54'1‘he List 18-24 August 1989
OUR PHOTOGRAPHIC LIBRARY
Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street.
The invention of photography was first announced to an enthusiastic public 150 years ago. Since then, its impact on the world has been incalculable and has been echoed by the mushrooming of a body of over a million photographic works in Britain's museums. This exhibition draws on 150 key works from eleven of our public collections, in an attempt to identify the majorfigures and landmarks of the medium and to chart some of its wide variety of techniques and uses developed down the years.
Many of the international greats are represented, including William Henry Fox-Talbot (generally held to be the inventor of the negative-positive technique), Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Bill Brandt and Cecil Beaton. Their ‘classic' photographs are combined with worthy, but less well-known British works — in particular some examples from the Scottish and Welsh national coﬂecnons.
Both exhibition and catalogue place emphasis on photography’s role not simply as a fine-art medium but as a vehicle for scientific study (as in the work of Maybridge), wartime propaganda, news and social comment. These works, drawn mainly
from The Imperial War Museum and the Public Records Office, although biased towards narrative, nonetheless often display afar more than workmanlike technical quality. Particularly notable is the amazing linearity of composition in “The Nazi State’ and the sensitive character-study of ‘Passchendaile’ both by unknown photographers.
A post-script to the exhibition is made by a display in chronological order of camera equipment as it has been developed by each generation, including an early concealable camera lorthe would-be spy. The exhibition itself, however, by the inclusion of so many fine and well-preserved early pieces leads one inescapably to conclude that it is not the equipment, but the photographer who is crucial to the quality of a shot.
exhibition for an Edinburgh artist who produces abstracted work based on the human form. Henderson combines ink. paint and charcoal to form a dense. well-worked style. I CENTRAL LIBRARY George IV Bridge. 225 5584. Mon—Fri 9am—8.30pm. Sat 9am—1pm. Scottish Writing Today Until 19 Aug. Book Trust's annual exhibition of books by Scottish authors or of Scottish interest. published in 1988. Talks by James Kelman on 9 Aug and a talk by lona McGregoron 16 Aug. Student work Until 30 Sept. A Display of completed work by students of the 369 Gallery education programme in the Fine Art Department ofthe Library. I CHAPLAINCY CENTRE Bristo Square. 667 1011 lixt 2590. Mon—Sat 10.30am—6.30pm. The New Underground Until Sat 2 Sept. An exhibition of the work of Edith Simon whose work includes paintings. sculpture. graphics. audio-visual. video and performance art. I CITY CAFE 19 Blair St. 2200125. Mon-Sat noon— lam & Sun noon—11pm. Gavin Evans Front Sun 27 Aug the cafe will show a permanent collection of20 photographs comntissioned from Gavin Evans whose work is based on Edinburgh people. Amongst other projects Evans has previously worked on ('ur and Scot/multh Sunday. I CRAMOND SCULPTURE CENTRE Moray House college. (‘ramond Road North. 312 6001 ext 272. Sun -Sat Ilium—nightfall. Buses to ('ramond. 41 and 18. Scottish Connection Until 30 Sept. An exhibition of contemporary Scottish sculpture featuring around 22 works including purple terrazzo heads. painted paper horses and ltuge steel arcs. I EDINBURGH COLLEGE OF ART 2 l.aurtston Place. 229 931 1. livery day 10am 5pm
All exhibitions at the college run from Sun 13 Aug—Sun 3 Sept unless otherwise stated.
Robin Philipson £1 .50 (£1 ). An important retrospective ofwork by the former head of painting and drawing at Edinburgh College of Art containing about 150 paintings.
Marion Thomson Recent paintings.
Carol Taylor Recent wood engravings. Alistair Mack and Friends Paintings by 8 artists.
Edinburgh Post-Graduate Work A chance to see some of the newest Scottish art.
I ENGLISH SPEAKING UNION 23 Atholl Crescent. 229 1528. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm. Scottish Art '89 Fri 11 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. An exhibition of 200 paintings from 50 contemporary Scottish artists.
I FASTFRAME LTD 6A Frederick Street. 225 4848. Mon~Sat 9am—5.30pm.
World Images Until 16 Sept. The Burns Agency for Scottish Arts present a collection of Scottish landscapes. museum standard bronzes and nature prints by Wallace. MacMillan and Blais.
I FINE ART SOCIETY 12 Great King Street. 5560305. Mon—Sat l0am—6pm. Sun 2pm—5pm.
The McTaggarts and Other Artistic Families Sat 12 Aug—Tue 5 Sept. An endearing exhibition of paintings by the McTaggarts and work from 15 other Scottish families whose members grew up with a paintbrush in their hand. including such names as Peploe. Nasmyth. Redpath. Patrick. Lorimer. Cameron. Bone and Lauder.
I FLYING COLOURS GALLERY 35 William Street. 225 6776. Tues—Fri l 1am—6pm. Sat 10am— 1 pm.
Connie Simmers Thurs 10 Aug—Sat 9 Sept. The artist‘s first soloexhibition comprising 40 oil paintings — mainly landscapes of Portugal and Scotland.
I FREEMASONS' HALL 96 George Street. 22652579. Mon- Sat 9am-6pm.
ZOO OI The Best Mon 14 Aug ~Sat 2 Sept.
An exhibition of the ingenious work of some 200 children who sent in designs for the 1989 Fringe Poster Competition. selected from a total of 2640 entries. The fresh and original approach of children is all too easily undervalued — this exhibition shows the real talent ofyoung hands.
I GALLERY OF MODERN ART Belford Road. 556 8921. Mon—Sat lOam—Spm; Sun 2—5pm. [D] Cafe.
The gallery‘s justly renowned cafe is open Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. Sun 1 1am-6pm. Cream teas will be served from 3-4.15pm. Scottish Art Since 1900 Until Sun 24 Sept. Far more of the national collection is on show than ever before. with the entire gallery given over to this exhibition which traces the development of Scottish Art through the 20th century. taking as itstwin
7 poles of reference the early Colourists and
the aggressively figurative painters ofthe 1980s. Unfortunately the exhibition is unadventurous in its choice of painters and paintings. and provides little space for three-dimensional work or photography. Also some non-Scottish work would have provided useful reference points.
I LYCEUM STUDIOS Heriot Watt. Grindlay St. 229 9697. Mon—Sat 10.30am—11.30pm. (
Annie Crombie Sat 12 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. Artist in Residence at Wilkie House. Annie Combie. concentrates on the human form. including a series of paintings ofthe female torso. Much ofher work is in watercolour and will be exhibited in the upstairs cafe.
I MALCOLM IN NES GALLERY 67 George Street. 226 4151. Mon-Fri 9.30am—6pm; Sat 10am—1pm.
islands In Colour Wed 9 Aug—Sat 19 Aug. A collection of watercolours by Glasgow based artist. I. Lesley Main.
A Scottish Panorama Wed 23 Aug—Sat 16 Sept. Oils. watercolours and prints by Scottish artists.
I OPEN EYE GALLERY 75 Cumberland Street. 557 1020. Mon—Fri 10am—6pm.Sat 10am—4pm.
Geoffrey Squire ARSA itst not Sat 12—Thurs 31 Aug. Landscape and figure studies in oils. watercolours. drawings and pastels.
Mark Stancka Sat 12—Thurs 31 Aug. Recent ceramic sculpture. constructions and discovered objects which convey the mysterious overtones of the human form. I PORTRAIT GALLERY Queen Street. 556 8921. Mon—Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 2—5pm. Patrons and Painters Until Sun 8 Oct. Covering the period from the late 17th century through the period ofthe Act of Union to the rising of 1745. a time when the patronage of men of power was as important in the arts world as it was in the political sphere. Some of the best known Scottish painters of this period join forces with their powerful patrons. who range from the Anglocracy in the South of Scotland to the Grant of Grant, a traditional Highland laird who had his entire court recorded on canvas by Richard Waitt.
I OUEENS HALL Clerk Street. 668 3456. Mon-Sat 2—5pm.
Vintage '89 Until Tue 5 Sept. An exhibition of work commissioned by Artis from 24 contemporary painters. all women. including Dorothy Black. Kate Downie. Olivia Irvine and Jan Nimmo. The exhibition follows the theme of
I RICHARD DEMARCO GALLERY Blackfriars Church. Blackfriars Street (off High Street). 5570707. Every day 10.30am—7pm.
lntemational Postal Art Until Tue 5 Sept. Designs by 12 Scottish artists in communication with artists from all over the world. Some of the best envelopes and letters you'll hope to see.
I ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY The Mound. 225 6671. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm. Sun
11am—6pm. Licensed cafe. Mon—Sat 10.30am—5.30pm; Sun Ham-5.30pm. William McTaggart Fri 1 1 Aug—Sat 29 Oct. McTaggart's early work was inﬂuenced by the brilliant colour and detail ofthe Pre-Raphelites but he soon evolved an expressive and free manner. disregarding criticisms of sketchiness and lack of finish. Like his contemporaries. the French Impressionists. he became interested in the effects of light and movement;
his later work dealt only with the ceaseless movement ofthe Atlantic breakers on West Coast beaches should not be missed. I ROYAL SCOTS CLUB Abercromby Place, 556 4270. Every day.
lrene Muir Until Sun 3 Sept. An exhibition of paintings by an Edinburgh based artist. I ST MARY'S EPISCOPAL CATHEDRAL Palmerston Place. Every day 9am til late. Stonesong Sun 20 Aug—Sat 2 Sept. St Mary's festival of the Celtic Spirit is celebrated with an exhibition of Pictish art by Marianna Lines. along with music and other events.
I THE SCOTTISH GALLERY 94 George Street. 225 5955. Mon—Sat 10.30am—5.30pm. All festival exhibitions at the Scottish Gallery run from Fri 11 Aug—Wed 6 Sept unless stated otherwise. William Crozier A series ofbrilliantly
Significant Other, Scottish Photographic Works.
Robin Gillanders is best known for his commercial and advertising work- llelds where it usually pays to play safe. in this exhibition of photographic portraits of friends and ‘seminal lntluences‘ (including Bill Paterson, John Bellany and William Mcllvanney), Gillanders displays his talent as a good portraitist, though not necessarily a great one.
Like his fine portrait of dancer Michael Clark, which was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, his recent mug shots of Bellany and the blues man Tam White rely for their power on the subjects' interesting faces, ratherthan any great vision of the photographer.
But when Gillanders attempts something unexpected, as in his 1989 picture of his assistant Neil Miller, we see a glimmer of a very superior vision indeed.
Portrait photography is notoriously difficult. To capture the mobile features of the face, eyes that sparkle, a flickering smile, in one black and while, still image and capture the essence of the personality is no easy trick. Capturing a likeness is not enough. All too often Gillanders' work in this exhibition veers towards the predictable. (Kennedy Wilson)