Visual Art

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From international stars like Andy Warhol and Picasso to Turner Prize winners and home grown talent, Alexander Kennedy finds rich pickings in

the Edinburgh Art Festival

ow in its l‘ourth year. lidinburgh Art

Festival has become a month—long series

oi internationally signilicant exhibitions that lills the capital's art galleries and mtrseums with works by some ol‘ the most respected and best-known artists in the world. It's dil‘licult to beat Warhol and Picasso. for starters. Both artists stand as monolithic. influential presences at the beginning and middle of the 20th century. respectively. Both created highly original and challenging art objects whose inlluence can still be felt in the work of contemporary artists. A selection of the best of Scotland's talent will also be on show. including work by artists such as Alex Hartley and David Batchelor.

This is the lirst year that the lidinburgh Art Festival has had its own director. Joanne Brown. giving it a separate existence and a sense of independence from the International Festival. The liAF brings together over 30 individual exhibition spaces. excluding a host of smaller temporary spaces under the Annuale banner. (the liAF‘s Fringe equivalent). and an ever increasing amount of artists at all stages in their careers.

Keith Hartley. curator of the Andy Warhol exhibition at the National (lallery says: ‘The Festival is an amazing opportunity for Scottish artists to be given an international prolile. Not only do people from all round the world come to Edinburgh at that time. but also the world‘s press is here.‘

He continues. “Warhol appeals on many levels. He‘s popular in the best sense ol~ the word.‘

Hartley has managed to bring together some ol. the most important works by Warhol. with many of the pieces coming from the recently purchased world class Anthony d‘()l‘l'ay collection. Work on show will include drawings. prints. paintings. sculptures and films by the artist. characterised by his love ol‘ celebrity and the gaudy trappings ot‘ capitalist culture. as well as his relationship with death as an abstract and his own mortality.

The body is also scrutinized in the Naked Portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It takes an obsession with the glamour and beauty of well-known sitters to a new level. with famous cultural ligures stripped for our delectation and study in work that hopes to reveal intimate and sometimes shocking likenesses ol‘ the artist‘s model. The exhibition includes paintings. photographs. sculptures and prints by Lucien Freud. Tracy Emin. David Hockney and Picasso.

The work of Pablo Picasso is also on show at two of the capital's major galleries and museums. The Dean Gallery‘s Picasso on Paper


exhibition is drawn l'rom the Staatsgalcric .‘yltiseum in Stuttgart. and comprises ()5 prints. l5 drawings and ten illtrstrated books by the most formidable artistic geniuses ot~ the last century. The work on show charts the artist's career from his early ‘Rosc l’eriod‘. throrrgh his world-changing cubist works. to later surrealist compositions.

The lngleby (ialler'y will also show work by some of the art world‘s leading l‘igures. presented in tour short exhibitions throughout

the Festival that demonstrate the importance ol‘

Scotland as a major player in the international art community and market. 'We have tried to balance bringing new or important artists to a Scottish audience. with support l'or both younger and established artists within Scotlanth says

(‘aroline Broadhurst at lngleby. The series ol‘ exhibitions that the gallery has planned l'or

August will guarantee that Festival visitors will not be disappointed. with work by Rachael Whiteread. David Batchelor. Nikolia Suetin. Richard Serra. Francesca Woodman and James llugonin. The pieces on show range from cool sculptural conceptualism and proto-minimalist spiritual canvases characterised by Whiteread and Suetin to the seductive shiny glowing plastic constructions (ll. Dayid Batchelor.


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