Beyond illustration, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

Icarus looks as ll be ls going to plunge right out oi the bottom at the picture irame, so steep and so last is his descent in one oi Edward Gage’s watercolours shown here. It's a very haunting image in an exhibition at paintings which are usually gentler with their drama and stands head and shoulders above the rest in power and eiiect.

Gage was born in Gullane in 1925 and is a well-known ligure in the Edinburgh art world, as a painter, as Art Master at Fettes College (irom 1952 to 1968) and as art critic oi The Scotsman. This is his llrst retrospective and it covers a period oi more than 30 years, irom his student work in oil to his recent work in watercolour.

Though there are one or two portraits here, it is the universal rather than the individual which is usually Gage’s theme. His perspective is moral rather

than social, as broad and as complex as the myths he portrays. In pictures like Guenever in Cornwall there is no depth oi iield, no space ortime to act as ballast. Guenever might be wrapped in guaze, so soit is the locus and the eiiect. The nearest literary equivalent is poetry and several oi Gage's poems are shown alongside his pictures.

It is this lyrical or magical-mystical quality oi much oi his work which makes a recent painting called Good Friday stand out so lorcibly. it is dated 1986, over 20 years later than ‘Guenever’, and returns to the extraordinary drama oi the lcarus picture. It could be a still irom a iilm, depending ior eiiect as it does on its unexpected, nearly violent viewpoint irom behind the cross, its harsh contrasts, sharp outlines and steep, almost withering perspective. It's a dark, totally uncompromising picture and is enough to strike lear into even the bravest oi hearts. (Sally Kinnes)

Queen Victoria). Joseph Farquharson (better known for snowy sheep than camels) are some of the artists included in this exhibition who made the trip and were inspired.

I FRENCH INSTITUTE 13 Randolph Crescent. 225 5366 Mon—Fri 9.3ilam— 1 pm and 2pm—5.3(ipm.

Robert Doisneau Until 26 Feb. Black and white documentary photographs taken by the well-respected French photographer between [933 and 1972. People andthe streets of Paris. brimming with character and unexpected juxtapositions. Which is pose and which is real'.’ It's easy to be caught out!

Talks Wed 24 Feb. 6.30pm. ‘I.e (‘ubism' by France Sharrat.

Wed 2 Mar. 6.30pm. ‘I.e Surrealisme' by Elizabeth Cowling. Talks on art continue on Weds until 1 June. All free

I FRUITMARKET GALLERY 2‘) Market Street. 225 2383. Tue—Sat lilam-- 5.30pm: Sun l.3()pm—5.3(lpm. Licensed cale.

Boyd Webb Until 3 March. Boyd Webb‘s photographs will amaze. I le creates a world where dinosaurs climb on men's backs. telephones talk to each other under water and people pop out of planets small enough to belong to The Little Prince. llis theatrical set-ups are witty. intriguingand get to the point sharp. Don't missseeing


1] The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street holds the national collection of photography; but with no display space the photographs sometimes seemed

underexposed. Just opened, the new Photography Room

changes all that. The first of a continuing series ol‘

displays is ‘Photography in Scotland 1938-88'. 11 The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Bell‘ord Road celebrates four of Scotland's greatest living artists with a room apiece given over to Bellany, Gear, Hamilton Finlay and Philipson. 1i At the National Gallery of Scotland on The Mound the dramatic redecoration continues; some of the main galleries are closed but the lavishly refurbished rooms

now open upstairs show the promise of things to come.

11 All three Galleries are open Monday to Saturday SCOTLA N D

10-5", Sunday 2—5. Free!


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