Reviews & features: Visual art

309 reviews

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War and peace announced as themes for Edinburgh International Festival 2014

18 Mar 2014

Programme highlights includes works involving The Kronos Quartet and Handspring Puppet Company

War and peace, conflict and conciliation are the grand themes being tackled in Jonathan Mills’ final year as director of the Edinburgh International Festival. The 2014 programme, announced today, explores music, dance, theatre and other arts not just…

Video artist Rachel Maclean discusses her Edinburgh Art Festival 2013 show I HEART SCOTLAND

30 Jul 2013

Maclean talks zip-sliding thistles, wind farm crucifixions and Scotland’s national identity crisis

Rachel Maclean is playing her cards close to her chest. Her festival show at Edinburgh Printmakers, a series of screenprints alongside The Lion and the Unicorn, a video which explores Scottish national identity, gives nothing away about her politics.

Filmmaker and conservationist Ceri Levy to appear at Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

22 Aug 2013

Levy will be discussing Extinct Boids, her project with Hunter S Thompson illustrator Ralph Steadman

In 2010, Ceri Levy – filmmaker for Blur and Gorillaz, and latterly a conservationist – approached Ralph Steadman about the prospect of creating a piece for Levy’s Ghosts of Gone Birds exhibition in London. Steadman, whose Indian ink flourishes have…

Sara Barker show Patterns set for Jupiter Artland as part of 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival

1 Aug 2013

Ambitious sculpture enclosed in a glass pavilion

Sara Barker combines theoretical complexity with her Glasgow School of Art training to produce delicate sculptural forms and linear structures. Central to her work is the concept of space: the way in which her work relates to its exhibition site, and…

The Edinburgh Art Festival's Gabriel Orozco show explores the artist’s fascination with the circle

29 Jul 2013

Curator Briony Fer discusses Orozco’s radically diverse range of work

There’s something very Zen at the heart of Gabriel Orozco’s work. This is clear from even the title of the Mexican-born artist’s new show at the Fruitmarket Gallery, forming part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival. Comprising a mix of works old and…

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Transmitted Live: Nam June Paik Resounds

11 Aug 2013

The artist who brought television to art is celebrated during the Edinburgh International Festival

Like so many radical Asian artists of his generation, the original video freak, composer and cultural terrorist / spiritualist Nam June Paikwas born into wealth in 1932. As Korea was being defiled by Japanese occupation in preparation for the…

Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man set for 2013 Edinburgh International Festival

1 Aug 2013

Extraordinary fusion of art and science at The Queen's Gallery

The fusion of art and medical science is presented in an extraordinary collection of work in Leonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man, part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Thirty sheets of multi-layered anatomical drawings, on loan from the…

Mary, Queen of Scots

29 Jul 20133 stars

Exhibition of mixed artefacts fleshes out the story of the enigmatic Queen

Mentioned most often in the same breath as her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Stewart’s notoriety comes, of course, from the fixed eye she kept on the English throne – the obsession that got her head chopped off. Though it doesn’t ignore this…

Gabriel Orozco: thinking in circles

16 Aug 20134 stars

Not a show of results but rather a show of exercise

Unlike that of the equally dot-obsessed Damien Hirst and Yayoi Kusama, this career-encompassing display of Orozco's circle-based fascination veers far away from pop art and firmly into the pedantic, discursive and other unattractive terms. Not a display…

Edinburgh Art Festival presents Art Late North and South events

15 Aug 2013

Evening programme of performance and tours held in association with The List

The thread between art and music has always held strong amidst Scotland’s art school culture, and it seems to be booming within the context of the Edinburgh Art Festival as well. A fixture of the programme for some years now, and its expansion to two…

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FOUND and Young Fathers to appear at Art Late North and South

14 Aug 2013

Evening programme of performance and tours held in association with The List

The thread between art and music has always held strong amidst Scotland’s art school culture, and it seems to be booming within the context of Edinburgh Art Festival as well. A fixture of the programme for some years now, its expansion to two events…

Castration on a Tennis Court & Other Stories

11 Aug 2013

Fringe show exploring Carravaggio by art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon

Art historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon has constantly returned to the life and work of the troubled Italian baroque painter Caravaggio throughout his career, and now he’s bringing him to one of the few mediums Dixon hasn’t yet used – the…

Mostly West: Franz West and Artist Collaborations

11 Aug 20134 stars

Fascinating show packed full of memorable collaborations

A tribute that wasn't meant to be, Mostly West was conceived in 2011, before the Austrian artist Franz West died last year. In its finished form it feels not so much like the high-concept 30-year retrospective which it is, as a fusillade of…

Media Skins

11 Aug 2013

Open-air intervention transforms public spaces

As technology makes the global village ever more accessible, so cross-cultural international collaborations proliferate at an ever increasing speed. So it is with Korean artist Hyung Su Kim's large-scale open-air interventions, which take two major…

Fiona Banner: The Vanity Press

11 Aug 2013

Three new videos explore publishing and performance

When Fiona Banner began putting her work out under the name The Vanity Press in 1997, it was an ironic statement on how self-publishing was disparaged while Banner simultaneously seized the means of production for what was then a largely text-based…

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Peter Doig: No Foreign Lands

9 Aug 20134 stars

Extraordinary exhibition that flies the flag for painting

There are many powerful and challenging works at this year's Edinburgh Art Festival. So it is to the credit of the programmers that this extraordinary exhibition of work by Peter Doig sits comfortably at the centre of the line-up, flying the flag for…

Detours series of live events a 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival

1 Aug 2013

Series of intimate live performances blurring the lines between different artforms

Detours is a series of intimate live performances, running as part of Edinburgh Art Festival and offering events which dip in and out of different genres, blurring the lines between different art forms for both artist and audience. 'I think the…

Peter Liversidge show doppelgänger at 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival

1 Aug 2013

Exhibition based on the etchings of 19th century Austrian artistMax Klinger

Fetishism, symbolism and ideal wish-fulfilment all come to the fore in Peter Liversidge’s Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition concerning the etchings of late-19th century Austrian artist, Max Klinger. Klinger was adept at demonstrating how you could take…

Michael Nyman: Man With a Movie Camera at 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival

1 Aug 2013

Installation of remakes by filmmaker and composer

Michael Nyman is best known for his work as a contemporary composer who has soundtracked myriad films, including several directed by the painterly Peter Greenaway, as well as scoring mainstream success for his work on Jane Campion's The Piano. Such…

Paul Rooney and arts collective Leeds United pair up for show at 2013 Edinburgh Art Festival

1 Aug 2013

Video and text works blur the boundaries of authorship

If ever there was a match made in northern English heaven, it's this one between Liverpool-born polymath Paul Rooney and arts collective Leeds United. While Rooney has plundered pop culture to create a series of fantastical parallel universes featuring…

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5 highlights from the Fringe-specific Hunt and Darton Cafe

31 Jul 2013

The venue/eatery puts an emphasis on making the audience part of the show

Hunting for the Perfect Show Hunt & Darton changes its mood in the evenings, becoming a venue for the sort of work that the long runs and the tight turnarounds of the Fringe doesn’t usually include. Their performance selection is a handy guide to…

Ecstatic Arc showcases Robbie Thomson's fusion sound, performance and visual art

30 Jul 2013

Installation inspired by Tesla coil set for 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Although currently nursing a broken leg, Robbie Thomson is one of Scotland’s most dynamic artists working in the overlapping areas of sound, performance and visual art. Ecstatic Arc debuted at Cryptic’s Sonica festival of Sound Art in 2012, and was…

Interview: Dutch artist Krijn de Koning discusses his Edinburgh Art Festival project, 'Land'

29 Jul 2013

de Koning's installation is set to transform the Edinburgh College of Art's sculpture court

In this new work by the Dutch artist Krijn de Koning, his first exhibited piece in the UK, the intention is dramatic. ‘I wanted to make an artwork as a place,’ he says, reflecting on a project in which the interior of Edinburgh College of Art’s…

Interview: Sarah Kenchington, creator of Wind Pipes For Edinburgh

29 Jul 2013

The hand-built, interactive musical installation will feature music from eagleowl and Daniel Padden

Sarah Kenchington has no desire to be a one-woman band. This is clear in her latest hand-built musical instrument/installation for the EAF, an interactive construction made from 100 decommissioned church organ pipes, which, with no keyboards involved…

Artist Emma Bowen discusses her contribution to the Edinburgh Art Festival 2013, GARAGE

29 Jul 2013

Project space and micro gallery hosting temporary installations and exhibitions

‘Artists have been making work in different spaces for years,’ muses Emma Bowen of her own contribution to this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, GARAGE. ‘It’s exciting. Things come alive. Interesting accidents can happen.’ The sometime Edinburgh College…