Edinburgh Art Festival features of leading international and UK artists

This article is from 2018

Edinburgh Art Festival features dozens of events from leading international and UK artists

Tacita Dean: Woman with a Red Hat / credit: Ruth Clark

Major retrospectives of Rembrandt and Nolde are alongside work from emerging and established artists from Tacita Dean to Bill Viola

The Edinburgh Art Festival is in full swing, and whether you're a visual art fan who's already planning your itinerary or you just feel like taking a break from the tsunami of live performance, there are a lot of ways to see something a little quieter and more silent in a gallery space this month.

Having said that, Tacita Dean's Woman with a Red Hat (Fruitmarket Gallery) is notable for, among other things, its swearing. Dean was one of the Young British Artists and has been consistently interested in film and portraiture: her work Event for a Stage, which forms part of the show, features actor Stephen Dillane, and according to Dean's own account, hers and Dillane's collaboration was not without its 'misunderstandings'.

At Edinburgh Printmakers, Indian artist Ravi Agarwal has his first solo UK show Nàdar / Prakriti, which is inspired by a research residency undertaken by the artist in the Scottish Highlands. Agarwal is interested in the pressures and challenges posed to nature in Scotland, a nation whose landscape looks an awful lot less unformed by human intervention than it actually is.

At the National Gallery of Scotland, Rembrandt: Britain's Discovery of the Master continues to shine light on the 400-year history of how Britain has received the work of one of the most brilliantly unrepresentative of masters of oil paint. If you're visiting Edinburgh, don't put off seeing this in the hope that it'll travel to where you live; this is your only chance to see these works in this configuration.

Modern Two is hosting Emil Nolde: Colour is Life, a look at the output of the great German Expressionist whose work manages to be both morbid and exuberant. One show bridging past and present is Raqib Shaw's Reinventing the Old Masters, which presents the work of this most literate and referential of painters alongside two paintings which have inspired him: Joseph Noel Paton's The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania and Lucas Cranach's An Allegory of Melancholy.

The Travelling Gallery is one of the great institutions of Scottish art and the City Art Centre is hosting a retrospective, Travelling Gallery at 40, which looks back over four decades of bringing art to the people. Ruth Ewan's Sympathetic Magick is a collaboration between the artist and magician Ian Saville, with magic tricks being performed in various places around the city. At St Cuthbert's Church, Bill Viola's mesmerising video work Three Women is a must-see.

The Platform series offers emerging artists a chance to be seen by a wide audience, and this year the City Art Centre is showing work by four very different younger artists. Rae-Yen Song's work uses her own identity as a Chinese Scot to try and say something about the wider society and its relationship to the outsider. Annie Crabtree's recent work explores the loss of bodily autonomy through illness, and the recovery of it through, among other means, swimming. Isobel Lutz-Smith works in film, experimenting with narrative cut-up techniques. Renèe Helèna Browne, from Donegal but based in Glasgow, makes sound-based work concerned with narratives relating to the female voice.

There are numerous other exhibitions as part of the EAF, as well as artist talks; walks; a listening lounge at Rhubaba Gallery curated by Andrea Zarza; Art Late events with music from The Ninth Wave and Jared Celosse; Art Early events for kids and their carers; Mud Oven Afternoons at Johnston Terrace Festival Garden at which you can make your own edible sculptures; and unique performances created by Ross Birrell and Ali Moraly. If you feel like getting out of the city, and why wouldn't you, Jupiter Artland has organised a free bus service on Thursdays so that you can wander the gardens in peace and check out Joana Vasconcelos' Gateway.

Edinburgh Art Festival runs at various venues in Edinburgh until Sun 26 Aug. Many shows extend beyond the end of the festival.

A Jupiter Artland
Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston, City of Edinburgh, EH27 8BY
Located in the 120-acre grounds of Bonnington House, just outside Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland is an outdoor sculpture park featuring major works specially commissioned from leading sculptors and land artists who have worked on-site to create a strong…
B Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Standing opposite Modern Two (formerly Dean Gallery), the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art One is fronted by the giant Landform sculpture by Charles Jencks, a stepped, serpentine mound reflected in three crescent-shaped pools of water. Inside the…
C Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art Two
73 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DS
Opened in 1999 in a former orphanage, the Scottish National Galleries' second modern art gallery, formerly known as the Dean Gallery, stands across the road from its partner, just outside Edinburgh’s Dean Village. Since its opening it has housed the…
D St Cuthbert's Church
5 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2EP
E Scottish National Gallery
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
Stationed at the foot of the Mound, this building was designed by William Henry Playfair in 1850 to be a 'temple erected to the Fine Arts'. Since its completion the National Gallery has been home to some of the world's finest Western art ranging from…
F Johnston Terrace Wildlife Garden
Patrick Geddes Steps/Castle Wynd South, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW
G Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
One of the most magnificent buildings in the entire city, modelled on the Doges Palace in Venice, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery has an impressive Gothic red sandstone façade designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. As well as classical subjects…
H Parliament Square
High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE
I Travelling Gallery
at City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE
J Fruitmarket
45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
The Fruitmarket is closed for redevelopment until 2020, though the bookshop is operating as a pop up stall in Waverley Mall and can be accessed via Williams and Johnson Coffee Co. Located behind Waverley train station, this world-class gallery showcases…
K Summerhall
1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL
Located in the heart of Edinburgh's Southside, Summerhall is a multi-arts venue with a varying programme of events that take place all year round, from exhibitions and workshops to gigs and club nights. With a range of spaces including the TechCube, a…
L Rhubaba Gallery & Studio
25 Arthur Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5DA
Founded in 2009, Rhubaba has become one of the most interesting and adventurous galleries in the capital city, presenting intelligent and engaging work by the likes of Modern Edinburgh Film School, BAZ, Sian Robinson Davies and others, with a general…