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I CEZANNE AND POUSSIN During his lite, Cezanne openly acknowledged his debt to Poussin. saying that he wished to re-do Poussin alter Nature. This major exhibition examines that relationship, bringing work by both artists trom collections all overthe world. The one not to miss. Cezanne and Poussin: The Classical Vision ot Landscape, National Gallery Until 21 Oct.
I COOPER AND GALLOWAY Two at Scotland's most exciting young artists turn their studios into a gallery. Both Galloway's wire sculpture and Cooper's plaster installation speak oi seduction and the betrayal ol appearances.
Leila Galloway and Tony Cooper. 44 London Street. Until 8 Sept.
I SCOTLANO'S PICTURES An exhibition that eloquently shows the need for an adequate permanent home for the nation's visual art. ratherthan the halt-measure tucked away in the Nationa Gallery. Scotland's Pictures. Royal Scottish Academy. Until 16 Sept. I PAUL HILL A lyric exhibition at landscape photography ot the Yorkshire Dales titled White Peak Dark Peak. Paul Hill. Stills Gallery. Until 8 Sept. I ANDY GOLOSWORTHY Eschewing the more conventional sculptural materials. Goldsworthy works with leaves. thorns. lound rocks and branches. and the cratt ot dry-stone walling. The pertect venue tor this show. Andy Goldsworthy. Royal Botanic Garden. Inverteith Row. um" 28 Oct.
The Royal Scottish Academy Galleries.
This is undoubtedly the most important exhibition this Festival. even if the erudite and worthy Cezanne and Poussin in the National Gallery next door calls forth more oohs and ahs from the academics. This is the first time that a selection ofScottish pictures from all three institutions which constitute the National Galleries of Scotland — the National itself. the Portrait Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art — has been assembled under the same roof. The aim, of course, is narrative: to tell the story of Scottish art — which means, in this case, painting by Scottish artists— from the outset to the present. The outset, as far as Scotland was concerned, was the later part of the 15th century when foreign practitioners, mostly from the Low Countries with whom Scotland carried out most of its trade, were enticed to the Stewart court to make face-maps of the aristocracy. It must be said that there is nothing particularly Scottish about the work of Adam de Colone and the Aberdonian George J amesone. Indeed, it is not until the 18th century that the native tradition takes off in the hands of Enlightenment figures like Allan Ramsay and the other habitués of neo-classical Rome who made Scotland. or at least the Scottish artistic milieu, something of a hotbed of what we would now call progressive artistic activity. David Allan and his greater successor, David Wilkie virtually invented the
:— Free expression
The Scottish Gallery.
The tine record ot the Scottish Gallery in presenting Scottish artists at Festival time is continued this year with a show at one at the most unusual and talented oi the older generation, John Houston. For anyone not acquainted with the artist’s achievement his recent work will come as something at a puzzle: Houston has never been an artist content with a single idiom, colour range, medium or scale: now retired lrom his Edinburgh College ot Art post, he is as lull ol exploratory verve as any ambitious student. Houston is essentially an expressionist, but-paradoxically-a contemplative one. So the many pictures based on his tavourite East
great Victorian tradition ofgenre painting. Then. later in the 19th century, Robert Scott Lauder and his pupils at Edinburgh‘s Trustees Academy laid the bedrock for, and became the stars of, the flourishing British school of historic and anecdotal painting. In the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists. Scotland produced the most original response to the revolutionary aesthetic theories of Whistler on the one hand, and the most convincingly natural absorption of the manners of the Impressionists and Ce’zanne outside France on the other. The 20th century is, ofcourse. a very different kettle of fish, as it is in every other western country. and Scottish artists have been as experimental and eclectic as any. However, the value ofScotland's Pictures is that it makes the case for the Scottish School — an art-historically unfashionable
Coast- the Bass Rock is a recurring motil— are more Wordswortbian retlections than Turneresque transcriptions, even it they otten appear like Latter-day Vorticist abstractions. Houston is one of those artists who can be better understood through a comprehensive knowledge at modernism. His early inspiration. Germanic painters like Munch. Kirchner and Nolde are still with him. especially in the vibrant seascapes,
concept — as coherently as any great tome could and certainly better than any comparable exhibition this century. What it also does as a consequence — and this is of the very greatest importance -- is that it demonstrates how lop-sided British art history. due to the egocentricity of London. Ramsay. for example. is shown to be a far more gifted and charming painter than old Sir Sloshua: Raeburn. superior to his English peer. Lawrence. and probably the greatest portraitist these islands have ever produced; the Colourists more important than. say. the Camden Town Group. The sooner a suitable home is found for this wasted heritage. the better. Perhaps then. the general histories of British art can be re-written with a greater regard for historical accuracy. (Andrew Gibbon Williams)
but now he is investigating the possibilities of a rather ominous. sometimes downright scary, narrative. In a picture such as Beach Party. a group otanonymousligures are depicted in silhouette against an acrid, menacing horizon and a feeling ol ritualistic horror imbues this factually very ordinary scene. Likewise. a double-portrait oi the painter and his better-known wile. Elizabeth Blackadder. is a strange and unsettling rendering of a banal conception. Elsewhere, 3 totemic jugglertloats against a pulsating. Futurist mesh of colour. Sometimes. the painter's blind laith in his talent leads him to forsake a picture before it has begun to live. like Dr Frankenstein iorgetting to pull the lever—Towards the Bass. Summer is a case in point— but the overriding impression left by the show is otan artist with almost too much to say: at 60 one just wishes him plenty more time in which to say it. (Andrew Gibbon Williams)
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