Press releases 2011
Press releases 2011
TURNER IN JANUARY: THE VAUGHAN BEQUEST
1 – 31 January 2012
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
The National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to announce a major new acquisition, Rome from Monte Mario (1820) by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). This stunning watercolour has recently been allocated to the Scottish National Gallery through the Acceptance in Lieu of Tax scheme and will take pride of place in the Gallery’s much-loved Turner in January exhibition. Rome from Monte Mario will strengthen this outstanding, annual display, illustrating an aspect of the artist’s work not previously represented. The show is renowned for providing a thoughtful counterpoint to the more energetic celebrations of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, and offering a welcome injection of light and colour during the darkest month of the year.
Turner was perhaps the most prolific and innovative of all British artists and his skills have been much admired ever since his lifetime. Rome from Monte Mario is one of his finest watercolours and was made after his first visit to Rome, between August 1819 and February 1820. Turner was delighted and overwhelmed by the trip: the ancient remains, profusion of Renaissance and Baroque buildings, and splendour of the city’s setting fired his imagination. This delicate and sophisticated work was created as part of a set of Italian scenes for his friend and patron Walter Fawkes (1769-1825).
The view Turner chose for the watercolour is unusual and highly ambitious. He depicted the city at sunset, looking in a south-easterly direction from just below the top of Monte Mario. On the right is the dome of St Peter’s; just to the right of the centre of the composition is the Castel Sant’ Angelo, and further to the left the Campidoglio. The Via Angelico is the road that cuts across the fields in the foreground and is flanked by smoke from bonfires, curling up into the golden evening light. An idyllic image of a boy playing pipes to a demure girl in the forefront completes the scene.
Rome from Monte Mario formed part of the very distinguished Turner collection created by the Scottish shipping magnate and educational benefactor Sir Donald Currie (1825-1909), who founded the Castle (later, Union Castle) Steamship Company.
This work will join the Scottish National Gallery’s superb collection of 38 Turner watercolours which were bequeathed in 1899 by English collector Henry Vaughan (1809-1899). Vaughan’s bequest is renowned for providing the perfect introduction to Turner’s career and features a number of beautiful watercolours of Venice. This depiction of Rome is a wonderful addition to the existing collection.
Turner was born in London, the son of a barber and wig-maker, and soon proved himself as an accomplished topographical draughtsman. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1790, and was elected an Academician by the age of 26. From the 1790s he undertook sketching tours in England, Wales and Scotland, gathering material for watercolours and oil paintings, and gradually discovering the attractions of awe-inspiring mountainous landscapes, which became a major pre-occupation in his work. In 1802 he made his first journey to Europe. He was to return in 1817, after the end of the Napoleonic wars, and from then on made annual visits across the Channel for much of the rest of his life. These journeys were usually undertaken in the summer and included explorations of the great rivers of northern Europe, as well as excursions into Italy.
Vaughan probably met Turner in the 1840s and built a remarkable collection of his drawings and watercolours, which spanned much of the artist’s career, and only included works in fine condition. He was inspired to bequeath his Turners to public collections by the great critic John Ruskin (1809-1899), who had donated works by the artist to museums. Vaughan was aware of the importance of conserving watercolours, which can easily fade if over-exposed, and so he specified that his Turners should only be displayed during January. His wishes have always been respected and this inspired tradition has now continued for over 110 years.
For further information and images, please call the Press Office on 0131 624 6325/ 332/ 314
Notes to Editors:
Turner in January is sponsored by People’s Postcode Lottery.
Acceptance in Lieu of Tax (AIL) scheme enables UK taxpayers to transfer important works of art into public ownership. In this instance this was achieved with no cost to the NGS.
The Scottish National Gallery is open on 1 January from 12 noon until 5 pm; from 2 January opening hours revert to normal: Monday to Sunday 10 am – 5 pm, Thursday 10 am –7 pm.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art announces definitive look at 110 years of Sculpture including works from Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas through to Ron Mueck and 2011 Turner Prize winner, Martin Boyce.
A major new exhibition, which will use the extraordinary collection at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to explore the development of sculpture over the last 110 years, will open in Edinburgh this week. The Sculpture Show will highlight the enormous diversity of sculptural practice in this period, bringing together some 150 works, by artists such as Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst. This fascinating overview of Modern and Contemporary sculpture will also include key loans from private and public collections, and will bring the story right up to date, with works by this year’s Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce and nominee Karla Black.
Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art said:
'The Sculpture Show gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase the huge strengths of the collection in innovative ways. It also allows us to celebrate the specific strengths of contemporary art in Scotland, with the inclusion of works by this year’s Turner Prize nominee Karla Black and winner Martin Boyce, as well as past winners including Simon Starling, Martin Creed and Douglas Gordon. With major international loans and new commissions, this history of sculpture is the history of how art became contemporary.'
The Sculpture Show will take over both floors of the Gallery’s main building, and also extend into the grounds, where a recent work by Roger Hiorns has been installed on Charles Jencks’s Landform. Comprising two decommissioned aircraft engines from the United States Air Force, this spectacular work is on loan from the Arts Council Collection and is being shown for the first time in the UK. It joins an array of sculpture on permanent display in the grounds of the Gallery’s two buildings, Modern One and Two.
The exhibition will demonstrate the depth, richness and range of sculpture in the Gallery’s collection. It will begin with collages, reliefs and assemblages made by Cubist, Surrealist and Constructivist artists in the early 20th Century (including masterpieces by Picasso and Man Ray), and will demonstrate the continuing influence of these techniques throughout the century, up to contemporary artists such as Toby Paterson. Other highlights from the first half of the century will include Impressionist sculptures by Degas, Rodin and Medardo Rosso, as well as displays devoted to Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, Eric Gill and Jacob Epstein (including Epstein’s rarely seen monumental alabaster carving Consummatum Est (1936-7)).
After a worldwide tour, Ron Mueck’s monumental work A Girl (2006) has returned to Edinburgh to form the centrepiece of The Sculpture Show. The 5-metre mixed-media sculpture of a newborn baby, rendered in breathtaking detail on an enormous scale, was acquired following the phenomenally successful Mueck exhibition, which drew over 130,000 visitors at the Scottish National Gallery in 2006. A Girl will feature in a display devoted to Super-realist sculpture, which will also include Duane Hanson’s celebrated Tourists. Further rooms illustrate the impact of surrealism on sculpture of, or about the human body including works by Marcel Duchamp, Sarah Lucas, Giacometti and Hans Bellmer.
The upper galleries will chart developments in sculpture from the 1960s onwards, exploring the ways in which the definition of the artform has expanded in the last 50 years. Crucial to this is the work of artists such as Joseph Beuys, Donald Judd, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Bruce McLean and six new works by the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto, one of the key members of the Arte Povera movement of the 1960s, and one of the elder statesmen of contemporary art. The Way Things Go by Peter Fischli and David Weiss brings film and video into The Sculpture Show, the enchanting 29 minute film features a large kinetic sculpture which comes to life as a 100 foot long chain reaction.
A striking late work by American Minimalist artist Sol LeWitt has been specially installed for the exhibition. Wall Drawing #1136 (2004) covers three walls of a single room, and reaches almost 22 metres in length. The work, which took a team of eight people a month to complete, immerses the viewer in a vibrant world of colour. It comprises 149 vertical bands, hand-painted in an irregular sequence of primary and secondary colours, intersected by the sweeping curved form which snakes around the room. This work, which is part of the ARTIST ROOMS collection, has never before been on display in Scotland.
Throughout the exhibition, a series of changing displays of recent sculpture will be shown. The first of these will be devoted to leading Glasgow-based sculptor Nick Evans, who is currently exploring the collection as part of a SNGMA / Creative Scotland Fellowship.
A series of exquisite photographs by Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce, which give the viewer an insight into the artists’ research and inspirations, will also be on display. These images will be shown in conjunction with Untitled (After Rietveld), a haunting fluorescent light work by Boyce which was recently gifted to the galleries.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery (SNPG) will open on 1 December, following an ambitious £17.6m restoration project and with an entirely new presentation of its world-famous collection. The project – the first major refurbishment in the Gallery’s 120-year history – has restored much of the architect’s original vision, opening up previously inaccessible parts of the building and increasing the public space by more than 60 percent. It has also added a range of new facilities that will utterly transform visitors’ experience of the Gallery. Entry to the new Portrait Gallery will be completely free.
The SNPG opened in 1889 as the world’s first purpose-built portrait gallery and is now an iconic landmark in the heart of Scotland’s capital. Over the past century, its collection of portraits has grown to become one of the largest and finest in the world, comprising 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings. This distinctive red sandstone building also houses the national collection of photography with some 38,000 historic and modern photographs.
For the first time since the Gallery was established, access to the exhibition spaces on all three levels has been opened up, while the restoration of the magnificent suite of top-lit galleries on the upper floor has created one of the most impressive display spaces in Scotland. As a result, a much greater proportion of the collection will be on show, bringing to light a wealth of art works that has been, until now, largely hidden from view.
The New Displays
The new displays will follow a chronological pattern but will also focus on various themes and subjects in greater depth, exploring the richness of Scottish history and culture in a more cohesive and interconnected way, and telling the story of its people and places through the lens of the visual arts. Individual portraits – from Mary, Queen of Scots to Dr Who actor Karen Gillan – will be set in a broader context of thematic displays ranging from the Reformation to the present day.
Supported by loans from other collections, and by a fresh approach to information and interpretation, including trails, themes and an interactive touchscreen gallery, this new presentation of the permanent collection will help bring to life the portraits and the stories behind them, as well as exploring many facets of Scottish life and the nation’s wider influence throughout the world. The displays are designed to change and evolve so that over time, the public will have access to different aspects of this extraordinarily rich and diverse collection.
The Photography Gallery
The new Portrait Gallery will, for the first time, include a major space dedicated to showcasing the Gallery’s unparalleled holdings of Scottish and international photography, as well as newly commissioned work by contemporary photographers. The significance of photography will be emphasised throughout the Gallery, where it will be integrated into many of the displays.
The Contemporary Gallery
On the ground floor, the Contemporary Gallery will bring the story up to date, with a series of displays from the Gallery’s collection of contemporary portraits, special loan exhibitions, and commissions from some of Scotland’s most celebrated contemporary artists. The inaugural display will feature Missing, a video installation by Graham Fagen, commissioned as part of a unique partnership between the Portrait Gallery and the National Theatre of Scotland.
The refurbishment of the Gallery, a magnificent Arts and Crafts building designed by the celebrated architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, has been overseen by Glasgow-based architects Page Park. Their sensitive design has restored many of the building’s original features, which had been hidden behind an accumulation of twentieth-century interventions, while incorporating essential modern services, such as the great glass lift that will take visitors up through the heart of the building. The remodeling of the ground floor has improved circulation for visitors, as well as providing an open and airy view along the entire length of the building. Office space has been cleverly accommodated in a new mezzanine level and, for the first time there is an education suite, with a seminar room and studio space. In addition, the Gallery’s ever-popular café and shop have doubled in size.
The refurbished Gallery will also make use of a number of pioneering techniques to achieve a significant reduction in energy consumption. Using the mass of the building, new insulation and sophisticated controls to permit slow changes over wider ranges of temperature and humidity, the gallery spaces will use 42 percent less energy that previously. In addition, the Gallery will be lit by cutting-edge, low-energy LEDs (light-emitting diodes) which combine economy with excellent colour rendering qualities.
The Learning Programme
An extensive and dynamic learning programme complementing the new displays, called Portrait of the Nation: Live! will be an integral part of the re-invention of the SNPG. This has been devised to engage a very broad range of visitors, both on- and off-site, as well as on-line. It will help to realise our vision of the Portrait Gallery as a unique, responsive and essential portrayal of Scotland that will stimulate, engage and build relationships with audiences both at home and abroad.
The £17.6 million refurbishment has been funded by generous contributions from the Scottish Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Monument Trust and a number of charitable bodies. This has been supported by an innovative and engaging public campaign which has given donors the chance to sponsor historical figures in the stunning frieze created by William Hole in the Gallery’s Great Hall; individual stars in Hole’s mural mapping of the night sky, which adorns the Hall’s ceiling; or to include a photograph in 'Put Yourself in the Picture', an electronic donor screen and online gallery.
John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, commented: 'The new SNPG will be a superb setting to showcase rich traditions of Scottish art and photography; it is also a forum where issues of history and identity come to life through art; perhaps, above all, it is a place where individual and collective stories and memories come together to create a fascinating and imaginative portrait of a nation.'
James Holloway, Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, added:'Scotland’s national portraits at last have a home worthy of them. Our great iconic building now looks tremendous and is the perfect showcase for our rich and unique collection.'
First Minister Alex Salmond said: 'The Scottish National Portrait Gallery celebrates well-known Scots from throughout the ages; whether they are some of our greatest thinkers or our modern actors and actresses. All aspects of Scottish life and achievement are encapsulated in the many artworks which will now be displayed to their utmost as part of this ambitious £17.6m restoration project. The improvements to the magnificent building will allow visitors to experience much of what architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson envisaged in his original design as it continues to showcase Scotland’s greatest asset – its people.'
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: 'The restoration of this magnificent building will allow visitors to appreciate its architect’s original vision while showcasing Scotland at its very best. The opportunity to view substantially more of the Gallery’s treasures and take part in imaginative interpretation trails and education activities will delight visitors of all ages. HLF is proud to be a partner in this magnificent transformation which is set to make a significant contribution to our culture, society and tourist economy.'
BUILDING A COLLECTION: New Scottish and French Acquisitions for the Scottish National Gallery
The Scottish National Gallery is delighted to announce two important acquisitions to the national collection. Entrance to the Cuiraing, Skye (1873) by Waller Hugh Paton (1828-1895) has been purchased for the collection by the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland and Portrait of Jean-François Regnault (1815) by Jean-Baptiste, baron Regnault (1754-1829) has been acquired for the nation thanks to the generosity of a private donor.
Michael Clarke, Director of the Scottish National Gallery, said; ‘It is vitally important that we continue to add significant works, both Scottish and European, to this wonderful and very distinctive collection. Paton’s landscape is our first Scottish landscape of the world-famous Isle of Skye,and Regnault’s portrait of his son is our first ‘Romantic’ French portrait. We are deeply grateful to our Patrons and to a private donor for their magnificent support.”
Entrance to the Cuiraing, Skye (1873) by Waller Hugh Paton, was purchased from Bourne Fine Art in Edinburgh with the generous support of the Patrons of the National Galleries of Scotland. Scotland’s most prolific and successful Pre-Raphaelite landscape painter was previously not represented in the national collection of Scottish art by a single oil – an omission which the Gallery has been seeking to rectify for almost ten years. Completed in 1873, this spectacular example of Paton’s mature landscape painting also strengthens very substantially the pictorial representation of the Highlands throughout the National Galleries and is the most important view of Skye in the Scottish National Gallery apart from J M W Turner’s exceptional watercolour of Loch Coruisk (1831), conceived as an illustration to The Lord of the Isles by Sir Walter Scott.
Like his older brother Sir Joseph Noel Paton, who is internationally known for his fairy pictures illustrating A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Waller Hugh Paton began his professional career in Dunfermline, designing damask patterns for his father. At the age of 20, having resolved to become a landscape painter, he sought tuition in watercolour from John Adam Houston RSA, but was otherwise mainly self-taught. From 1851 Paton exhibited annually at the Royal Scottish Academy where he became conspicuous for his distinctive and ‘peculiar scheme of colour with purple hills and orange skies flecked with rosy clouds’ and for his high finish and minuteness of detail reflecting his adoption of Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics and working practices.
Of the Quiraing on the Trotternish peninsula, Paton recalled that it was ‘an awful place’. The power of that memory is enshrined in his vision of three tiny kilted figures toiling up the boulder-strewn slopes on the left of the picture. This figure is almost indiscernible at first glance and completely dwarfed by an apocalyptic and other-worldly panorama of the northern Skye hills and by a sense of time immemorial embodied in the bizarre rock formations dominated by The Needle in the foreground. Yet, by the 1860s, Paton was just one of the many visitors embarking on the Oban excursion steamer for Skye, ‘where the photographer, with his camera and chemicals’ was almost permanently encamped at Loch Coruisk, ‘the hills sit for their portraits,’ and the hill sheep dislodged stones upon unsuspecting artists and tourists scrambling up the Quiraing in quest of the sublime and the terrible.
Portrait of Jean-François Regnault (1815) by Jean-Baptiste, baron Regnault has generously been acquired by a private donor from the Parisian dealers Talabardon et Gautier for the Scottish National Gallery. Over the past few years the Gallery has been deliberately building up its collection of French works of the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to complement its already excellent holdings of the Rococo from the first half of the eighteenth century (Boucher and Watteau) and of the nineteenth-century Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Regnault, who was created baron in 1829, was considered in his lifetime as a worthy rival to Jacques-Louis David, the leading figure of Neoclassicism in France at the time of the French Revolution.
Regnault had three sons, each of whom enjoyed distinguished military careers. A a proud father, he painted military portraits of all three of them in 1815. The painting acquired by the Gallery is of the second son, Jean-François (known as ‘Francesco’ to his friends). He is shown wearing the uniform of a captain of the 3e régiment de tirailleurs (3rd Rifle Regiment) with the Légion d’hHonneur pinned to his chest and bearing the scar on his forehead, depicted at his insistence, of a wound from a sabre cut sustained at the siege of Astorga in Spain in 1811.
This is the first painting by Regnault to enter a public collection in the United Kingdom. His work can be found in various prestigious galleries and museums abroad including the Louvre, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Kunsthalle, Hamburg; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
GEORGE BAIN: MASTER OF MODERN CELTIC ART
15 October 2011 – 13 February 2012
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
PRESS VIEW: 11.30 am – 1.00pm, 14 October 2011
This autumn the Scottish National Gallery, in partnership with Groam House Museum, Rosemarkie, will present a unique display devoted to the Scottish artist often referred to as the 'father of modern Celtic design.' George Bain was a key figure in the revival of Celtic art in the 20th century and devoted much of his life to the study of the intricate decorative designs used by ancient Picts and Celts. Demonstrating the artist’s great versatility, this display will feature a selection of some 55 items, including watercolours, drawings, sculptures and jewellery, as well as archival material and objects made to Bain’s designs. Much of the material has never have been on public display before.
George Bain (1881-1968) was born in Scrabster, in the northeast of Scotland. His family was on the point of emigrating, their ship docked in Leith Port, en route to Canada, when an encounter with a cousin convinced his father to stay in Edinburgh. Bain went on to study at Edinburgh’s School of Applied Art, Edinburgh College of Art, and the Royal College of Art, London before taking the post of Principal Art Teacher at Kirkcaldy High School, which he held until his retirement in 1946. Throughout his long career he exhibited frequently across Scotland, in institutions such as the Royal Scottish Academy as well as London and Paris.
Bain dedicated himself to studying the complex techniques adopted by Picts and Celts who produced intricate designs on rural stones, sophisticated metalwork and jewellery, as well as medieval illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. Bain cleverly devised mathematical frameworks that taught people the ancient principles which underlie these works, whilst still allowing for creative designs. Bain’s applied maxim was always 'Theory may inform but Practice convinces'. His manual Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction is still the most influential book on this subject and has been in print continuously since 1972.
Master of Modern Celtic Art will document Bain’s early artistic training in Edinburgh and highlight his experimentation with printmaking and drawing techniques. Immensely detailed sketches, watercolours and prints will be on display as well as actual objects adapted from his own designs, such as the Celtic ‘Hunting’ design which has featured on rugs and carpets since 1948. His manual will be on display in various editions and languages and examples of articles written by and about him will also be included.
George Bain’s beautiful craftsmanship complements the work of other artists that feature in the National collection, such as Phoebe Anna Traquair and John Duncan, who shared his passion for the Scottish Arts and Crafts movement at the start of the early twentieth century. Bain’s art, and in particular his teaching manual, has continued the Celtic renaissance and allows for the art form still to be practised today.
PRESS VIEW: WEDNESDAY 19 OCTOBER 2011, 11.30AM – 1PM
The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell
22 October 2011 – 18 March 2012
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 73 Belford Road, Edinburgh
Admission £7 / £5
Sponsored by Dickson Minto
This autumn the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will launch the first in an annual series of exhibitions devoted to the Scottish Colourists. The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell will be the first major retrospective of his work to be held in a public gallery in almost seventy years and will bring together almost 80 paintings, from collections across the UK, many of which have rarely, if ever, been shown in public before.
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937) is one of the four artists popularly known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’, along with S. J. Peploe, J. D. Fergusson and G. L. Hunter. Cadell’s work is perhaps the most elegant of the four: he is renowned for his stylish portrayals of Edinburgh New Town interiors and the sophisticated society that occupied them; equally celebrated are his vibrantly coloured, daringly simplified still-lives of the 1920s, and his evocative landscapes of the island of Iona.
Cadell was born and grew up in Edinburgh. In 1898, at the age of sixteen, he moved to Paris, enrolled at the Académie Julian, returning to Edinburgh in 1902. Between 1902 and 1905 he divided his time between the French and Scottish capitals before moving to Munich in 1906. He enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste and returned to Edinburgh in 1908, where he lived for the rest of his life. A trip to Venice in 1910 proved a turning-point and a series of works made there, including Florian’s Café, Venice and St Mark’s Square, Venice, show how the city inspired a newly confident use of bright colour and a loosening of technique.
In the period immediately before the First World War and based in a grand studio in George St, Edinburgh, Cadell found inspiration in the city of his birth. He revelled in the northern light of the Scottish capital, the beauty of its architecture and the elegance of its inhabitants, making them the subject matter of his art. He developed a palette based on white, cream and black enlivened with highlights of bold colour, and applied with feathery, impressionist brushstrokes. Depictions of his studio and fashionable women within them, reveal an interest in Manet, Whistler, Lavery and Sargent, as can be seen in works such as The White Room, 1915, Interior:130 George St, c.1915 and The Mantelpiece in Summer, c.1914. Cadell’s still-lives of this period are lively images based on the careful orchestration of objects including silver teapots, glasses, silhouettes and flowers.
Cadell was the youngest of The Scottish Colourists and was the only one to fight in the First World War. He served firstly with the Royal Scots and then with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. In 1916 he published the book Jack and Tommy containing witty, swiftly-executed drawings of army and navy life, but he rarely referred to the war in his work thereafter.
On his return to Edinburgh after demobilisation in 1919, Cadell moved to Ainslie Place in Edinburgh’s fashionable New Town. His work underwent an abrupt and dramatic change, thought to have been encouraged by his new surroundings, by close collaboration with Peploe, an interest in the Art Deco movement and perhaps in response to the squalor of the trenches. Cadell furnished and decorated his impressive residence with style – painting his front door bright blue to annoy his neighbours - and often turned to his surroundings for subject matter. Works including Interior: The Orange Blind, c.1927 and The Gold Chair, c. 1921 are amongst his most celebrated paintings, depicting views from one room to another within his home. A new intensity of colour, tightness of composition and flatness of paint application developed in his work, which can be seen to best effect in his still-lives of this decade, in paintings such as The Blue Fan and The Rose and The Lacquer Screen, both of the early 1920s. After the war, Cadell was no longer attempting to capture images of fashionable society, but instead was concerned with an almost abstract concept of space and perspective, creating some of the most remarkable paintings in British art of the period.
Cadell first visited the island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides in 1912. He returned to paint there, virtually every year until his death, often accompanied by Peploe. His paintings of Iona depict a wide range of features on the island, from the Abbey to the North End and views from the island over to neighbouring Mull. Cadell captured the quality of light created by the ever-changing weather conditions on Iona, which contrasts with the blazing Mediterranean sunshine he depicted when painting in the south of France, most significantly in Cassis in 1923 and 1924.
The steady waning of the art market from the late 1920s and the mounting debts incurred due to Cadell’s lavish lifestyle saw him move home three times in the last decade of his life. As his personal circumstances declined so his official standing grew as he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1935 and the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in 1936. Ill health was finally diagnosed as cancer and he died in Edinburgh on 6 December 1937. A memorial exhibition was held at the RSA the following year and a retrospective exhibition was mounted at the National Gallery of Scotland in 1942, which toured to Glasgow Art Gallery.
This exhibition is the first devoted to Cadell’s work in a public gallery since then and its catalogue is the first monograph to be published on him for over twenty years. The world-record price for a painting by Cadell sold at auction was achieved last year, reflecting a growing interest in his work. Highly sought after by collectors and popular with the general public, his work is represented in many public collections throughout the UK. This exhibition and the accompanying catalogue provide a timely re-assessment of Cadell’s achievements.
The exhibition will be complimented by a display of some of the objects depicted in Cadell’s paintings, including bowls, vases and a silver teapot, together with archival material such as letters and photographs.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART ACQUIRES KEY WORK BY MARGARET MACDONALD MACKINTOSH
Supported by the Art Fund
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is delighted to announce the acquisition of The Mysterious Garden (1911) by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1865-1933). This stunning work is a superb addition to the Gallery’s holding of early twentieth-century Scottish art. The acquisition has been made in celebration of the Gallery’s 50th anniversary which took place in 2010. The Mysterious Garden was purchased for £230,000 from the Fine Art Society, London with substantial assistance of £115,000 from the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for works of art.
The Mysterious Garden is a rare and beautiful work that shows a woman artist at the forefront of developments in the arts at the beginning of the twentieth century. First exhibited almost exactly a century ago, in March 1911, at the Royal Scottish Society for Painters in Watercolour in Glasgow, it is one of the artist’s largest independent watercolours. Mackintosh’s masterpiece evokes a dream-like state and seems to render an almost child-like interior world of the imagination. It depicts a woman with her eyes closed and perhaps asleep, elaborately clothed in a voluminous ethereal dress shaped like petal. Above her stands a row of eight heads or masks which are, perhaps, part of her dream. It is thought that the work was inspired by the fairy play, The Blue Bird, by the Belgian poet and playwright, Maurice Maeterlinck, which was performed in Glasgow in 1910. This style is typical of Macdonald Mackintosh’s work and the concerns of other members of the Glasgow School; however it can also be seen as part of a wider symbolist movement across Europe exemplifying the far reaching influence of the Scottish artists at that time.
The Mysterious Garden is the first work by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh to enter the collections of the National Galleries of Scotland. It joins paintings and drawings by her contemporaries including her husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Phoebe Traquair, Jessie M. King and Annie French. The painting will now go on show from the 15 August until 16 October 2011 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in a display which explores the Celtic revival style of the period.
Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was born in Tipton, near Wolverhampton and moved to Glasgow in the late 1880s. In 1891 Margaret and her sister, Frances (1873-1921), enrolled at Glasgow School of Art and took day-time drawing classes. There she met students Charles Rennie Mackintosh and James Herbert MacNair (1868-1955). By 1894 the four young artists were participating in the same exhibitions and had begun collaborating on work. They soon became known as ‘The Four’ - also as the ‘Mac group’ and, more sardonically, as ‘The Spook School’, owing to the ghostly, spectral appearance of the figures in many of their works. As their reputations grew Josef Hoffmann, the celebrated Viennese designer, suggested that they be invited to show at the Eighth Secessionist Exhibition in Vienna in 1900. Their international reputations were cemented by the work they showed at the great International Exhibition of Decorative Art held in Turin in 1902. Their work was highly influential on many who saw it including Hoffmann and Gustav Klimt.
In 1914, owing to ill health, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret left Glasgow for London. From that date onwards she spent her time looking after him and she too suffered poor health; few works were made after this date. Mackintosh died in 1928 and she died five years later. A memorial exhibition, bringing together their work, was held in 1933 and it featured the watercolour The Mysterious Garden.
Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art said: 'We are delighted to have acquired this beautiful masterpiece by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh. It is a rare and stunning example of work from an important era in Scottish art history and is a substantial addition to our collection from this period. We are extremely grateful to the Art Fund for their generosity in making this acquisition possible.'
Stephen Deuchar, Director of the Art Fund said: 'The scarcity of works of this kind by Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh means that it is a real coup that the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art has been able to add this haunting watercolour to its collection. It is a much deserved 50th birthday present to the gallery.'
TONY CRAGG: SCULPTURES AND DRAWINGS
30 July – 6 November 2011
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Telephone 0131 6246 6200
Admission £7 (£5)
With support from Holtermann Fine Art and The Henry Moore Foundation
The major summer exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this year will highlight the work of one of the world’s greatest living sculptors. Tony Cragg is a central figure in the remarkable generation of British sculptors which emerged in the in the late 1970s. Based in Germany, Cragg enjoys a huge international reputation and will have separate exhibitions this year in Edinburgh, Venice, Dallas, Duisburg, and Paris (his recent exhibition under the glass pyramid at the Louvre is the first to be staged there by a living artist). Operating from a vast suite of studios in a former tank repair garage in Wuppertal, Cragg produces some of the most extraordinary sculptural forms of our time. He is Director of one of the world’s great art academies, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and owns and runs a 30-acre sculpture park, the Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden. Cragg won the prestigious Japanese Praemium Imperiale international art prize in 2007 and the Turner Prize in 1988 (the year in which he also represented Britain at the Venice Biennale).
Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings will be the first UK museum exhibition devoted to the artist in more than a decade, and will concentrate mainly on monumental sculptures made in the last fifteen years, to be shown with a number of significant earlier works. There will also be a selection of some 100 drawings, watercolours and prints, which offer a fascinating insight into the artist’s working processes. Featuring nearly fifty major sculptures, with some of the larger works sited in the Gallery’s grounds, the exhibition will offer a rare opportunity to see the range and breadth of Cragg’s extraordinary recent and new work.
Born in Liverpool in 1949, Tony Cragg began his career as a laboratory assistant, helping to test, manipulate and develop different types of rubber. At the time he was also studying art, and began to use drawing as a means of understanding the experiments he was conducting. Cragg’s background in science can be seen to inform his imaginative, creative way approach to the making of sculpture. His work bears witness to an intense curiosity that has driven him to create, test, push and pull materials, to see what each one does: this has been a defining characteristic of Cragg’s work throughout his career.
From the early to mid-1970s Cragg studied at Wimbledon College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. On leaving the Royal College in 1977 he moved to Wuppertal in central Germany, initially for a year, but has remained there ever since. At this stage, Cragg was making works from found materials - man-made urban waste, such as broken toys, chair seats and plastic bottles - that he gathered on walks. Runner, a wall-based work made in 1985 is typical of this period, in which individual fragments of waste retained their original identity yet were reconfigured to create a seemingly unrelated image or form. Cragg is dismissive of the idea that such raw materials are ‘rubbish’: to him, the discarded plastic objects he used carry as much significance and meaning in relation to contemporary life as ancient artefacts speak of the cultures that produced them.
In the mid-1980s Cragg began casting in bronze and iron and using materials such as wood, Kevlar, plaster, steel, polystyrene and glass, which he has subsequently explored and manipulated like no other sculptor of his time, or perhaps any other. Unusually, given their scale and complexity, Cragg makes all of his sculptures by hand, employing a team of assistants to bring them to completion. This painstaking process is the stimulus to everything that the artist does - through making one work he finds inspiration for the next. In addition, this approach to his work has led to it being made in ‘family groups’ or series. Works from two of these - Early Forms and Rational Beings - will comprise the major component of this exhibition.
In Early Forms, his longest-running series of cast works, which began in the late 1980s, Cragg has created a vast array of unique sculptural forms, derived from a diverse range of vessel types - from ancient flasks to test-tubes, jam jars and detergent bottles - that are twisted and mutated together to make new forms, imagined and realised by the artist. The title refers to the fact that vessels are among the simplest and earliest surviving man-made forms and, in archaeological terms, are important markers of culture. During the 1990s the Early Forms became increasingly complex, organic and elastic in form, exemplified here by works such as Early Forms St Gallen (1997), a twisting, screw-like form which seems to be wrestling with itself and turning inside-out.
The series evolved further in the early 2000s, when Cragg made a group of more geometric works, with more structured internal dynamics. He also overcame the problems of permanently fixing colour to cast bronze by using new paint technology, producing vibrantly coloured works such as McCormack (2007) and Outspan (2006). The latter demonstrates how, in his more recent works, Cragg has incorporated the forms of a broad range of ordinary vessels: the sculpture is based at one end on a ribbed oil can which transmutes via two other vessel shapes and a shampoo bottle into an astonishing work. Another development in the Early Forms sculptures in recent years has been their elevation from the ground, as in Declination (2004), a large, two-and-a-half-ton yellow-painted bronze which stands nimbly on three points.
Cragg invariably works on several apparently unrelated series at the same time. While the Early Forms series was in progress he was also developing the Rational Beings series, which has been a major element of his output in the past decade. These works are, typically, characterised by tall columnar forms in bronze, wood, stone, plaster or steel, in which facial profiles emerge and disappear as one walks around them. They are created by an elaborate process of building up circular or elliptical cross-sections (of wood, polystyrene or stone) on a vertical axis, which are then cut and shaped to meet Cragg’s design. This, in turn, derives from an intensive process of drawing and modelling. The imposing and intricate Rational Beings works, such as Constructor (2007), Bent of Mind (2002), and Elbow (2010) are breathtaking in their complexity, and though they share a ‘family resemblance’, their diversity is a testament to Cragg’s ceaseless curiosity and experimentation, as well as his mastery of materials.
The exhibition will conclude with an example of work from the recent Hedge series. It is typical of this remarkable artist, that in something so apparently mundane as a hedge, he recognises a fabulously complicated, flexible form - an outer skin hiding something that is alive with energy underneath – upon which he can draw, taking his work yet more new directions.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
2 July 2011 - 2 January 2012
Sponsored by Baillie Gifford
The major exhibition in 2011 at the Scottish National Gallery will highlight the work of one of Scotland’s most accomplished living artists, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder. Celebrating the artist’s 80th birthday, the exhibition will present her work in all its diversity, ranging from the much-loved studies after nature, to lesser-known paintings which will challenge expectations. This landmark exhibition will span six decades of Blackadder’s career, beginning with her work in the 1950s and culminating in her most recent paintings.
The National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to announce that Baillie Gifford will sponsor the Elizabeth Blackadder exhibition. The Edinburgh-based investment management firm is a long-term supporter of the National Galleries of Scotland sponsoring their first exhibition in 1993.
Since the opening of the exhibition that launched her career in 1959, Elizabeth Blackadder has become renowned for her paintings, prints and drawings. Her work is both cherished by the public whilst being highly respected by the art establishment. She was the first woman artist to be elected to both the Royal Academy and Royal Scottish Academy and in 2001 she was honoured with the title Her Majesty the Queen’s Painter and Limner in Scotland, a role that began with Sir Henry Raeburn almost 200 years ago.
Born in Falkirk in 1931, Blackadder studied at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art. Her early work was shaped by her acquaintance with the Scottish painters William Gillies, William MacTaggart and Anne Redpath, whom she met through her studies. Blackadder’s outstanding technical ability was visible from the outset and she thrived in an environment which focused on the primacy of drawing and observation. The exhibition will begin with early drawings of the Italian landscape and its architecture, shown alongside portraits from the period. This will include one of Blackadder herself completed when she was just twenty. These striking works still appear fresh over fifty years later, demonstrating her innate ability with paint and line.
From the 1960s onwards, the motif of still-life became key to her development. Like other individual artistic voices of her generation, such as David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin, Blackadder quickly saw the possibilities offered by the vibrant colour and dynamism of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. Her subsequent works injected new life into the Edinburgh School tradition of finding subject matter in the surrounding world. Dazzling canvases, such as Flowers and a Red Table, will fill the central room of the exhibition, revealing the energising effect these developments have had on her art.
Blackadder’s studies from nature are perhaps the best-known and best-loved of all her work. They illustrate a fascination which has continued throughout her long career; the desire to capture the world around her, with no subject being too small or insignificant. Under Blackadder’s analytical eye the modest form of a flower or shell is transformed into a symphony of colour, shape and rhythm. These works will be celebrated with a room dedicated to her drawings, prints and especially her watercolours produced from nature.
Blackadder has travelled widely throughout her career, with new sights and foreign cultures providing much inspiration. In the 1980s a series of visits to Japan made an indelible impression on her imagination which resulted in a burst of creativity that embraced new techniques and imagery. A room in the exhibition will be dedicated to her exploration of the country’s unique customs, objects and design and will include works such as the outstanding Self-Portrait with Red Lacquer Table of 1988. The display will also include the artist’s Japanese-inspired prints, which combine materials such as gold leaf with more conventional printing methods to create exquisite and precious works.
The exhibition will conclude with recent and new painting, drawing and printmaking by an artist who continues to work tirelessly. Endlessly inspired by the world around her, she brings the same energy to her art now as she did at the outset of what has become a long and pre-eminent career.
John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said: ‘Elizabeth Blackadder is, quite simply, one of Scotland’s greatest painters. She has revitalized long-established traditions of landscape, still life and flower painting in this country; she could be described as one of our finest painters in watercolour or equally lauded for her work as a printmaker. At once profoundly Scottish and enticingly exotic, her art is both familiar and mysterious. This major exhibition is both a celebration of her work and an invitation to look again at the achievement of an artist who could be described as a “national treasure”’
Sarah Whitley, Partner at Baillie Gifford said: ‘It is a privilege to be involved with this wonderful retrospective of one of Scotland’s most respected artists. The span of Blackadder’s career is inspiring, and we are delighted to be able to help celebrate her past works and indeed also enjoy several exciting new works’
THE QUEEN: ART AND IMAGE
Exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London in collaboration with the National Galleries of Scotland, Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland and National Museum of Wales.
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
25 June–18 Sept 2011
Admission £7 (£5)
Edinburgh presentation sponsored by Turcan Connell
To mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 a major exhibition will open in Edinburgh this summer. Organised by the National Portrait Gallery London in association with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, this innovative exhibition will bring together some of the most remarkable and resonant images of Queen Elizabeth II from the 60 years of her reign, some of which will be on public display for the first time. Following its Edinburgh presentation The Queen: Art and Image will tour to Belfast and Cardiff, before coming to London 2012.
From Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz to Pietro Annigoni and Andy Warhol, The Queen: Art and Image will be the most wide-ranging exhibition of images in different media devoted to a single royal sitter. Formal painted portraits, official photographs, media pictures, and powerful responses by contemporary artists will be shown in an exhibition which explores both traditional representations and works that extend the visual language of royal portraiture.
Documenting the changing nature of representations of the monarch, the exhibition will show how images of the Queen serve as a lens through which to view shifting perceptions of royalty. This perspective also reflects profound social changes and the exhibition highlights important developments and events: from The Queen’s relationship with the press and the advent of new technology, to the miner’s strike and the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Highlights among the many painted portraits will be Lucian Freud’s 2000-01 controversial portrait from the Royal Collection and Justin Mortimer’s painting in which The Queen’s head appears to float away from her body against a huge background of flat vibrant yellow. Among the exhibited photographers for whom The Queen sat are Annie Leibovitz, Dorothy Wilding and Cecil Beaton - including his iconic Westminster Abbey Coronation image - and Chris Levine’s compelling photograph, from a 2004 sitting, which shows The Queen with her eyes closed.
The Queen: Art and Image will show a significant selection of unofficial portraits of the British monarch from major 20th century artists including, Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol and Gerhard Richter as well as less formal portraits by such photographers as Eve Arnold, Lord Snowdon and Patrick Lichfield. Lichfield’s photographs include several relaxed images of The Queen on the Royal Yacht Britannia a location familiar to many visitors and residents of Edinburgh. The exhibition will also contain many press images taken of The Queen from throughout her reign. Scottish images from this selection will include a striking photograph documenting an official visit to the Castlemilk council estate in 1999, a surprisingly informal scene that shows The Queen having tea with a local family.
Collectively, the exhibition will celebrate and explore the startling range of artistic creativity and media-derived imagery that The Queen has inspired. It will also probe the relation of this imagery to a world of changing values during a reign that has engaged the attention of millions.
9 June – 11 October 2011
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
This summer the National Gallery of Scotland will present a unique display that will examine the work of the 16th century German artist Albrecht Dürer and his enduring influence, spanning five centuries. Dürer’s Fame will showcase a selection of his magnificent prints from the Galleries’ collection, together with contemporary and later copies of his work. These objects will be augmented by a selection of illicit imitations and surprising tributes, including a 21st century tattoo.
Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) was the most important artist of the Northern Renaissance and is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. He excelled as a painter and draughtsman, but it was his skill as a printmaker that spread his fame across Europe. The printmaking process allowed for multiple copies of his work to be produced which could easily be sold and distributed. This accessibility, combined with his technical brilliance and highly individual style, made him a much admired and imitated artist.
The display will include many of Dürer’s famous prints, most of which have not been shown in Edinburgh since 1971, like his iconic Melancholy, Saint Jerome in his Study and Knight, Death and the Devil. To demonstrate the extent of his impact, Dürer’s Fame will also display famous examples by Italian and Netherlandish artists alongside the original works. This will include Marcantonio Raimondi’s The Circumcision of Christ (from The Life of the Virgin) and Johan Wierix’s Melencolia of 1602.
In addition this exhibition will include works by the Scottish artists John Runciman (1744-1768/69) and William Bell Scott (1811-1890), whose response to Dürer’s art is less well known. John Runciman’s painting, Christ taking leave of his Mother, was inspired by Dürer’s woodcut of the same subject. Whilst Scott’s painting, of 1854, imagines Dürer seeking inspiration on the balcony of his house in Nuremberg, highlighting his romanticized reputation in the 19th century.
The display will conclude by considering Dürer’s continuing relevance in the 21st century. An example of work from an installation which filled a Nuremberg square with 7,000 plastic hares in 2003, and a poster of German handball star Pascal Hens sporting a tattoo based on Dürer’s Study of Praying Hands will demonstrate the artist’s enduring influence today.
Presented by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival
4 August – 25 September 2011
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Admission £7/£5 (concessions)
Telephone 0131 624 6200
Hub Tickets: 0131 473 2000
PRESS VIEW: WEDNESDAY, 3rd AUGUST, 11.30AM – 1PM
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival are delighted to announce a major new exhibition of one of the world’s leading artists, the renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Consisting entirely of works which are being shown in Europe for the first time, this exhibition will feature 26 large-scale works from two of Sugimoto’s most recent, and visually poetic series, Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings. This revelatory exhibition will allow audiences to experience first hand Sugimoto’s exploration of the very nature of photography. The show has been extended by one week and will now run until 25 September instead of the 18 September as previously published.
Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland said: “Sugimoto has developed an international reputation for the sheer beauty of his images, which are as thought-provoking as they are technically stunning. We are thrilled to be premiering work from his newest series in Europe, which demonstrates a master at the very top of his game, and are delighted to be working again in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival to bring the very best of contemporary visual art to Scotland.“
Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival Director added: “Hiroshi Sugimoto’s extraordinary work presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is an exciting part of Festival 2011’s exploration of contemporary and classical Asian artists and their long influence on artists in the West. These are stunning images created in fascinating ways and I urge people to engage with this exhibition as part of their Festival experience.’
Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948 and now divides his time between Japan and his studio in New York. He has exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris. In 2009 he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale, an arts prize awarded by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. His image, Boden Sea, Uttwil (1993) featured on the cover of No Line on the Horizon, the 2009 album by Irish rock band U2.
The Photogenic Drawings series was inspired by the innovative techniques of the 19th century photographer, Henry Fox Talbot. This pioneering artist invented ‘photogenic drawings’ by using light-sensitive paper to produce a negative in the early experimental days of photography. This process was especially influential in Scotland shaping the careers of Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, who went on to become one of the most famous collaborations in photographic history. Sugimoto has spent several years locating and acquiring Fox Talbot’s rare and vulnerable negatives from which to make his own photographs. The small scale of Fox Talbot’s work has been greatly enlarged by Sugimoto to reveal images that are haunting, almost painterly in their evocative power.
Lightning Fields is a series of dramatic and spectacular photographs produced through the play of violent electrical discharges on photographic film. Sugimoto moved his studio six times in an attempt to overcome a problem of static electricity which would often ruin his photographs with their tell-tale white flashes on the finished image. He decided to investigate further the phenomenon and to make ‘an ally of my nemesis’. Eventually, rather than try to suppress the random acts of nature, Sugimoto found ways to generate them by using a Van de Graaf Generator to induce electrical charges on the film. His large photographs expose in minute detail the remarkable effects of light particles not visible to the human eye. The results offer a fascinating range of interpretations, from powerful lightning strikes to images of weird and wonderful life forms.
This exhibition will be complemented by Towards the Light, a free display of prints from the National Galleries of Scotland collection that will examine the influence of 19th century Japanese colour woodcuts on artists working in Britain and Japan during the first decades of the 20th century. 19th century Japanese prints will feature as well as prints by artists using traditional colour woodcut techniques in the 1920s and 30s.
Edinburgh International Festival 2011 will run from Friday 12 August to Sunday 4 September, bringing artists from India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam to the Scottish capital. It will create an exciting opportunity for audiences to explore work by contemporary Asian artists, traditional stories from Asian regions, and the work of western artists inspired by the east.
SILVER CITY SOUL:
A VIDEO PORTRAIT OF THE CITY OF ABERDEEN
A National Galleries of Scotland Outreach Project and Exhibition
THE NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX ,THE MOUND, EDINBURGH, EH2 2EL
28 April - 6 June 2011
Silver City Soul will present an innovative portrait project that searches for the soul of one of Scotland’s most historic cities. Working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, the National Galleries of Scotland’s Outreach team has joined with the people of Aberdeen to create a collective portrait which will explore the city’s past, present and future. The resulting video and photographic work will go on display this spring at the National Gallery Complex.
The exhibition will include powerful video footage, created by artist Adam Proctor, which will be shown alongside a set of striking portrait photographs. These photographs are arranged to form a montage which stretches the full length of the gallery. Inspired by the figurative paintings of 19th-century Aberdonian artists William Dyce and John Phillip (from the National Collection and Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum Collections), the people of Aberdeen have been invited to represent themselves and their city as part of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s Portrait of the Nation: Live! Project. The project uses portraiture to create a dialogue between the individual and the community, and between the city and the nation.
Video-artist Adam Proctor has created a film that exploits the camera’s ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Its gaze lingers on the faces and places that make Aberdeen distinctive. Adam has been supported by a core group of active participants in exploring the living heart of the city. His film, projected onto the Gallery’s end wall, presents a powerful image of a changing city reflected in the faces of its inhabitants.
Robin Baillie, National Galleries of Scotland Senior Outreach Officer, said, 'We’re very excited about presenting Aberdeen to the nation through our video portrait of its people. This exemplifies the National Galleries of Scotland’s belief in the power of portraits and our commitment to representing the cities and regions of Scotland in the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery. We’re helping to put a face to the place and showing the creative potential of the people of Aberdeen. The portrait can help keep a human image at the centre of a changing world.'
The project, part of the Vibrant Aberdeen Cultural Strategy, continues in Aberdeen until the end of the year, The project is continuing to develop and build on its success. It will be supported by the NGS, Arts Development team and the Common Good fund, culminating in an exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery from 11 February until 24 March 2012.
CONSTABLE MASTERPIECE BOUND FOR BANFF
One of the best-loved paintings in the National Gallery of Scotland is to travel to the north east of Scotland for the first time this spring. The Vale of Dedham by John Constable (1777-1837) will be on show at Duff House in Banffshire, where it will be the focus of a special display from 1 April 2011.
Among the most celebrated of Constable’s works, The Vale of Dedham secured the artist’s election to the Royal Academy in London when it was first exhibited in 1828. A highly characteristic exploration of the beautiful Suffolk countryside where Constable grew up, the painting shows the dramatic landscape which had preoccupied him for over twenty years. The view follows the winding River Stour as it makes its way down the valley towards the church at Dedham village, where his father worked a watermill, and on to the estuary beyond. The composition was partially inspired by Claude Lorrain’s Hagar and the Angel (painted in 1646 and now in the National Gallery, London), which Constable would have seen in the collection of his longstanding friend and patron, Sir George Beaumont.
The Vale of Dedham is the latest in a series of high-profile loans of masterpieces to Duff House, which highlight the commitment of the National Galleries to making its collection available to audiences across Scotland. Previous loans have included Botticelli’s magnificent The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, Titian’s Venus Rising from the Sea and most recently, Rembrandt’s A Woman in Bed.
Since it was acquired by the Gallery in 1944, The Vale of Dedham has been a favourite with visitors and in particular with lovers of British art. This is the first time that this iconic painting will have been shown in the north east, where it will join other works from the national collection - by artists such as Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), George Romney (1734-1802) and Anne Redpath (1895-1965) - which have recently been placed on long-term display at Duff House. The first significant re-hang of the works on show at Duff House since 1995 has been prompted by plans for new displays in the refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which will re-open in November 2011. The inclusion of Redpath’s The Mantelpiece (c.1947) reflects the results of a survey of local residents, undertaken in January 2010, which revealed an interest in seeing more modern works in the house.
Speaking of the arrival of The Vale of Dedham, Rachel Kennedy, General Manager of Duff House said, ’It’s quite a coup for Duff House and the north east to receive this key work by such a well-known artist. Constable is a highly regarded British painter, and a household name familiar to many, so I hope people will come along and take a look.’
Dr Christian Tico Seifert, Senior Curator at the National Gallery of Scotland added, ’We’re delighted that the recent changes to the displays at Duff House will be complemented by the loan of Constable’s wonderful Vale of Dedham. Our continuing partnership with Duff House reflects a wider ambition to have a truly national reach, and to make the works in our care available to people across Scotland.’
MAJOR PICASSO EXHIBITION FOR SCOTTISH NATIONAL GALLERY OF MODERN ART IN 2012
Tate Britain, 15 February – 15 July 2012
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 6 August 2012 – 4 November 2012
The first exhibition to explore Pablo Picasso’s lifelong connections with Britain will be the highlight of the summer season at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2012. Picasso and Britain will examine Picasso’s evolving critical reputation here and British artists’ responses to his work. Originating at Tate Britain, this pioneering show marks the first time that the two organisations have collaborated on a major exhibition.
Opening in August 2012 at the height of the Olympic celebrations, Picasso and Britain will comprise over 150 works from major public and private collections around the world, including over 60 paintings by Picasso. Highlights will include masterpieces from all periods of his career such as his great 1925 painting, The Three Dancers, which the Tate acquired from the artist following his 1960 exhibition and major cubist paintings from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Pablo Picasso instigated many of the most significant developments of twentieth-century art. The exhibition will explore Picasso’s rise as a figure both of controversy and celebrity, tracing the ways in which his work was shown and collected here during his lifetime. This will demonstrate that the British engagement with Picasso and his art was much deeper than previously thought.
The artist’s enormous impact on twentieth-century British modernism will be examined, through seven exemplary figures for whom he proved an important stimulus: Duncan Grant, Wyndham Lewis, Ben Nicholson, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Graham Sutherland and David Hockney. While many British artists have responded to Picasso’s influence, these artists have been selected to illustrate both the variety and vitality of these responses over a period of more than seventy years. Around a dozen works by each artist will be shown, each carefully chosen to illustrate a specific feature of the dialogue between that artist and Picasso.
Announcing the collaboration, Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland said: ‘This will be the most important exhibition of Picasso’s work to be held in Scotland for 65 years, bringing together around 60 of his greatest paintings with masterpieces by some of Britain’s finest twentieth-century artists. Filling the entire ground floor of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art it will be an extraordinary and revelatory show. We are delighted to be collaborating with Tate on this ambitious project.’
Penelope Curtis, Director, Tate Britain commented: ‘We are delighted that the exhibition will travel to Edinburgh. We hope that it will be one of the highlights of the festival.’
ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons
19 March – 3 July 2011
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Telephone 0131 6246 6200
One of the most highly acclaimed and internationally successful artists working today will be the focus of a new display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this spring. ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons will bring together a selection of 18 major works, in a variety of media, charting the American artist’s career from the early 1980s until 2003. The works on display will be taken from ARTIST ROOMS, a collection of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation.
Following the successes of 2009 and 2010, 21 museums and galleries across the UK (including 17 venues outside of London and Edinburgh) in 2011 will be showing ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions and displays from the collection assembled by the art collector and curator, Anthony d’Offay. ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland and 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 galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of the Art Fund - the fundraising charity for works of art - and the Scottish Government. ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.
Among the highlights of ARTIST ROOMS: Jeff Koons will be key examples from some of the artist’s most important and iconic series of works, including The New (which explores the seductive allure of pristine consumer goods), and Made in Heaven (a series of provocative images and sculptures featuring Koons and his former wife, the Italian politician and adult film-star Ilona Staller). The display will also feature works from the landmark series Banality, for which Koons is perhaps most renowned. These will include two large-scale masterpieces Winter Bears (1988), as well as Bear and Policeman (1988), an additional loan from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany.
Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955, and moved to New York in the mid-1970s, having studied art and design in Baltimore and Chicago. Though he is now almost unrivalled in terms of commercial success, the artist famously supported himself during his early career by working as a commodities broker, an experience which has informed the way his work engages with the commercialism and materialism of our society.
Koons made a significant impact on the New York art scene with The New, an installation of ready-made household objects first shown in 1980. These works, such as New Hoover Convertibles, Green, Red, Brown, New Shelton Wet/Dry 10 Gallon Displaced Doubledecker (1981 7), which will be shown here, featured familiar consumer goods (vacuum cleaners, in this instance) displayed as they might appear in a shop or perhaps a museum, enshrined within a glass case. This renders them obsolete as functioning objects, but elevates them to a state of perpetual perfection, their pristine ‘new-ness’ being the essence of their magnetic appeal. Encased - Four Rows (1983 93), which will also appear in the display, is one of a number of works for which Koons used basketballs as a powerful symbol of aspiration in the USA.
Using commonplace, ready-made objects, Koons consciously referred to the work of the pioneer conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), calling into question the established values of the art world, and exploring ideas of culture and taste. For the Banality series, Koons developed this approach, commissioning specialist craftsmen to reproduce inexpensive toys, dolls and figurines in polychromed wood and porcelain. Like Bear and Policeman, Winter Bears was carved by highly skilled Bavarian woodcarvers, using centuries-old techniques to recreate a miniature child’s ornament on a disconcertingly large scale.
Koons also used traditional craftsmen to create the sculptures in glass and marble, such the iconic Bourgeois Bust, which appeared in his 1991 exhibition Made in Heaven. The installation included large-format photographs of Koons and Staller (also known as La Cicciolina), locked in a series of carefully staged (and sometimes intimate) embraces, including one billboard-sized image, which will form a dramatic centrepiece to the display here.
With the Easyfun mirrors series of 1999, Koons continued to evolve a visual vocabulary drawn from popular imagery, with an instant, simple appeal. Nine of these immaculately polished works, which are based on the silhouettes of cartoon animals, are held in ARTIST ROOMS, representing the largest public holding of this aspect of the artist’s output. The mirrors’ highly-coloured surfaces are produced by combining a complex structure of crystal glass, coloured plastic interlayer, mirrored glass and stainless steel.
The most recent work in the display, Caterpillar Chains (2003), revives the artist’s interest in inflatable toys (a prominent feature in some of his earlier work). The caterpillar in question is an aluminium cast of a child’s pool toy, painstakingly painted in bright colours so that it is barely distinguishable from the plastic original. The work comes from the Popeye series, in which Koons combined cast inflatables, somewhat incongruously, with readymade objects: here the caterpillar is suspended, or perhaps constrained by vibrant red chains.
VETTRIANO SELF-PORTRAIT TO GO ON SHOW IN NEW PORTRAIT GALLERY
A self-portrait by Jack Vettriano will go on show in the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery when it reopens in the autumn of 2011. Jack Vettriano’s painting, The Weight, which has been offered on long-term loan to the national collection from a UK private collector, will be included within the opening displays. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery will reopen in November after a £17.6 million capital project to renovate and rejuvenate the building.
James Holloway, Director of the SNPG said: 'Jack Vettriano is one of the world’s best known Scottish artists. I am delighted that his self-portrait will hang in the new Portrait Gallery alongside the faces of the many other famous Scots in our collection.'
Jack Vettriano OBE said: 'This is a great honour and another benchmark in my career, and for it to happen in my father’s lifetime, makes it all the more special.'
Born in Fife in 1951, Jack Vettriano OBE, left school at sixteen to become a mining engineer. For his twenty-first birthday, he was given a set of watercolour paints and, from then on, he spent much of his spare time teaching himself to paint. In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year he entered the Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy. Over the last twenty years, interest in Vettriano’s work has grown and he has had solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and New York.
Portrait of the Nation is the £17.6 million project to renovate and rejuvenate the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, in Edinburgh. It will involve the repair, conservation and creative adaptation of this magnificent Arts and Crafts building, which opened in 1889 as the first purpose-built national portrait gallery in the world.
Starting from an urgent need to restore the building, the project aims to forge an innovative and exciting new gallery. Portrait of the Nation will double the amount of gallery space within the building, and will reinvent the way in which the national collection is displayed. The project will also create a range of enhanced visitor facilities, including an education suite, a resource and learning centre, enhanced dining and retail areas. All of this will be underpinned by an innovative and far-reaching events programme.
The Portrait Gallery collection will be presented in a reinvigorated and more engaging way, illustrating the richness of Scotland’s history and culture with a dynamic and extensive exhibition programme with a new emphasis on photography and Scottish art. It aims to present portraits of people who have played a prominent role in Scottish history or contemporary life. Jack Vettriano’s work has attracted attention across the world and many of his images have become highly popular. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is pleased to be presenting this self-portrait in the new context of the renewed Gallery.
THE ARTIST UP CLOSE:
PORTRAITS OF SCOTTISH ARTISTS FROM THE PRINTS AND DRAWINGS COLLECTION
10 February – 5 June 2010
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
This spring The Artist Up Close will bring together a broad range of portraits of some of Scotland’s most admired artists created by themselves, their friends or family. The display will include prints and drawings from the National collection spanning the last 300 years. Portraits of Sir Henry Raeburn, Allan Ramsay and Sir David Wilkie will be shown alongside modern artists such as Eduardo Paolozzi, Anne Redpath, and Alan Davie. Whilst these artists’ names and work may be familiar, this display will put their faces and personalities in the picture.
The exhibition will contain many insightful self portraits. A striking image of Allan Ramsay (1713 – 1784) at the age of 20 already depicts a young, confident man who went on to become one of the most successful portrait painters in the 18th century. Another fascinating sketch is possibly the earliest surviving work by Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). Drawn on the cover of a book of nursery rhymes, this youthful self portrait was created when he was approximately 11 years old.
The show will also feature portraits by family members. Kate Cameron (1874 – 1965), sister of famous Scottish printmaker D. Y. Cameron (1865 – 1945), studied at Glasgow School of Art like her influential brother. Her delicate and restrained drawing reflects his quiet and retiring personality and was probably made for her own enjoyment rather then for public display. A study of Alexander Runciman (1736 – 1785) by his younger brother John Runciman (1744 – 1768) will also be in the show. The siblings were great friends; Alexander taught John to draw and the pair travelled together to Italy in 1767, to further their artistic training.
Lastly close friendships will be represented in the show. A pair of reciprocal portraits by a young Henry Raeburn (1756 – 1823) and his mentor David Deuchar (1745 – 1808) will provide a touching memento of the older and younger artists’ friendship and mutual respect. This is a rare opportunity to see the earliest known work by Raeburn. A portrait of Jessie Marion King (1875 – 1949) by her lifelong friend Helen Paxton Brown (1876 – 1956) will also feature. The two women were fellow pupils at Glasgow School of Art and shared a studio from around 1898 until 1907.
These 32 works will showcase the breadth and variety of the Gallery’s world-class collection of works on paper and will offer a special glimpse at these fascinating Scottish artists, through their own eyes and those close to them.
ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander
12 February – 10 July 2011
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Gallery, 73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR, Telephone 0131 6246 6200
PRESS VIEW: FRIDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2011, 11.30 – 1.30PM
One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century will be celebrated this spring in an exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. This major exhibition will represent a comprehensive overview of August Sander’s (1876-1964) achievements as an artist, photographer, and recorder of history. It will bring together an extraordinary group of over 170 works including his most important images and masterpieces. The works on display are taken from ARTIST ROOMS, a new collection of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation.
Following the successes of 2009 and 2010, 21 museums and galleries across the UK (including 17 venues outside of London and Edinburgh) in 2011 will be showing ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions and displays from the collection assembled by the art collector and curator, Anthony d’Offay. ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland and 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 galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of the Art Fund - the fundraising charity for works of art, and the Scottish Government. ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.
ARTIST ROOMS: August Sander will feature prints produced from the original negatives by the artist’s grandson, Gerd Sander and his assistant Jean Luc Differdange, both highly skilled photographic technicians and fine photographers in their own right. The works in ARTIST ROOMS have been generously placed on long-term loan to the collection by Anthony d’Offay, who continues to work with ARTIST ROOMS. In addition the exhibition includes two portfolios of vintage photographs – the Archetypes and the Siebengebirge as well as vintage photos of the artist and his family, placed on loan from other holdings.
August Sander is best known for his lifelong effort to document the German people. He undertook this extraordinary cataloguing project by photographing individuals and classifying the resulting portraits into groups defined by the sitters’ occupations, trades or places in society. This resulted in his masterwork People of the Twentieth Century that he divided into seven distinct sections: The Farmer, The Skilled Tradesman, Woman, Classes and Professions, The Artists, The City, and The Last People. Within these areas, the prints on display will include classic examples that span all the categories of professional and social types, including Painter, Asylum Inmate, Porter, Industrial Magnate, Farm Woman, Colonel, Gypsies and Street Musicians.
Sander had a unique ability to capture simultaneously the individual and the universal; his sitters remain at once distinct characters in their own right, while also representing something more about their place as part of a larger whole. These images reflect on both how alike and different human beings are.
The Farmer was the first of the typologies that Sander photographed between 1910 and 1925, first of all as a suite known as the Archetypes Portfolio. These include male and female exemplars of figures including The Philosopher, The Fighter or Revolutionary and The Sage, as well as couples defined as demonstrating ‘propriety and harmony’ and a group portrait showing three generations of a rural family. Several images have a poignant historical resonance and an uncanny sense of prophesy for what was to happen during the Third Reich and Second World War. Images of well-dressed young Jewish women and a bespectacled Jewish man made in 1938 are each titled Victim of Persecution.
The final section of The People of the Twentieth Century is entitled The Last People representing those on the very margins of society – the blind and handicapped, the homeless and destitute. Sander included as the last image in the whole project, a starkly lit photograph of the Death Mask of his son Erich Sander who died in prison after ten years of incarceration under the Nazis.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a specially designed education programme which includes a series of lunchtime lectures, film screenings and courses. From March onwards, The Filmhouse will be showing a season of films focusing on 'New Objectivity' to complement and contextualise the exhibition. A four-week course led by Dr Debbie Lewer (University of Glasgow), in partnership with the Talbot Rice Gallery, is also on offer allowing participants to explore the work of Sander and German contemporary artist Rosemarie Trockel, whose work is on show at the Talbot Rice, through lectures and gallery visits from 2 March. In addition a four-week practical course exploring black and white portrait photography is on offer in collaboration with Stills from 27 April. This will be complemented by a conference organized in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh on 5 May, bringing together leading experts from the UK and Germany, details of which will be announced at a later date.
This comprehensive exhibition will offer both admirers and newcomers to August Sander’s work an unrivalled opportunity to discover more about one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.
FRENCH DRAWINGS: POUSSIN TO SEURAT
5 February to 1 May 2011
NATIONAL GALLERY COMPLEX, The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Telephone 0131 624 6200
Sponsored by Apex Hotels
Press view: 11.30 am – 1.00 pm, 4 February 2011
An outstanding collection of French master drawings will be the focus of a new display at the National Gallery Complex in Edinburgh next spring. Over the last thirty years the Gallery has carefully and deliberately strengthened its holdings in this area, and is now home to one of the best collections of French drawings in the UK. Among the 60 works on show, ranging in date from the Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century, will be superb examples by artists such as Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, J A D Ingres, and Georges Seurat. Highlights will include an exceptional preparatory drawing by Poussin for his great painting Dance to the Music of Time, and Seurat’s Seated Nude, a study for the central figure in his celebrated painting Bathers at Asnières.
Of all the major European schools of drawing the French is one of the richest and most fertile. Its variety, as demonstrated in this exhibition, embraces the refinement and elegance of the sixteenth-century School of Fontainebleau; the playful sensualities of the Rococo period and the contrasting rigour of Neoclassicism in the eighteenth century; and the stylistic and formal innovations of nineteenth-century artists from the Romantics to the Post-Impressionists. Reflecting this diversity, French Drawings: Poussin to Seurat will feature a wide-ranging selection of drawings, from studies for ambitious, large-scale paintings, to landscape sketches made in the open air; from designs for tapestries to intimate figure studies. Underpinning the vigorous evolution of French drawing and uniting all of the works on show here is a constant delight in the possibilities offered by the medium.
The display will also feature exceptional images by a number of artists who will be less familiar to most, including a distinctive drawing of a young, pregnant Jewish woman wearing a sarma, an extraordinary cone-shaped metal headdress. The drawing, by Louis Roguin (active1843-71), was made in Algeria, where the artist appears to have spent much of his career. Also of note are a highly finished drawing by Etienne Jeaurat (1699-1789), depicting a well-to-do bourgeois Family in an Interior, and an exceptionally beautiful Study of Drapery by Joseph-Ferdinand Lancrenon (1794-1874), which points to a talent unjustly overlooked by posterity.
A richly illustrated catalogue, published to accompany the exhibition, has been written by Michael Clarke, Director of the National Gallery of Scotland. French Drawings: Poussin to Seurat was recently shown, to great acclaim, at the Wallace Collection in London.