NEW SCOTTISH ART FEATURE
Scatter was held in the Third Eye Centre in I989 and included work by seven artists including Wendy Murdo. Callum lnnes. Gareth Fisher. Linda Taylor. Kevin Henderson. Graeme Todd and Louise Scullion.
‘There was a very strong perception both
within and outside Scotland that the only kind of
art being made was energetic figurative painting.’ says curator of the show. Andrew Nairne. ‘And by I989. four years after the New lmagc Glasgow show. this really wasn’t the case. There were other things going on and it was felt that there was another exhibition needed to cool the temperature a little bit and express other things that were happening.
‘There was an international change in the climate and there was a movement back towards abstract and cooler painting and. inevitably. conceptual art. Callum lnnes was the most obvious success of show but several other artists also went on to bigger things. But one of the most important side effects was that art students who were working in Glasgow at the time noticed that this show signalled that you didn‘t have to be a figurative. male painter to be interesting.‘
Detail from Installation at third Eye Centre, Glasgow 1988, Louise Scullion
The third and final Smith Biennial was held in Stirling. also in 198‘). and featured the work of 2| artists. Much of the work was installation and the show is now recognised as important in launching several artists into the public arena.
‘What we were interested in was work in which nothing was taken for granted.’ the selectors wrote in the catalogue at the time. ‘We were reacting against established modes . . . sometimes we were
just picking up on some current of thought which
Jane Wilson and loulse Wilson
had been going for some time but hadn’t been recognised.‘
‘The last Smith Biennial was quite a considered show.‘ points out Nicola White who was one ofthe selectors. ‘It was carefully curated and was quite useful. It‘s interesting as the prize-winners were Julie Roberts. Douglas Gordon and the Wilson twins (who were part of the recent Bad Girls Show at the (TA). all of whom went on to make quite a name for themselves and establish a career.‘
NEW ART IN SCOTLAND
You may not have heard of any of the 30 names who have been selected for the New Art ln Scotland series of exhibitions at the (TA. Among them are a female artist whose piece is a self~ portrait in scent. an abstract artist who paints straight on to the wall and a painter who has made a video of himself eating breakfast. (‘hosen from an open submission of work by 270 artists currently practising in Scotland by Nicola White. CCA's exhibition director. Douglas Gordon. artist. and Jane Lee. an art historian. the New Art In Scotland season aims to bring the freshest. most exciting and experimental art to into the spotlight. ‘In some ways it serves as a survey show of what‘s happening in Scotland at the moment. but like any slimy. it will always be a version.‘ points out Nicola White. ‘lt is meant to throw open the gates.‘
Split into three separate shows. the works fall roughly under three separate themes. In the first show. the accent is on abstract painting; in the second. on quirky. less traditional mediums such as film. video. sound works and sculpture in water. neon and ice. and the third on neo-
Caravan 1994, Carol Rhodes
conceptualism such as that seen in the 'l‘ransmission and lntermedia galleries.
So where is Scottish art now'.’ ‘No-one is developing a particularly Scottish language and I don‘t see what the point of it would be.‘ says Nicola White. "l‘he artists are broadly between 25 and 40 and their interests lie with their peer group in liurope and America. It's quite cosmopolitan. In the show there are also quite a
lot of artists who aren‘t Scottish-born. a lot of
them have come here to practice as artists from places such as Paris. Canada. New Zealand and America.
And is this the definitive version for 94'? ‘I hope it will stimulate people.‘ says Nicola White. ‘and be an opportunity to recognise the vitality of contemporary art practice in Scotland. It will cause a lot of debate. It‘s like sticking your head over the parapet and saying. “We think this is interesting". and you know there's going to be a chorus of people saying. “No. no. no." J New Art in Scot/um] Part I is at the (TA until / ()(‘I
The List I) 22 Scptcmlwt' I‘I‘M 11