Adrian Wiszniewski: Retrospective, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh.

There is something deeply worrying about the idea ot a young artist, just a tew years out ot college, being granted an exhibition with the title ‘Retrospective'. Artists with the maturity to have a real retrospective would probably call an exhibition covering this period at time ‘Recent Work’. This up-lront titling oi the show, ratherthan encouraging us to think at Wiszniewski as an artist at maturity and centrality, instead backtires and encourages scepticism.

In the downstairs gallery are paintings trom the mid to late 80s. Fey young men disport themselves, large-eyed, heavy-tipped, looking as though they are sighing heavily about small matters that cause them some nostalgic or romantic distress. All activity is in a state ol suspended animation, with an amblence ot the type that Is often called dream-like, but in tact has little to do with the way most at us dream.

These are deeply narcissistic paintings; seeing Wiszniewski standing in front oi them at the opening at the exhibition went part-way to contirming this. But they are not narcissistic only in the sense ol repeating his own leatures again and again. Wiszniewski treats his iigures with the indulgence ot a lover who does not want to look too closely. There may be sinister elements that creep into the

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composition —the occasional bound tigure, tor instance but he treats the Iook-alikes extremer gently, and without too much probing as to what might really be going on. So although the narcissistic element is pervasive- (as with many other artists), lcan’t stop the suspicion that it is treated in a superticial way.

This at course may be the whole point and the tact that one painting is titled ‘Weeds in a Landscape’, implies a sense oi irony and selt-deprecation. These elements are however missing trom the other works - and particularly trom the most recent, shown upstairs. The same heads are drawn, this time in neon light, giving a cartoon ettect, and denying any sensitivity that was evident in the handling ot paint. Five bronze heads- again, the same leatures- trom the same mould, but with ditterent patinas, prove that the skill Wiszniewski has as a painter (which has increased through the years; the early paintings tried too hard to be successtul) is not evident in three dimensions.

The local lad has hit a crisis point almost inevitable lor someone who went all out lor tame and tortune so early: how to develop a winning lormula? I admire his courage in making his explorations ot this quandary so public, but I’m really not sure that the work is ready tor it. (Hilary Robinson)

Jan. Brought up on the island ofArran. Alexander now lives and works in Edinburgh. These 30 works are dominated by landscapes and by her recent interest in portraiture. ArtistatWortt Until late January. Artist Alan Ramsay. currently working on a portrait of former Lord Provost DrJohn McKay. opens the door ofhis studioto gallery visitors.

I COLLECTIVE GALLERY 166 Iligh Street. 2201260. Wed-Sat 1230—530me Sun 2—5.30pm.

Harvey Jackson: Enlightenment IZJan—3 Feb. An exhibition of sculpture which attempts to ‘rationalise and understand the similarities. differences and interdependency between opposites‘.

I CRAIGMILLAR LIBRARY Niddrie Marischall Gardens. 669 4095. Mon—Fri 9am—8.30pm; Sat 9am—1pm. Craigmillar Portraits by Tim Curtis Until Nov. 130 photographs of local residents.


5000 Years of Art & Design

NOW until lst April 1991 McLELLAN GALLERIES 270 Sauchiehall St., Glasgow Open daily 10am - 5pm Sundays 12 - 6pm Thursdays until 10pm

Admission £2 Concession 50p Family Ticket £4

Supported by The Scottish National Institutions

Sponsored by LILLEY

Polished black day cats from Jalisco, Mexico £34.50; £17.95; £4.99

weavings, masks, music and other folk crafts from Mexico, Central 8:

16 Victoria Street (Nr. Grassmarket,

azteca .

tiles, ceramics, jewellery,

South America.

Over 10 years direct trade with dozens of families in Latin America.

Edinburgh). Tel: 031 226 6695 Wholesale and Retail


I CALTON GALLERY 10 Royal Terrace. 556 1010. Mon-Fri 10am—6pm; Sat

10am— 1 pm.

A display of 19th century Scottish paintings, including still lifes, watcrcolours and some sculptures.

I CENTRAL LIBRARY George IV Bridge, 225 5584. Mon—Fri 9am-8pm; Sat

9am— 1 pm.

The Way We Were: Advertisements trom the 19th century Until 26Jan.

Leith School oi Art: Drawings, Paintings and Prints Throughout J an.

World ot Children: Book Display 14 Jan- 14 Feb.

Amt: Wester Railes Women's Group Photography Until 31 Jan.

Rugby in Scotland Until 2 Mar.

100 Years ot Women in Medicine, in Edinburgh Until 9 Mar.

I CITY ART CENTRE 2 Market Street. 225 2424 ext 6650. Mon—Sat l0am—5pm. Licensed cafe. [D].

Joni Mitchell: Diary ola Decade Until 12 Jan. ForJoni Mitchell. painting is not so much a hobby as ‘a passion and a compulsion'. prompting her to design her own record sleeves as well as address herself to contemporary issues.

Victoria's Edinburgh Until 31 Jan. Edinburgh in the Victorian period. depicted through the eyes of contemporary artists. writers. craftspeople and photographers. revealing the contrast between New Town opulence and Old Town squalor.

Get Knitted Until 19 Jan. ‘A century of knitting'. Sounds exhausting.

Working Lives Until 19 Jan. Contemporary images of people at work in Scotland. Vivien Alexander: Recent Paintings Until 19

Tel. 041-330 543]

The Gallery's 1990 programme is supported with funds from Glasgow District Council's Festivals Budget


WHISTLER IN EUROPE 6 October 1990-26 January 1991

Admission Free

The List I l 24January 199151