University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge. Tel: 031 667 1011 ext-4308

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New Setilpture \\ tititlt‘aH ings ALBICR'H) MURRUCCU. RS:\. RS“) RI). RUI Drawings. I’astels and \Vuteretiltiurs I’IIII1II’ RICICVES. RSA. RS“. AREA. RIC. RUI Nev. Prints and \\tirkst111 I’aper ALISON BRADLEY and .I.-\NIC HARRIS ‘Surl‘aee Riehes' Ne“ Jeweller} & Textiles

7 October 1 November

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7 Octuher' —19 November


2 December —— trl January


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City Art Centre, Edinburgh. ‘The commotion, the emotion, the torrent of life, that‘s what I‘m atter.‘ Powerful, woetul laces stare out lrom dramatic tableaux which are more like stage sets than traditional sculptures.

The bestare startling and untorgettable 7

proletarian images, stark and crudely hewn. stemming lrom the experience of ordinary people - in markets, tields, industrial towns or cities. This is a heightened realism verging on cartoonish parody where lives are depicted with tabloid simplicity and crudity. There is an almost child-like nostalgia and sorrow in this vision of a vanished past, of moments gone lorever, which the lurid, cold plasticity of these coloured sculptures give a surrealistic nightmarish quality. Most


ol the sculptures are telling a story, the

archetypes and caricatures portraying myriad aspects of human experience. Mason has been identitied with an English narrativetraditiontrom Hogarth to Stanley Spenser, but apart from his eccentricity it is perhaps easier to see him as part at the artistic tradition of his adopted country, France. where he has lived since 1946. Mason‘s name has been linked with manylamous French artists, and despite theirtriendship and undoubted influence. Mason‘s work is notas philosophical asthatolGiacometti or as sensual as Balthus. In some ways it is closer to the socialist realism of a painter like Fougeron, one olwhose most tamous works, like Mason‘s, was inspired by a mining disaster. I mention painting, not only because the sculptures are painted themselves but because they are often in high-relief and so appear like paintings in 3-0.

I '5 Contrarytotheideasot

many artists, Mason places accessibility to a general public unschooled inthe more recondite aspects ot sculpture very l highin his orderolartistic values. His populism has gained him enormous

popularity in France but it has made him the object at greatcritical controversy in his native country. It is

theatricality, art as a manipulative

this naive obviousness and blatant

spectacle,whichinthe mostpowerlul

pieces is used to greatest ellect. In ‘A

1 Tragedy in the North. Winter, Rain and

Tears‘, inspired by a news photo at an anxious milling crowd after a mining disaster. tears stream down the face at the woman kneeling at the tront, lrozen in griel, horror, orprayer. Her‘s is an archetypal gesture olhumansutlering which in context with the other tigures make an intense visual poetry at sympathy andisolation.The exhibition has been particularly recommended for young people and schoolchildren as an accessible introduction to contemporary art. (Frances Doyle)


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Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Retrospective

1940—89l'nt1llxN111 Ahmttt lltlxxurks J