ART PREVIEW MFA Glasgow
Glasgow: Tramway until Sat 4 Jul.
Glasgow School of Art's MFA students have always displayed a wry sense of humour. Several years ago, their degree show was titled 'Lemmings On The March’. This time round, the show's invitation card boasts a picture of a hotel swimming pool and sun lounges. Such optimism, such dreams.
This year is the tenth anniversary of the prestigious art course. In celebration, the Masters of Fine Arts students are escaping the partition walls of the art school to show at Glasgow’s Tramway. For many students this might be deemed an intimidating experience, but for graduates of one the most esteemed Masters courses in Britain, it seems totally apt. There is also the added bonus that the purveyor of stylish household fittings, Habitat, are putting up five £1000 prizes.
The two-year course has places for around twenty students. Working in a diverse range of media, it has, as graduating artist Rose Thomas remarks, ’an open-ended structure, whereby painters work alongside sculptors and video-makers. It creates a vibrant dynamic atmosphere. I think this is one of the reasons for the course's success. People bounce ideas off each other.’
The teaching staff, which include Turner Prize winner Douglas Gordon and Glasgow’s CCA programmer Francis
Which is sort of where photographer
Wishfly (detail) by Nina lehrfreund
McKee, provide the necessary theoretical and practical rigour. It has helped to produce a roll-call of who's who in British and Scottish art today.
Ex-MFA's include Julie Roberts and Permindaur Kaur, who both showed in the hip 1996 British Art Show; Ross Sinclair of 'Real Life Rocky Mountain’ fame, an installation in which he recreated a little bit of Scotland at the CCA; Simon Starling who recently had a solo show at Transmission; Edward Stewart who these days collaborates with Stephanie Smith to create video works; and Clare Barclay, who recently returned from a Scottish Arts Council residency in Australia.
Throughout the ten years, one factor has, however, remained constant: the indomitable, legendary presence of Sam Ainsley, otherwise known as the 'guvnor'. As head of the MFA, she has single-handedly done more to advertise the art and artists of Glasgow than anyone else. With her bag of slides, she has spread MFA work with fervour. Ex-MFAs can be virtually assured that any visit to any art gallery or institution in the world will be greeted with the response: 'Ah yes, Sam Ainsley showed us your work last year.’
Not much in art education over the last decade can be described as an unparalleled success. Glasgow’s MFA can. Internationally regarded, its anniversary should serve to remind Scotland of its importance.
may have JUSI been put up or might rust as well be about to be ripped down.
This isn't the lush greenery of some mythical Merchant-Ivory land that throws up a different kind of cliche to life across the barricades. Instead it's a slightly sOiled patch of playing field that evokes a feeling of summer camp after rain’s stopped play and all the kids have gone home for tea.
The pictures are neither avoidance nor escapism, but a bleak and oblique Visual psycho-geographical map of a day-trip round the outskirts of what could be a parallel universe Belfast — if it weren't for the stray slabs of burnt- out detritus that occasionally seep into the frame en route. You can almost feel the heat as tar is picked from the
Edinburgh: Stills until Sat 1 Aug 1m 1?
With a dib-dib-dib and a ging-gang- gooly, Baden Powell changed the face of little boys games forever when he founded the Scouts. With its penchant for outdoor pursuits, loyalty to the Queen, and badge-winning and wearing, Baden Powell sounds for all the world like Ian Paisley's less narky
76 THE lIST 25 Jun-9 Jul I998
John Duncan's colour portraits of Belfast life come iii. The large-scale works steer clear of the bornhedout urban landscapes to which we’ve become numb from the glut of gritty tablordese. Rather, Duncan confounds expectations of back-street bonfires With this series of desolate peeks at a near countrified hinterland populated by wooden huts, walls and fences that
Baden Powell's moustachioed mug appears in one picture only, on the wall of a crumbling hut where presumably his iunior para-militaries once ran Wild. Now, as walls appear to be tumbling down ever faster, Duncan’s pictures would suggest it's time for little boys of all ages to throw away their woggles for good. (Neil Cooper)
Edinburgh: Fruitmarket Gallery until Tue 21 Jul aunt
The bleached white walls, wooden floorboards and flood of natural light in the Fruitmarket's upper gallery 90 well with the work of Bernard Moninot. The French artist produces exquisite investigations into perspective, form and shadows. As you wander around the clean-cut space, you find yourself stopping, staring and twisting your neck — to fathom out the fall of shadows, the line of perspective, and how the etiolated constellations appear to be trompe /’oei/ gone real 3-D.
On sheets of glass Moninot carefully arranges pigments of colour or a Sprinkling of powered sand. Spirals Spiral and lines of colour meet and depart. Often the shapes look familiar — they put you in mind of early timepieces or navigation instruments of the 17th century. Upstairs there is colour. Horizon V travels from midnight blue to pitch black and, if you look closely, you see marked out, tapering cylinders and slender lines that tease and intrigue the laws of perspective.
Moninot obviously has a curious mind. He also has a good eye for the aesthetically pleasing. The influence of Duchamp, 'king of the ready-made', is evident but it does not pull away from Moninot's ability to capture your attention and then make you wrestle with what you see before you. (Susanna Beaumont)
Fragments 0f Utopia
Edinburgh: RIAS until Fri 10 Jul * k at *
At their best, collages are visual collisions. They take you to a dream- like landscapes where the unexpected rub shoulders. This is the case with David Wild’s exhibition. Subtitled Collage Reflections Of Heroic Modernism, here Charlie Chaplin sits atop an agglomeration of wheel cogs while curvy 30$ architecture acts as a backdrop to Hitler.
As is the case with any investigation into UtOpia, you get the sense that Wild is giving you dreamy visions of the never-never. He excels at the game. There was a time when the dream seemed readily transferable into reality. Le Corbusier stands next to Nehru, no doubt talking about the architect’s vision of a built-up landscape for India. Elsewhere air balloons look set for a collision with the Russian Constructivist Tatlin and his never realised tower. Meanwhile beneath a cut-out of film director Sergei Einstein is the caption: ’lt is about time American people got wise to Einstein.’ He was believed to be spreading communism across the globe. How times change — just a bit. (Susanna Beaumont)
STAR RATINGS 1: it it t it Unmissable it it it air Very it t «k Wort a shot * it Below average * You've been warned