Neil Dallas Brown

Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art until Fri 30Jan avatar

There's a lot of sea in the work of Neil Dallas Brown. Born 60 years ago in Elgin, this painter-sculptor constantly eludes to the textures, light and creatures of our watery world.

New Shaped Paintings And Constructions washes gently between abstract imaginings for instance, Poem On A Grey Day or Oval Pool Dreamer to more literal descriptions. On one level at least, Silent Channel is Simply a study of marks left by a tide retreating from a beach.

Although Brown occasionally strays close to a queasy new age aesthetic, a Subtler craft pulls the majority of pieces into shape. This could be Scottish landscape painting of the future. A minimal paired down response to a big natural world, a world too often shrunk by Hollywood-cum-Highland epics and biscuit tins. The show is one man’s meditation. A relaxed, spacious celebration of a familiar environment. (Paul Welsh)

Henry Vlll's Wives

Glasgow: Transmission Gallery until Sat 31 Jan we we

Three weeks can be a long time. For instance, a few of Henry Vlll's wives only lasted 21 days of matrimony before being beheaded. Strangely enough, three weeks was also the time Transmission allotted six artists to produce the latest group show in the space.

With the axe of time and space dangling over their heads, the artists have managed to produce a haphazard but intriguing show. Henry Vl/l’s Wives is a baffling weave of media, imagery, ideas and concerns. A semblance of order only began to emerge at the end of my Vi5it.

Miniature model worlds advertise their Virtual counterparts. Three feet away, an atomic cauliflower explodes surrounded by a fleet of impotent warships. Roses dangle, their blooms covered in hardened white paste. A photograph of dead and damp rabbit lies in a hole in the floor. Photographed bodies lie dismembered, misshapen and rearranged astride an inflatable

dingy. On video in the basement, the artists stand naked and exposed. They make a few small conceSSions to personal hygiene. Get the picture? (Paul Welsh)

Sarah Tripp

Glasgow: Independent Project Studio,

until Sat 31 Jan irir‘k‘k Sarah Tripp is a hunter-gatherer sort of

artist. For her first solo show, she has hunted down abandoned paintings from the corridors of the project studio and approached artist friends to donate unwanted works. The result is an exhibition of orphaned canvases and pass-me-downs.

It makes for a motley assortment of brooding abstracts and angsty-looking figures. What Tripp has done, however, is a sort of resurrection job. Over the years she has collected phrases that have caught her eye and ear. Surveying her oddball collection, she earmarked an appropriate phrase for each work and meticulously painted the words on to the canvases.

A fleshy man dressed in only red underpants is labelled ’Love Locked Out’. An unresolved abstract, a muddy mix of greens and browns, is overlaid with ’Our Love Was Too Beautiful To Be Born'. An intense blast of yellow fringed with red has the words 'Sex In America'.

Tripp says she is 'turning up the volume’ of the paintings. That is her own interpretation, but the show is intriguing a clever ’refit’ for forgotten canvases. (Susanna Beaumont)

Donald Urquhart

Edinburgh: Talbot Rice Gallery until Sun 22 Feb it at: *

Landscape painting has long been the preserve of Sunday amateur sentimentalists buying into a land far too green and pleasant to be real. Scotland has been particularly blighted by such a notion, its rolling hills seen as one large shortbread tin illustration, usually with a piper on top. Donald Urquhart doesn’t have any truck with such out and out couthiness. in fact, he’s ditched blue skies and green pastures entirely, opting for an austere, stony-faced grey.

Different shades of grey, mind you, as seen in multiple works like Seven

A collaborative work by Transmission artists

Picture Window: a cardboard model by Siah Armaiani

Siah Armajani Edinburgh: Matthew Architecture Gallery, until Fri 6 Feb k * a: *

it is not often you come across park benches in a gallery - three to be exact and with tiny plaques to boot. Not your commemorative sort, dedicated to the deceased. these have quotes by the likes of the American philosopher Emerson. There are terracotta pots arranged around the fringes of the gallery - empty, but acting as another symbolic hint: we are in a garden. There is even a dormer window-set in the gallery wall to suggest a reversal of space.

You might not have heard of Siah Armajani, but he's an interesting guy. Born in iran and resident in the States since the 60s. he is described as a public artist. He was the man behind the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Bridge and, over the years. has designed gardens and bridges around the States.

On this gallery's wall is copy of his manifesto. Grandly entitled ’Public Sculpture In The Context of American Democracy‘, its 26 points outline what Armajani considers the crucial factors in successful public sculpture. Central to this 'garden', however, is a long refectory-like table with models arranged on it. Here a chair, there a table with littie cups and a saucers daintily placed. They are haphazard - pieces of cupboard stuck together with visible blobs of glue. This is what Armajani calls his Dictionary For Building, not a book but a collection of models.

At intervals around the table which could be seen as a model for a bridge are reading lecterns and books. This is a garden in which you can flick through catalogues on Armajani or even read a little poetry - and definitely one to sit in. (Susanna Beaumont)

I See art listings for details of talks and poetry readings at Matthew Architecture Gallery.

this is a indie formal approach than Goldsworthy’s, the lie of the land here is just as startling in its execution, putting Urquhart in a field of his own. (Neil Cooper)

Sisters, where a soothing spectrum exudes a meditative calm. Somewhere in the middle distance, rocks and waterfalls come blinking into the light, while elsewhere funereal marble is etched With text describing birdsong words like 'trill' and 'chirrup'. It paints pictures of the countryside miles away from TV's rural idyll High Road. Best of all is an audio accompaniment of stones splashing into water, adding to the overall ambience of the occasion, Like Andy Goldsworthy, Urquhart has a clear affinity with Mother Nature, though where Goldsworthy manipulates the environment, letting the end result Wither au naturel, Urquhart captures and preserves it, protecting it behind a misty veil. You can easily imagine the pouring Highland rain that no doubt accompanied these creations. While

Donald Urquhart's (Mapped Water) Lewis: Dark Grey

STAR RATINGS * * * * * Outstanding * * it it Recommended * * it Worth a try * * 50-50 at Poor

23 Jan—S Feb 1998 THE LIST 8?: