exhibitions which always have an element of politicaL’social comment. Three ofthe group. Kim Soren Larsen (photographer/painfer). Tim Anderson (painter) and Peter Hurley (painter). have been invited to show at the 369.

Northern Horizons: New Art From Norway Until 30 Sept. Norweigan painters. Kjell Torriset. llanne Borchgrevink and Bjorn-Sigurd Tufta and sculptor. Kjell Erik Killi Olsen have been selected to illustrate the direction of modern Norwegian art as the first part ofan exchange exhibition with the 369. Kjell Torriset will also become the first artist in residence at the 369 in Aug.

I WINE EMPORIUM 7 Devon Place. 346 1113. Mon—Fri 12.30—5.3f)pm. Sat l().3()—5.3()pm.

Othhe Beaten Track Sat 12 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. An exhibition of paintings by young Canadian artists. See Collective Gallery.


I ANDREW GRANT GALLERY Edinburgh College of Art. 2 Lauriston Place. 229 9311. Mon—Sat 10—5pm.

Paintings by Five Colourists of the 30s Wed 16 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. William Hardy

presents work by Majel Davidson.John McNairn. Alexander Graham Monro RSW and Edward Overton-Jones. There is also a retrospective exhibition of Donald MacKenzie's etchings.

I ARTIS 26 Gayfield Square. 556 75-16. Mon—Fri by appointment.

Permanent Collection Open throughout the Festival. A selection ofcontemporary Scottish art.

I BOURNE FINE ART 4 Dundas Street. 557 4050. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm.

Cadell to EardIey Fri 11 Aug—Fri 1 Sept. Covering similar ground to the Gallery of Modern Art. though on a much smaller scale. this exhibition of Scottish paintings spans 50 years. from 1900—1950, including works by Peploe. James Cowie. Eric Robertson. J.D. Fergusson and John Maxwell.

I CALTON GALLERY 1() Royal Terrace. 556 1010. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm.

Edinburgh and its Story Fri 11 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. An exhibition of 44 oil paintings and 26 line drawings by the illustrator J. Ayton Symington. who worked between 1890—1908. These book illustrations depict Edinburgh life at the turn ofthc century.

I CALTON STUDIOS 24 Calton Road. 556 7066. Every day 1 lam—Jam.

Nancy Henderson-New Works On Paper Sun 13 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. The first major


Robin Philipson, Edinburgh College of Art.

As Head of Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art and President of the Royal Scottish Academy, Sir Robin Philipson has been a pillar of the Scottish artistic establishment for many years. This vast retrospective allows a thorough assessment of his oeuvre for the first time. Although I like the man- his intelligence, humanity, breadth of interest and wit—l do not like the pictures. Or, at least, I like very few of them. And those I do like are his least ambitious and most atypical. Why? Roger Bilclifte puts his linger on the root of my unease in his perspicacious catalogue introduction.

Having noted that Philipson is neither by birth not painterly inclination ‘Scottish’, he goes on to say that his work does not ‘explore any matters of great weight in our human condition.’ He is quite correct. They do not. The trouble is that they pretend to. Watching Philipson explore and develop a theme, whether it be tortured soldier, crucifixion, African wildlife or quasi-brothel scene, is a bit like listening to a politician holding forth on a suhiect about which he knows nothing. We understand the sophisticated language is there but we cannot fathom what he is getting at. This is nothing to do with the artist’s rlghtto suggest and allude. If you’re going to tackle a profound, resonant subject like ‘The Crucilixion' with the unignorable precedent of Griinewald and virtually every other old master, then you must have something pretty special to say about it. Putting it through a sieve of de Kooning and Sutherland is simply inadequate. It is revealing that the greater part of Roger Bllcliffe’s catalogue concerns the artist's obsession with technique. I can


think of no other painter who is more self-conscious olthe way he applies paint than Philipson. The triptych format he favours is an affectation I detest. In medieval and Early Renaissance periods it was traditional, lunctional; legitimate. As long as we continue to hang our pictures in galleries we cannot escape the admittedly weary convention of the sell-contained easel picture.

Philipson’s compositions are usually made up of clearly-defined independently painted areas and within these are to be found quite ravishing colour combinations and elegant draughtsmanship. This is why the smaller-scale work is more successful and satisfying. The action-packed ‘Fighting Cocks’ series from the 1950s is a superb achievement. In this decade Philipson has revived the still-lite with some very beautiful pictures of poppies and fruit. But the conclusion I have come to is that his approach to picture-making would have found a more sympathetic audience in the 18th century. Then, his sincere ambition would have made him a natural ally of James Barry and Benjamin Robert Haydon. In the modern context he comes across as merely eccentric. (Andrew Gibbon Williams)



LANDSCAPES. SEASCAPES. STILL LIFE & FLOWERS by Gallery Artists from around SCOTLAND and featuring works from SPAIN. U.S.A. & WEST GERMANY Also on view: Ceramics * Sculpture Wood Carvings * Jewellery * Prints * Cards

14th August 5th September 1989

Monday—Friday 10.003m—6.00pm; Saturday 10.00am-4.00pm 2 27-15133 His-EYE é Effie—r3 i s’é't‘a‘dg"€n 3" 6'1 ~is” ' " TELEPHONE 031-556 2181 Tm




1 8th AUGUST 27th AUGUST 108m 7pm daily

(includes comprehensive catalogue)


" x. ‘N


Cmmqsf *

1‘ s


VENUE 132.


The List 18 24 August 1989 53