Edinburgh Art Festival 2012: Highlights

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

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This article is from 2012.

Art festival highlights

'A Provencal Landscape' by Leslie Hunter, c.1928

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 drop in to The Scottish Colourists: Inspiration and Influence at the City Art Centre, which puts the Rothesay-born painter and his fellow SCs (Peploe, Fergusson and Cadell) into a wider context.
City Art Centre, Market Street, 0131 529 3993, 21 Jul–14 Oct, 10am–5pm (Mon–Sat), noon–5pm (Sun), £5 (£3.50).

Callum Innes: The Regent Bridge

Completed in 1819, the Regent Bridge was constructed as a means to get into parts of the capital which previously were only navigable through precarious and narrow pathways. Edinburgh-based Innes takes a step away from his abstract canvases to give this dark tunnel a splash of colour in his debut exploration with light.
Calton Road, 0131 226 6558, 2 Aug–2 Sep.

Carolee Schneemann: Remains to be Seen

The Pennsylvanian performance artist was a vocal critic of what she perceived as the art world’s rank misogyny having entered that domain in the late 50s, and she’s continued to set cats among pigeons with her work on sexuality and gender. Almost literally here, as one series of photos has the artist ice skating naked with a cat in her arms.

Summerhall, 0131 560 1590, 2 Aug–27 Sep, 11am–9pm.

Cheer Up! It’s not the end of the world …

Predictions by the doomsday brigade have so far yet to come true, but 2012 is definitely the year when the world will end. So just about enough time to squeeze in one last exhibition featuring artists who have tackled the apocalypse in their work: Etienne Clément, the Chapmans, Damien Hirst, Lori Nix and Andy Warhol are among those represented here.
Edinburgh Printmakers, Union Street, 0131 557 2479, 2 Aug–8 Sep, 10am–6pm (Tue–Sun).

Dieter Roth: Diaries

Renaissance Man Dieter Roth’s connection to Edinburgh goes back to 1970 when he was part of Richard Demarco’s International Festival project, Strategy: Get Arts. Icelandic Roth was born in Germany and died in Switzerland in 1998, and this exhibition of his very busy diaries (which are jam-packed with appointments and addresses as well as drawings and poems) is his first since that debut.
Fruitmarket Gallery, Market Street, 0131 225 2383, 2–26 Aug, 10am–7pm (Mon–Sun); 27 Aug–14 Oct, 11am–6pm (Mon–Sat), noon–5pm (Sun).

Harry Hill: My Hobby

Not just a top-class semi-surrealist comedian, kids author, presenter of funny TV shows, ex-medic and wearer of big collared-shirts is Harry Hill, then, as he shows us his artistic side with a series of paintings and sculptures depicting the disjointed angle where fame, nature and surrealism meet. And if you enjoy his art you may get a chance to shake him by the hand as he’ll be in town doing some work-in-progress type shows at The Stand.
White Stuff, George Street, 4 Aug–2 Sep, 10am–6pm.

Ian Hamilton Finlay

One of Scotland’s most vital 20th century artists is celebrated here with an exhibition of sculpture and audio-visual installation which deftly explores his textured and witty work, including ‘Carrier Strike’ featuring an epic air battle played out on the surface of an ironing board.
Ingleby Gallery, Calton Road, 0131 556 4441, 2 Aug–27 Oct, 10am–6pm (Mon–Sat), noon–5pm (Sun until 26 Aug).

Roderick Buchanan: Legacy

Winner of the inaugural Beck’s Futures Prize back in 2000, Roderick Buchanan here explores the Troubles viewed through the eyes of two Scottish flute bands across the divide via film, photographs and installations.
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Queen Street, 0131 624 6200, 14 Jul–16 Sep, 10am–6pm (Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun), 10am–7pm (Thu).

Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880–1910

This wide-ranging look at the point where landscape meets Symbolism brings together Gauguin, van Gogh and Munch, alongside lesser-known European artists including Denmark’s Vilhelm Hammershøi, Finland’s Gallen-Kallela and Belgium’s Fernand Khnopff.
Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, 0131 624 6200, 14 Jul–14 Oct, 10am–6pm (Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun), 10am–7pm (Thu), £10 (£7).

All events free unless stated.

Roderick Buchanan on 'Legacy'

This article is from 2012.

Edinburgh Art Festival

Scotland’s largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods.

Van Gogh to Kandinsky: Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880–1910

  • 4 stars

A ground-breaking collaboration between the National Galleries of Scotland, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Finnish National Gallery, this exhibition looks at the Symbolists' approach to the tradition of landscape painting. It features major artists such as Gauguin, Munch and Mondrian and less well-known but…

Ian Hamilton Finlay

  • 5 stars

Work by the late great poet, artist and 'avant-gardener', including the recently rediscovered 'Carrier Strike', a naval battle enacted with irons, cotton wool and an ironing board. Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Cheer Up! It's Not the End of the World …

  • 3 stars

Are we all doomed? A number of artists, including Gordon Cheung, Etienne Clement, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol have engaged with the subject of the end of the world as we know it, and with some claiming the apocalypse is nigh at the end of 2012, Edinburgh Printmakers has pulled together an…

Leslie Hunter: A Life in Colour

  • 3 stars

A major retrospective of the work of Scottish Colourist George Leslie Hunter (1877–1931), contemporary of Cadell, Ferguson and Peploe, covering everything from his earliest work to that of his final years.

Callum Innes: The Regent Bridge

  • 3 stars

Best known as an abstract painter, Callum Innes works for the first time with light in an installation which floods the dark and dirt-encrusted Regent Bridge with coloured light. Created with architect and lighting artist Gavin Fraser and co-commissioned by the EAF and the Ingleby Gallery. Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Dieter Roth: Diaries

  • 3 stars

The artist Dieter Roth (1930–98) began as a constructivist, but was galvanised by the social and artistic upheaval of the 1960s into reinventing himself as a multi-media, multi-art renaissance man, producing sculptures, books, pictures and writings. This exhibition focuses on his diaries, which he used to keep…

Roderick Buchanan: Legacy

  • 4 stars

Artist Roderick Buchanan has a long-standing interest in Glasgow flute bands, and in this exhibition he looks at the impact of the Northern Ireland Troubles by relating the stories of two such bands. Part of Edinburgh Art Festival.

Carolee Schneemann

  • 4 stars

Carolee Schneemann for once deserves the word 'iconic'; from being a muse to Joseph Cornell and performing with Robert Morris, she's gone on to create a body of her own work that set a new standard in coupling intellectual integrity with visceral intensity, with unforgettable works such as Meat Joy, Interior Scroll and Up…

Harry Hill: My Hobby

Yes, the sizably-collared comedian likes to make art, generally pictures depicting celebrities in more or less absurd situations (one title is The Descent of Chris Tarrant Into Hell) but there are some more disturbing ones too, such as Status Quo's Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt depicted as a self-cuddling conjoined twin…

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