Edinburgh Art Festival 2014 Programme Launches With "Common" Theme

Submitted by edg on Thu, 13 Mar '14 9.56pm

The Edinburgh Art Festival today launched its programme for 2014, the 11th festival to date. The "UK’s largest annual celebration of visual art", the festival features a month-long calendar of events, performances and tours across 30 of the city’s museums, galleries and institutions, and artist run spaces.

This year EAF is programming an international exhibition entitled "Where do I end and you begin", which brings together five curators and 20 artists from across five Commonwealth countries, including Amar Kanwar and Indian neon artist Shilpa Gupta.

Supported as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, and the year of Homecoming Scotland, the exhibition "considers what it means to join ‘common’ with ‘wealth’, reflecting on the notion of The Commonwealth as a problematic historical and contemporary construct."

In an age where the world faces the ultimate tragedy of the commons in the failure to regulate atmospheric pollution and in a country with a tumultuous history of land rights, it should be interesting to see how artists tackle what the EAF describes as "the challenge of ‘being in common’ in a truly global world" and "ideas of the common good, common land, public ownership and alternative exchange systems."

Over 100 leading and emerging Scottish and international artists will be showcased in the 40 exhibitions at the EAF.

Other highlights include:

  • The first solo exhibitions in Scotland by leading contemporary artists Isa Genzken and Wim Delvoye, and major exhibitions by Susan Hiller, John Byrne and Leon Morrocco, together with a new commission by Tris Vonna-Michell
  • A wave of new exhibitions opening as part of GENERATION, celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, including exhibitions by Katie Paterson and Mick Peter at Jupiter Artland, Dalziel + Scullion at Dovecot Studios, alongside group presentations of key contemporary Scottish artists at City Art Centre and Talbot Rice Gallery
  • In-depth art historical surveys including an overview of American Impressionism featuring works by Degas, Monet, Cassatt, Sargent and Whistler; the presentation of drawn and painting work by renowned art critic and artist John Ruskin; and the only UK showing of Chinese treasures from Ming: The Golden Empire
  • A group show of newly-commissioned work at New Media Scotland, and exhibitions and performances showcasing the best emerging talent at Interview Room 11, GARAGE, the Glasshouse at Lauriston Castle and Edinburgh.

Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said: “As the only major annual festival dedicated to the visual arts within the UK, Edinburgh Art Festival occupies a uniquely important place in the cultural calendar. Our 2014 programme continues to provide audiences with an unrivalled opportunity to immerse themselves in the very best historic and contemporary art, with an extraordinarily rich series of solo and group presentations of Scottish contemporary artists alongside exhibitions of leading international artists, many showing in the UK for the very first time.”

Exhibitions of Contemporary Art

Inverleith House will present new work by leading contemporary artist Isa Genzken in her first solo exhibition in Scotland.

Summerhall’s programme of exhibitions will feature Belgian neo-conceptual artist Wim Delvoye’s first solo exhibition in Scotland; recent video work by acclaimed artist Susan Hiller; and new works by leading French conceptual
artist Claude Closky.

An exhibition of new work by Scottish artist John Byrne will be displayed at Bourne Fine Art and, in celebration of its new location on Calton Hill, Collective Gallery has commissioned Tris Vonna-Michell to make the next in its series of freely downloadable ‘Observer’s Walks’.

Open Eye Gallery will survey five decades of paintings by Leon Morrocco, and Stills Gallery will feature an exhibition curated by Owen Logan reflecting on the nature of peace and security in the modern world, featuring works by artists including Martha Rosler. Highlights of the exhibition include the neon piece Where do I end and you begin by Indian artist Shilpa Gupta; an evolution of the critically-acclaimed Sovereign Forest, the highly poetic film installation by distinguished Indian artist Amar Kanwar; a newly commissioned site-specific wall installation by Nigerian-born, London-based Mary Evans; and a video installation by New Zealand artist Steve Carr. Johannesburg-based artist Mary Sibande, internationally acclaimed for her large scale figurative sculptures featuring the artist’s alter ego Sophie, will create a new work for the exhibition, while Canadian artists Brian Jungen & Duane Linklater show their recent film Modest Livelihood for the first time in the UK.

GENERATION in Edinburgh

The festival sees the opening of several new projects as part of GENERATION, a landmark event celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, which continues at numerous arts venues across Scotland, supported by the National Galleries of Scotland and the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Jupiter Artland will present new work by Glasgow-based Mick Peter and daily performances of Katie Paterson’s Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon), coinciding with her solo show at Ingleby Gallery, which will include recent works Fossil Necklace and Second Moon.

Artist duo Dalziel + Scullion will respond to the architecture and geography of Edinburgh and the Isle of Lewis in a two-part exhibition at Dovecot Studios and its sister location in An Lanntair, whilst Counterpoint at Talbot Rice Gallery is a multi-disciplinary group show exploring the work of eight artists, including Ross Birrell, Keith Farquhar, Alec Finlay and Craig Mulholland.

Also part of GENERATION, the National Galleries of Scotland will host a multi-venue survey in GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland.

The City Art Centre will examine the theme of architecture and the built environment in recent Scottish art, whilst OPEN DIALOGUES at the Royal Scottish Academy will showcase six artists from its RSA New Contemporaries exhibitions.

The Fruitmarket Gallery will host a major retrospective of work by Jim Lambie, whilst Collective Gallery will reflect on 20 years of Ross Sinclair’s ‘Real Life’ project a year after his award-winning multi-work commission for the 2013 festival.

A group exhibition of new and recent work by artists Laura Aldridge, Craig Coulthard, Mandy McIntosh, David Sherry and Hannah Tuulikki will open in Edinburgh and travel the length and breadth of Scotland with the Travelling Gallery, and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will present a key exhibition by Scottish artist Paul Carter shown in
Scotland for the first time.

Art Historical and Survey Exhibitions

American Impressionism: A New Vision at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will trace the discovery of Impressionism by American artists in the late 19th century, featuring classic paintings by artists including Degas, Monet, Cassatt, Sargent and Whistler.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery will present John Ruskin: Artist and Observer, an exhibition of the renowned art critic and artist’s drawn and painted work, and the National Museum of Scotland will also present a remarkable collection of original artefacts in the only UK showing of a collection of Chinese National treasures from the Ming Dynasty in Ming: The Golden Empire.

Poetry for the Palace: Poets Laureate from Dryden to Duffy at The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse will explore the 350-year history of poets laureate, including illustrations by textual artist Stephen Raw of poems by Carol Ann Duffy, the current Poet Laureate, while Edinburgh Printmakers will present new commissions by Scottish artist Calum Colvin alongside his archive of photographic transparencies compiled over the past 28 years.

Early and Mid-Career Artists

For the 2014 festival, New Media Scotland will present new works by artists experimenting with technology in art, commissioned by the organisation’s Alt-w Fund, including Hadi Mehrpouya, Robert Powell.