Beatrice Colin talks to David MacMillan about Intermedia, a new exhibition space in the Merchant City.
In the same month that £65 million has been promised to a museum of modern art in Glasgow. a brand new temporary gallery showing new work from Glaswegian artists hasjust opened in Virginia Street. Julian Spalding should make a visit to Intermedia one of his top priorities. He will be able to buy sculpture, painting, photography, sound and projection work at reasonable prices for his collection of contemporary art. scheduled to go on display in I996.
Managed by David MacMillan. a local artist. Interrnedia is funded jointly by the GDA and Glasgow District Council. The project aims to stimulate a market for new work while occupying an empty space in the Merchant City. and will put on four exhibitions in four months. ‘lt‘s a kind of marriage of convenience.’ says MacMillan. ‘This property is up for sale and by funding an arts project the GDA hopes to raise awareness that there are empty buildings here. There is a need for a
new space that doesn‘t bring any baggage. Glasgow is a very cliquey city and audiences for galleries don‘t usually mix. I want all the audiences of the galleries. plus a new audience of people who live or pass through the Merchant City. Like the name. this gallery. however. is intermediate. It may go on to something else. but we don‘t know. It‘s a kind of nomadic space. It‘s also called lntermedia because it will show any artistic medium at all.‘
The gallery is a huge space on two floors. lit in part. by natural light through glass bricks. The first show, Pure Fiction is the work of artists chosen by MacMillan. the second and third have been selected by a ‘ committee from 21 proposals submitted. and the fourth is a collaborative show between artists from Copenhagen and Glasgow.
Pure Fiction is a good example of the range of diverse and interesting work being carried out by artists currently working in Glasgow. All work with paint but none would call themselves painters. ‘In the last couple of years there has been a rediscovery of paint as a valid medium to express your ideas.‘ says MacMillan. ‘Whereas the artists who I regard as “thinking artists“ have rejected it before. it has now become an
expedient material to be used.
The show includes huge intricately painted canvases of photocopied photographic images by Peter MacKay. brightly coloured works executed straight onto the wall by Richard Wright. and box-shaped objects painted in high gloss by Nathan Coley.
Much of the energy behind the gallery comes from the large and vibrant community ofartists working in the city at present. But the market for their work is almost non-existent. ‘The project is a first step in a long term strategy. This is the Merchant City and money is being spent. You have to introduce the idea to people that it‘s a perfectly valid thing to buy a small work of contemporary art and take that home and put it on the wall. as much as it is to buy a Philipe Stark ashtray.‘ (Beatrice Colin)
Pure Fiction. Inter/media Gallery. Glasgow, until 29 May.
‘They are a nation devoid of council, 0 that they were wise, that they would consider their letter end.’ Anne llarnlyn looks at Galum Golvln’s computerised update of the fire and brimstone approach.
Eight years ago Galum Colvin was inspired by the way the 15th century artist, Hieronymus Bosch, had combined contemporary images in a moral diagram illustrating ‘The Seven Deadly Sins and Four Last Things’. Golvin thought of trying to rework the painting into a contemporary allegory, but only In the last eight months has he been able to put his ideas into practice, thanks to a commission from Edinburgh’s Portfolio Gallery for an exhibition created with the most up- to-the-minute computer technology.
Golvin came back to Scotland last year after a long absence in tendon and began working on the exhibition from a studio in Portobello. The Portfollo’s director, Gloria Chalmers, suggests that as a ‘returned native’, Golvin has been able to use the Scottish references In his work more freely and directly. The artist is less emphatic about the ways in which this homecoming has affected his work, but recognises with enthusiasm the freedom the computer has given him to develop his image making. ‘Thls is the most successful work I’ve made In a long time,’ he says and there are
photo-montage created through the computer.
The kilted action-man from his past work has survived as a protagonist in the tableaux, sailing on a tea-trolley into a barren landscape in ‘Avarice’; waging war with the artist himself (an enemy ciansman) in ‘Anger’; preenlng and posing In front of a mirror in ‘Pride’; kneeling in transported worship of the ‘False Prophet’, Elvis in ‘Envy’; languishing In doped vacuity in ‘Sloth’ and playing an absurd Gupid in ‘lust’.
Galum Golvin's “Lust” Scottishness, not one smothered by heather, tartan and shoribread. Though the images have an oppressive cynicism in their approach to the contemporary world, the purpose of all this is certainly not to pass a moral ultimatum; there is always a promise of salvation at the Last Judgement. The faith expressed in this post- industrial divine allegory is not, perhaps, in any iorrn of deity, but in integrity in the face of an Incompetent and hypocritical culture whose detritus is brought back to haunt us on
Exhibitions are listed by city, then alphabetically by venue. Shows will be listed, provided that details reach our offices at least ten days before publication. Art and Exhibition Listings compiled by Beatrice Colin.
I ART EXPOSURE GALLERY 38 Bath Street. 353 236i. Mon—Sat 10.30am—6pm. Bryan Evans Until 29 May. The first major solo show for this award-winning artist whose work depicts Glasgow tenements and rain-soaked streets. I ART GALLERY & MUSEUM, KELVINGROVE 357 3929. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun 11am—5pm. Cafe. [D]. Voluntary guides are available free of charge to conduct parties or individuals round the main galleries. Ask at the enquiry desk. A World of Difference Sat 8 May—20 Jun. Originally collected as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Oxfam in 1992. a selection of photographs highlighting the various projects the organisation is involved with worldwide. The Threads of life Until 13 Jun. An exploration of textile traditions and techniques from Africa. Asia. Central America and Europe. The show includes a wide variety of woven. printed and embroidered textiles. Butterflies — Who Cares? Fri 14 May—20 June. Butterflies are becoming an endangered species. Find out why and what is being done by conservationists to prevent their decline in this illustrated show. I BARCLAY LEflIIIE FINE ART 203 Bath Street. 226 5413. Mon-Fri 10am—5pm; Sun 10am—1pm. The Jessie M. King Archive provides information on all aspects of the popular Scottish artist. Imagining Still Until 29 May. Powerful and disturbing paintings by Joseph Urie. I ROGER BILLGLIEEE FINE ART 134 Blythswood Street. 332 4027. Mon—Fri 9.30am—5.30pm. Gordon Mitchell: Not So Still Life Sat 1—29 May. Surreal and amusing still lifes. Peter Michael’s Glasgow Sat 1—29 May. Studies of the city‘s most famous buildings. I BLYTHSWOOO GALLERY 44 Washington Street. 204 2779. Mon—Fri 10am—5pm; Sat 10am—1pm. The Glasgow Boys and Other Scottish Artists Until 29 May. Paintings by MacTaggart. Eardle . Paterson and others. I BURHSIOE GALLE Y I90 Dukes Road. 613 3663. Wed—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun noon—4pm. Scottish Landscape Until 29 May. Scenes front cities and the countryside. I RURRELL COLLECTION Pollokshaws Road. 649 715I. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sun Ham-5pm. Cafe. [D]. The collection of Edwardian tycoon William Burrell. including furniture. paintings. ceramics and glass. housed in an elegant. purpose—built gallery. Recorded descriptions and thermofonns available for the benefit of visually impaired visitors. A Force for Renewal; The Tapestries of Jean lurcat Until 27 Jun. Working between 1930 and I960. this painter revitalised the ancient art of tapestry weaving. This is a selection of huge. colourful pieces depicting a range of subject matter including the signs of the zodiac and themes explored by
certainly changes in this new work: There is certainly no smug the turn of the tide like the oil of the contemporary poets.
the ‘trornpe l’oell’ Images painted over nationalism in any of this. Implicit in eraer disaster. I cgsnsmur woMAIIIOUSE 390
the still life set-ups are gone and the Images, there seems to be a cry ealum eolvin, Portfolio Gallery, Ardencraig Road. 634 1371. Ham—3pm. Lcolvln has embraced sophisticated for a genuine and responsible Edinburgh, until Sat 29 May. Queen of the Hidden Mon IO-Fri 14
55 The List 7—20 May I993