Reviews & features: Visual art

309 reviews

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Interview: Jeremy Millar on exhibition Mystics or Rationalists?

10 Aug 2011

Artist discusses his contribution to Ingleby Edinburgh Art Festival show

How far do you agree with Sol LeWitt’s comment that ‘conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists’? I think I’d tend to agree: they’re certainly rather more mystics than rationalists. Art isn’t rational, but it can be mystical. What is…

2012 Edinburgh Festival of Politics highlights

11 Jul 2012

Talks on George Wyllie, the music industry, Canongate and Scotland's wood cabins

Singin’ I’m No a Billy, He’s a Tim. The difficulties of overcoming ignorance associated with the issue of sectarianism in Scotland were perfectly highlighted last season when one football radio pundit accused Des Dillon’s play of actually promoting…

Susan Philipsz sounds the One O'Clock Gun at 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival

11 Jul 2012

2010 Turner Prize winner on senses, songs and Sirens

2010 Turner Prize winner is using an Edinburgh institution for a specially commisioned piece of sound art. Here The List talks to the artist on senses, songs and Sirens

Major Picasso show as part of 2012 Edinburgh Art Festival

11 Jul 2012

Enduring appeal of artist considered greatest of the 20th century

A major new exhibition coming to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art explores Picasso's enduring legacy and the British artists he inspired. But why did the UK take so long to get with Pablo’s programme?

John Byrne: Moonlight and Music

17 Aug 20114 stars

Major exhibition of works by much-loved Scottish artist

So recent are some of the pieces in this show – timed to coincide with the launch of a biography of the artist by Lund Humphries – that self-portrait ‘Chop Suey’ and Byrne’s children’s book Donald & Benoit: A Story of a Cat and a Boy arrived close to…

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Iconic America artist Carolee Schneemann appearing at the Edinburgh Art Festival 2012

28 Jul 2012

Artist known for discourses on the body, gender, sexual expression and liberation

Carolee Schneemann, the iconic American visual artist, known for her discourses on the body, gender, sexual expression and liberation, is exhibiting at Summerhall during the Edinburgh Festival. Her seminal works, ‘Meat Joy’ (1964), ‘Fuses’ (1967) and…

Weaving the Century

28 Jul 20123 stars

One hundred years of tapestry from the Dovecot weavers

It’s 100 years since the Dovecot Studios was established in its first home in Corstorphine, and this exciting tapestry exhibition over three floors of its current premises in Infirmary Street is a fitting celebration of how this very traditional art…

Harry Hill exhibits paintings and sculptures at Edinburgh Art Festival

27 Jul 2012

TV Burp comedian displays other side in My Hobby

The fact that Harry Hill is set to make an appearance at the Edinburgh Festival is not in itself big news. The bald-headed, bespectacled, large-collared comedian has a long association with the world’s largest arts beano, grabbing early raves for his…

World Press Photo 2012 exhibition visits Edinburgh

23 Jul 20124 stars

A photo essay of the world, richly deserving of the term ‘definitive’

Once again returning to Edinburgh for its annual summer visit to coincide with the Festival of Politics, the World Press Photo exhibition is a source of marvel and inspiration, even those of us who keep in touch with the news. As well as collating most…

Interview: NVA's Speed of Light at Edinburgh International Festival 2012

11 Jul 2012

Sport and art combine to cover Arthur’s Seat with light and colour

Arthur’s Seat will be a dramatic spectacle of light and colour thanks to NVA. Claire Sawers talks to Angus Farquhar and some of his runners ahead of this ambitious meeting of sport and art

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Edinburgh Art Festival 2012: Highlights

11 Jul 2012

Surrealists, symbolists and Scottish colourists at this year's art festival

Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour. This major study of the Scottish Colourist’s output features over 70 important works throughout his career, with pieces created in venues from Fife to France. If the life and work of Hunter is your bag, then why not also…

Hear A Pin Drop at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe

11 Jul 2012

Norwich sound artist Holly Rumble on listening to pins and birds

These may be tough times for the public sector, but at least the officials at Edinburgh City Council are blessed with the Fringe to liven up their daily litany of licensing requests. Sound artist Holly Rumble provided one such chink of light in a local…

Edvard Munch: Graphic Works from the Gunderson Collection

23 May 20123 stars

Extended introduction to troubled Norwegian painter

Perhaps the greatest surprise for casual viewers of this high-profile new exhibition from the Scottish National Galleries is the discovery that Norwegian painter Edvard Munch had a whole catalogue of work besides ‘The Scream’. One of the most famous…

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings

25 Aug 20114 stars

Breathtaking exploration of both photography and science

To say that Sugimoto's contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival is striking would be an understatement. This is the first time these works have been displayed in Europe. The Japanese photography pioneer’s huge analogue 'Lightning Fields…

Interview: John Byrne

24 Aug 2011

Painter and playwright at 2011 Edinburgh Art Festival

What came first – the art or the writing? It must have been the drawing and the art, because my mother used to tell people that I was drawing in my pram. We have to take her word for it – she was a very honest woman. Do you hold writing and art in…

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Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys

17 Aug 20114 stars

An art world friendship under a Scottish sky

A single rose can make a garden; a single friend can make a world. Writer, artist and philosopher Richard Demarco’s friendship with the humanistic artist Joseph Beuys was something special. These two passionate, occasionally obtuse men were drawn to…

Mystics or Rationalists?

17 Aug 20113 stars

Elegant conceptual works bend associations of the ordinary

Stealing the show, Susan Hiller’s new levitation works are exemplary of the conceit at the heart of this group exhibition. Having infused conceptual and minimalist strategies with the influence of psychoanalysis and pop culture since the late 1960s…

Interview: Hiroshi Sugimoto

16 Aug 2011

Renowned photographer on his EAF exhibition

Is this your first visit to Edinburgh? I did pass through here once in the late 90s. I was shooting seascapes around the Scottish coast. Which wasn’t so successful: mostly, I saw many oil towers, so I couldn’t get clear seascapes. I thought it was a…

Carmen Sylva

11 Aug 20113 stars

Established artists take on a new and exciting identity

A procession of odd assemblages punctuates the centre of Sierra Metro’s exhibition space. They are Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff’s latest artistic response to Peles, a late 18th Century Romanian castle that has inspired their practice for over six…

Norman McBeath & Robert Crawford: Body Bags / Simonides

11 Aug 20113 stars

Mournful collaboration between photographer and poet

Scots translations of epitaphs by the ancient Greek poet Simonides, coupled with black and white photographs, adorn the high-rising walls of two lofty Edinburgh College of Art studios. Joined by tall vases of white lilies, classical casts from the…

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Tamsyn Challenger: 400 Women

8 Aug 20115 stars

Stunning artistic memorial to victims of gender violence

What unites the collection of heterogeneous portraits in 400 Women is the fate of each subject depicted. All are the victims of rape, abduction and murder, devastating crimes which have taken place on the Mexican border region of Ciudad Juàrez. In…

Katri Walker: North West

8 Aug 20113 stars

Intriguing exploration of Scottish/Wild West links

This triptych of work by Edinburgh-born artist Katri Walker recasts the landscape of Scotland as the wilderness of the American old west, quite literally in the case of the titular central work. Projected over three connected screens, the rocky cliffs…

Ingrid Calame

5 Aug 20114 stars

Water water everywhere with only a doodle to drink

A river runs through Ingrid Calame’s work. But this river has been drained and all that remains are detritus and old stains. Somewhere between Google Earth screen grabs, weighty childhood nature books with their own illustrative key codes and fey…

David Mach: Precious Light

5 Aug 20114 stars

Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition of biblical proportions by Fife-born artist

Without doubt, Methil-born artist David Mach’s work ‘Golgotha’ will stand out as the defining image from the artistic strand of this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Three enormous figures of threaded steel nailed to metallic crosses, which take up the entire…

Anton Henning: Interieur No. 493

5 Aug 20113 stars

Curious and bemusing conceptual art salon at 2011 Edinburgh Art Festival

If, as critic and writer Cyril Connolly once noted, ‘vulgarity is the garlic in the salad of life’ German artist Anton Henning might just have halitosis. Henning’s first solo show in Scotland is just about as curious and bemusing an exhibition as you…