTIST ROOMS.
Tate currently holds two sculptural works by Hirst: the early cabinet piece Works Without Life, 1991 and the installation Pharmacy, 1992, as well as the portfolio of prints The Last Supper, 1999 and one other print from a mixed portfolio. Tate has also been working with the artist to extend its holdings. The NGS holds two paintings by Hirst, a collaborative work with Paul Simonon from 1998, the other a ‘spin’ painting of 1996; it also owns one small cabinet-work containing needles and syringes from 1995; and a set of the print series, The Last Supper, 1999.
Jenny Holzer born 1950
One room comprising a digital text piece BLUE PURPLE TILT, 2007 and two paintings Protect Protect and Shape the Battlefield, both 2007.
The conceptual artist Jenny Holzer came to prominence in the late 1970s. She uses provocative statements in exhibitions or other public places to elicit debate. Her text-based works present and call into question the rhetorical strategies of different forms of speech and writing, from philosophical tracts to fundamentalist preaching. The selection of works from ARTIST ROOMS demonstrates the flexibility of her approach. BLUE PURPLE TILT consists of seven double-sided vertical LED signs on which a selection of messages from several of Holzer’s early text series run. Protect Protect and Shape the Battlefield are two large paintings from a recent series in which Holzer presents declassified American military documents relating to the current war in Iraq.
Tate’s holdings of Holzer’s work includes one electronic text piece Truisms, 1984 and a portfolio of prints, Inflammatory Essays, 1979-82. ARTIST ROOMS will enable Tate to update its representation of the socio-political aspect of her work. The NGS holds no work by the artist and so will be able to present Holzer for the first time.
Alex Katz born 1927
One room comprising a group of 20 small paintings.
The American painter Alex Katz began working in the 1950s, focusing on figurative subjects which set him apart from the avant-garde mainstream but brought him public recognition in the 1980s when many young artists began to work in related ways. Primarily working from life, Katz produces images in which line and form are expressed through carefully composed strokes and planes of flat colour. Although best-known for large-scale portraits, painted in his distinctive, stylised manner, Katz has also consistently made small paintings primarily as studies, which function as independent pieces and which can be considered as a distinct body of work. This group of twenty small paintings in ARTIST ROOMS spans his career. The collection also shows the artist’s preoccupation with landscape and in many of the works Katz tends towards a more expressionistic approach, with reductive compositions such as Green Shadow #2, 1998 and 3pm, November, 1997 that display a debt to Japanese art in their close-up, cropped compositions.
Tate holds one painting Hiroshi and Marcia, 1981 and a single print, Dark Eyes, 2000. The NGS has no holdings of Katz’s work. The sequence of paintings in ARTIST ROOMS offers a distinct and well-rounded introduction to Katz’s spare, flattened style.
Anselm Kiefer born 1945
Three rooms comprising six works: three early paintings (Palette, 1981, Urd Werdande Skuld (The Norns), 1983 and Man under a Pyramid, 1996); a landscape painting; and two major installations (Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles, 1999 and Palmsonntag, 2006).
A key figure in European post-war culture Anselm Kiefer’s art derives from his vast awareness of history, theology, mythology, literature and philosophy and an extraordinary ability to work with all kinds of materials from lead to concrete, from straw to human hair and sunflower seeds. He grew up near the French border on the Rhine. France was the land of his dreams on the other side of the river. In his early work he set out to understand Germany’s recent history, then still a taboo subject and one which inevitably aroused criticism and misunderstanding when he attempted it. He was interested in Beuys’s work and visited him but was not a pupil of his. Pictures of this period show Kiefer setting out on his journey, walking through a forest holding a burning branch. Later works draw on German military history, Wagnerian mythology and Nazi architecture to grapple with the possibility of pursuing creativity in the light of catastrophic human suffering. Kiefer’s technique of layering paint and debris gives visceral life to his preoccupations with decay and re-creation. ARTIST ROOMS includes major works from across the artist’s career. Palette, 1981 expands on his theme painting = burning which will cleanse the countryside and cauterize the wound inflicted by Nazism. Here painting is symbolised by a palette suspended above a smouldering abyss by a rope which is alight in several places. The painting Urd, Werdande, Skuld refers to the norns or fates of Germanic mythology whose names are Past, Present and Future and who sit by the well at the foot of the Yggdrasil, spinning or weaving the fate of men. They are an invisible presence in the grandiose vaulted emptiness of one of the un-built monuments to the delusion of the Third Reich. After the reunification of Germany Kiefer moved to Barjac in the South of France in 1992 where he continued to develop preoccupations he had already initiated but which also had wider implications. His exploration of revolution in generation and in particular The Women of the Revolution began in Germany and expanded to include Women of Antiquity. His study of ancient belief systems such as the Kabbala also grew. He travelled widely, to South America, India, China and Australia. His painting took on both a world and a cosmic view. In Barjac he worked on an ever larger scale. Confronted with the plants, climate and history of the South of France, inevitably sunflowers made their way into his work. He became increasingly interested in natural cycles, and in Robert Fludd’s theories about the lives of plants, the microcosm and the macrocosm, and his suggestion that for every plant there exists a correlated star. Man under a Pyramid, 1996 reflects the artist’s interest in exploring his mind and body through meditation and in relating it to the stars and the cosmos through the pyramid, in this case seen in the form of a large crumbling stone pyramid from the ancient remains of Mexico or Egypt. Cette obscure clarté qui tombe des étoiles (The dark light that falls from the stars) is a favourite line from Le Cid by Corneille which came to mind when Kiefer began to work with sunflowers ‘There was an obvious parallel with the black seeds on the flower and the night and the stars. The seeds were the stars. When I stuck them on a white canvas they became inverted stars, black on white like a negative.’ Kiefer’s preoccupation with the stars has now developed further into various huge paintings of star maps. The huge installation Palm Sunday, 2006, which refers to the Christian holy day, the Sunday before Easter, combines the balance between death and resurrection, decay and recreation so characteristic of Kiefer’s work. The theme of Palm Sunday is the triumph before the betrayal, and death. There is some sense that nature is the betrayed in the fallen palm and framed ossuary of branches which covers the wall, though regeneration is always a possibility.
Tate holds four works by Kiefer: Parsifal I-III, 1973; a book of woodcuts, The Rhine, 1981; Lilith, 1987-9; and Let a Thousand Flower Bloom, 2000. NGS has no holdings of Kiefer’s work. The rich holdings found in ARTIST ROOMS will complement the works held in Tate’s collection, and make available, for the first time, many important works by Kiefer across the United Kingdom.
Jeff Koons born 1955
Two rooms comprising 17 works: New Hoover Convertibles, 1981-7; a basketball piece, Encased, 1983-1993; Winter Bears, 1988; the billboard Made in Heaven, 1989; Mound of Flowers, 1991; Bourgeois Bust – Jeff and Illona, 1991; a rare set of nine Easyfun mirrors, 1999; Caterpillar (with chains), 2002 and a portfolio of prints, Art Magazine Ads, 1988-89.
Through his use first of everyday items such as vacuum cleaners and basketballs and later by creating oversized kitsch objects, Jeff Koons reflects upon the power of consumer industries and the aesthetics and culture of taste. Although Koons makes use of the kind of references reminiscent of Pop Art his means of production, first in the studio and then demanding total perfection from specialists in each chosen medium, far outstrips anything from that earlier period. His perfectionism is legendary. Drawing together a range of styles and spanning a broad chronology from early 1980s to the late 1990s, the works in ARTIST ROOMS highlight some of the artist’s most important series. In New Hoover Convertibles Koons preserves a banal, household object as a new commodity in perpetuity making its function obsolete within a contained vitrine. The idea of protected perfection is at the heart of Encased, from the artist’s series of basketball works, in which Koons sought to achieve constant equilibrium by suspending the balls in liquid. Winter Bears was first shown in Koons’s landmark exhibition Banality. The carved wooden figures derive from popular figurines, blown up to mammoth proportions to create a sculpture that is at once familiar yet grotesque. Koons’s fascination with kitsch and Baroque styles is also found in Mound of Flowers and the Bourgeois Bust, a marble sculpture which depicts the artist and his wife, Ilona. This portrait bust is part of a larger body of work in which Koons and Illona starred in their own erotic romance, documented through a series of sculpture and photographic works. The billboard Made in Heaven and the Art Magazine Ads use standard advertising methods and were made to publicise the project.
Tate holds just one work by Koons from 1985, Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank. NGS has no holdings of the artist’s work. The substantial group of works in ARTIST ROOMS touches on the full range of Koons’s complex and diverse oeuvre and offers the possibility of an in depth display of the artist’s work for the first time at Tate and NGS and across the United Kingdom.
Jannis Kounellis born 1936
Four rooms comprising 16 works: three important early works dating between 1960 and 1971; three more recent large-scale installations, two wall-hung multi-media works, and eight multiples dating from c.1989-1991 and 2001-2005.
Born in Piraeus, living and working in Rome since 1956, Jannis Kounellis was a seminal contributor to the radically and internationally influential Arte Povera group and he continues to inspire young artists today. Often epic in scale, Kounellis’s work possesses a grandeur that reflects his frequent choice of themes and ideas from the past and emphasises the fragmentary relationship the past has with the present. The works in ARTIST ROOMS span Kounellis’s career and represent the rich diversity of this important artist’s work. The group includes a rare and important early painting of 1960 from the series in which the artist drew freehand the basic elements of written communication, letters, numbers and arrows to make paintings and drawings on paper or thin canvas, and then filled in with black enamel paint. In the poetic Untitled, 1971 Kounellis painted an extract from the score of Bach’s St John Passion on a dark green canvas and had a cellist playing music from the oratorio in front of it on the occasion of its first exhibition. The Donation also includes Kounellis’s well-known Arte Povera work Untitled, 1969 with sacks containing lentils, rice, peas, corn, beans, potatoes and coffee. Kounellis is known for his combinations of antithetical materials such as sacking, beans, cotton, metal and wool. The multiples, conceived of as small contained sculptures produced in editions, draw together his most significant media and offer an excellent introduction to his work.
Tate holds three unique works: a wood and wool sculpture from 1968, a multi-media installation from 1979 and a work on paper from 1983, as well as a print portfolio from 1999. NGS has no holdings of Kounellis’ art. The wealth of works included in ARTIST ROOMS will revolutionise the way in which Kounellis can be represented in both collections.
Richard Long b. 1945
Two rooms featuring eight works: two sculptures (Somerset Willow Line, 1980 and Cornish Slate Ellipse, to be made 2009); four works on paper (A Line Made by Walking, 1967; In the Cloud, 1991; River Avon Mud drawings, 1988; River Avon Mud Slow Hand Spiral, 2005); a multiple (Nile (Papers of River Muds)), 1999; and the River Avon Book.
Richard Long first became known during the late 1960s and soon became known as an important figure in both the international and British art worlds. He leads a generation of distinguished British artists who wanted to extend the possibilities of sculpture beyond the confines of work in traditional materials and to give it meaningful existence as part of the place in which it is made, so that work, artist and place interact and become one. The other important, and particularly revolutionary, aspect of his work is the relationship between movement and time which affects everything in existence. Long’s work is rooted in his deep affinity with nature, developed during solitary walks. Most of these take him through uncultivated areas, in Britain or as far afield as Nepal, Africa, Mexico and Bolivia. While travelling he sets himself specific tasks, such as walking a straight line for a predetermined distance, following the source of a river, or picking up and then dropping stones at certain intervals along the way. Long never makes permanent alterations to the landscapes he passes through. Instead he adjusts nature’s placement of rocks or wood to form simple, geometric shapes, sometimes working in the landscape and sometimes bringing the natural materials into a gallery. He documents his journeys with photographs, maps, wall drawings and printed statements, which evoke his personal responses to the landscapes. He has said that his aim is to explore ‘relationships between time, distance, geography and measurement’. However, Long has also said that whereas photographs and text works feed the imagination, sculptures feed the sense. Walking and works made in the landscape are only half the story. Urban and rural worlds are mutually dependent and have equal significance in his work.
The selection of sculptures and works on paper by Richard Long included in ARTIST ROOMS will both augment and complement Tate’s existing holdings of the artist, which currently consist of 41 works. The additional works such as the River Avon Mud drawings 1988, of which Tate holds none, will enable Tate to present a comprehensive account of the artist’s way of working. NGS has a modest but growing collection of work by the artist, who has a special connection with Scotland through his interest in its landscape. This includes one site-specific outdoor sculpture and one large slate floor piece. The addition of ARTIST ROOMS will enable NGS to show the wider range of media used by this important artist.
Sol LeWitt 1928-2007
One-room installation Wall Drawing #1136, 2004, straight and non-straight colour bands.
Regarded as one of the pillars of wisdom in the international art community Sol LeWitt was an important pioneer of Conceptual and Minimalist art during the 1960s. The first line of his Notes on Conceptual Art reads ‘Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions which logic cannot reach’. His early sculptural works using geometric shapes, seriality and pre-determined structures broke away from the personal and emotive gestures dominant in Abstract Expressionism. Taking the form of a set of instructions which are then produced by assistants, the artist’s numerous Wall Drawings employ systems which enable line and colour to exist as independent entities. Wall Drawing #1136, 2004 is a late example where vibrantly coloured straight and non-straight lines are painted directly onto the four walls of a gallery space to create a three-dimensional environment which surrounds the viewer.
NGS holds one installation, Five Modular Structures, dating from 1972, and two works on paper from 1971 and 1973. Tate has built up a good collection of LeWitt’s work, including important print portfolios dating from 1971 to 1999, and five unique works dating between 1965 and 1981 (Untitled, 1965, painted aluminium; A Wall Divided Vertically…, 1970, graphite on wall; Two Open Modular Cubes/Half-Off, 1972, enamelled aluminium; Five Open Geometric Structures, 1979; and Six Geometric Figures (+ Two) (Wall Drawings) 1980-81). Neither institution currently represents a major installation from the artist’s late career, nor his concern with colour. Wall Drawing # 1136 will therefore provide the ability to show a survey of LeWitt’s oeuvre and offers the possibility of an in-depth display in Scotland for the first time.
Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989
Three rooms comprising a major collection of 64 black and white photographs, including 17 vintage prints signed by the artist.
The American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe pushed the boundaries of his medium with both his subject matter and innovative techniques. Originally trained as a sculptor, his understanding of the human body in relation to the light which reveals it also extends his photographs beyond the boundaries of sculpture in a way that has yet to be surpassed in either medium. His distinctive style possesses a classical quality that revels in the sensual quality of nature and the human body. His work was often considered controversial but Mapplethorpe triumphed over legal campaigns testing the right to individual freedom of expression. His work therefore also holds a significant place in the history of artistic struggle to depict the world as it is with honesty and truth. The group of photographs in ARTIST ROOMS, probably the best collection in the world after the Guggenheim Museum, includes studies of flowers, portraits of many of the most influential artists, writers and musicians of the period, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Patti Smith, and iconic self-portraits.
Mapplethorpe is not currently represented by either Tate or NGS. As with the work of Diane Arbus, this body of photographs will have a significant impact on Tate’s and NGS’s capacity to represent the history of photography.
Agnes Martin 1912-2004
One room featuring three 1990s paintings: Untitled #5, 1994; Happy Holiday, 1999; and Faraway Love, 1999.
Agnes Martin’s career as one of America’s foremost abstract painters spans nearly five decades. Her earliest works from the 1960s are characterised by large, grid-based compositions. Later Martin reduced the scale of her square canvases and shifted her work to use bands of ethereal colour. These works move between a preoccupation with ordered geometry and the irregularity created by hand-drawn pencil lines. She viewed this deliberate inconsistency which undermines the possibility of geometric perfection, as analogous to the human condition. The three paintings from Martin’s later career held in ARTIST ROOMS exemplify her exquisite handling of paint. The delicate colours appear to project beyond the picture plane to engage all the senses. Happy Holiday and Faraway Love come from a sequence of paintings from the late 1990s in which the artist used titles to evoke states of euphoria, contentment and memories of past happiness.
Tate owns one early painting by Agnes Martin, Morning, 1965. NGS has no holdings of Martin’s work. The addition of these three paintings by Martin from the 1990s will add a fresh dimension to Tate’s holdings of minimalism and geometric abstraction and will greatly compliment the NGS’s small but important holding of post-War minimalist and abstract works by Judd, Flavin, LeWitt and others.
Ron Mueck b.1958
One room featuring three sculptures: Wild Man, 2005; Spooning Couple, 2005; and Mask III, 2005.
Ron Mueck has become internationally recognised for his unique realist sculptures that replicate the human figure with unrivalled technical skill. The powerful psychological range of Mueck’s sculpture focuses not only on universal experiences of birth, life and death but on emotional states such as isolation, fear and tenderness. The three works in ARTIST ROOMS represent the scope of Mueck’s approach to the human condition, from the uneasy intimacy of Spooning Couple, the vulnerability of the giant Wild Man
ARTIST ROOMS Collection of Contemporary Art Goes Nationwide
The Art Fund Backs the First UK Tour of ARTIST ROOMS
The Scottish Government Supports Tour in Scotland
The tour of ARTIST ROOMS, a unique scheme to bring one of the largest and most imaginative acquisitions of post-war and contemporary art to audiences across Britain, from Bill Viola in Stromness to Joseph Beuys in Bexhill on Sea, is launched today.
Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by the nation in February 2008. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of the Scottish Government.
The 2009 ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Government will include works by Diane Arbus, Joseph Beuys, Vija Celmins, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Ellen Gallagher, Gilbert & George, Johan Grimonprez, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Alex Katz, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Robert Mapplethorpe, Agnes Martin, Ron Mueck, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Therrien, Bill Viola, Andy Warhol, Lawrence Weiner, and Francesca Woodman.
Anthony d’Offay’s guiding principle for the creation of ARTIST ROOMS was the concept of individual rooms devoted to particular artists. ARTIST ROOMS on Tour with The Art Fund supported by The Scottish Government has been devised to take those displays beyond the collection’s owners, Tate and National Galleries of Scotland, and to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly of young people.
The Art Fund is giving £250,000 per year to help Tate and National Galleries of Scotland to work with 13 regional partners in 2009 and more thereafter. In 2009 ARTIST ROOMS will be shown at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Tate St Ives; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Tramway, Glasgow; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery; Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast; National Museum Cardiff; Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney; Aberdeen Art Gallery; De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill; New Art Gallery, Walsall; mima Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Graves Gallery, Museums Sheffield; The Lightbox, Woking; and firstsite, Colchester.
ARTIST ROOMS is jointly owned and managed by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the nation. It has materially strengthened Tate’s ability to represent some of the most important art of the latter half of the twentieth century, and helps establish Scotland as a world-class destination for contemporary art.
John Leighton, Director of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “ARTIST ROOMS provides wonderful opportunities for audiences throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK to experience a diverse range of top-quality modern and contemporary art. We are delighted by the scope of this year’s programme and we look forward to working with our partners across the country on this ambitious and innovative project.”
Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate said: “The presence of contemporary art across the UK will be dramatically transformed by the ARTIST ROOMS tour. This new form of dynamic national collection is without precedent anywhere in the world. We are extremely grateful to The Art Fund and the Scottish Government for the significant financial commitments that have enabled us to realise this ambitious project.”
Anthony d’Offay said: “It is wonderful to see ARTIST ROOMS coming to museums and galleries across the United Kingdom and am delighted that the works in the collection will be used in this way. I am deeply grateful to all the artists and institutions who have participated in the idea of ARTIST ROOMS with such creative energy and generosity.”
David Barrie, Director of The Art Fund, said: “The Art Fund's core purpose is to give people all over the UK the chance to encounter great works of art. For more than a century, we've done this mainly by giving money to help museums and galleries buy works of art. But we can do other things, and although it is a new departure, our funding of this ambitious tour of exhibitions is perfectly in line with our mission. Having helped last year with the acquisition of ARTIST ROOMS, we are now proud to be making real Anthony d'Offay's generous vision.”
Linda Fabiani, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture said: “ARTIST ROOMS is an imaginative and powerful collection that will truly ‘open the doors’ to contemporary art for people in towns and cities across Scotland and the UK. The economic benefits linked to these exhibitions will be very welcome particularly as we look to maximise tourism revenue through Scotland’s Year of Homecoming. The Scottish Government is providing the National Galleries of Scotland with £175,000 per annum towards the costs of touring Artist Rooms across Scotland, benefiting museums and galleries in 2009 from Orkney to Edinburgh.”
Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism said: “One of the best things about Anthony d’Offay's gift is that it is not just about London. Nor even just about London and Edinburgh – but about the country as a whole. This highlights the responsibility that we – the Government, the national museums, artists and donors – have to make world-class art accessible to audiences nation wide. There is no point in talking about universal cultural entitlement if people cannot take this up because they do not live in, or near, a capital city."
Notes to editors:
The Art Fund will provide ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with The Art Fund £250,000 plus VAT in 2009 and 2010 with the 2011 allocation to be confirmed by 31 July 2010.
The collection of 725 works, representing one of the most important holdings of post-war and contemporary international art in private hands, was assembled by Anthony d’Offay, whose London galleries played a key role in the promotion and understanding of twentieth-century art in the UK over a period of more than 30 years.
The acquisition for the national collection was made under a part gift/part sale at cost agreement. The cost of the collection to Anthony d’Offay was some £26.5 million, and he asked for and received £26.5 million, i.e. the original costs of these works. The collection was valued in 2008 at £125 million. The costs of the acquisition, which included the purchase of the artworks and set up and accessioning was £28 million. These costs were met by £10 million each from both the Scottish and British Governments, £7 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and £1 million from The Art Fund. All taxes were paid in full.
The agreement also includes a provision for the establishment of a £5 million endowment fund by the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate, the interest from which will be used for the acquisition of further rooms by important contemporary artists, ensuring that the collection can continue to grow in the future. An initial contribution of £500,000 each from the National Galleries of Scotland and Tate has been made towards the £5 million endowment fund. The endowment has been increased significantly by a major grant of £500,000 from The Henry Moore Foundation, one of the largest gifts made in its thirty-one year history.
Richard Calvocoressi, Director of The Henry Moore Foundation, comments: “I cannot think of a more effective way of realising one of the principal aims of the Foundation – which is to promote public appreciation of art – than helping ARTIST ROOMS expand and develop in new directions. The unique feature of this exciting project is that world-class contemporary art will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people, not only in London and Edinburgh but throughout the UK.”
The museums have asked Anthony d’Offay, to serve as an unpaid ex officio curator for a period of 5 years, and he has agreed.
The Art Fund
The Art Fund is the UK’s leading independent art charity. It offers grants to help UK museums and galleries enrich their collections; campaigns on behalf of museums and their visitors; and promotes the enjoyment of art. It is funded from public donations and has 80,000 members. Since 1903 the charity has helped secure 860,000 works of art for museums and galleries across the UK. In addition to helping secure Anthony d’Offay’s collection, ARTIST ROOMS, for Tate and National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), last year it also helped save Rubens’ sketch for the ceiling at Banqueting House, Whitehall, for Tate and pledged £1m to help NGS acquire Titian’s Diana and Actaeon with The National Gallery. For more information contact the Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit www.artfund.org . The Art Fund is a Registered Charity No. 209174
Audio clips of Linda Fabiani commenting on the ARTIST ROOMS exhibition, toward which the Scottish Government is providing £175,000 for its tour of Scotland, are available at www.scotland.gov.uk/downloads