ART reviews

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For the Temples Of The Greeks... by Ian Hamilton Finley

Opening Exhibition Edinburgh: lngleby Gallery until 1 Aug.

Talk is that Edinburgh's art scene IS on the up. Often accused of resting easy on its historical laurels, the city is at last shovving its muscle and a more resolutely contemporary Vigour. Yet is this just another case of sure-handed hype management of the so-callecl ’tartan renaissance?

it seems not. The lngleby Gallery is the latest addition to the line-up of city galleries, and is evrclence that there is a belief that Edinburgh and Scotland as a Whole can support a contemporary art market. While a cluster of commercial galleries already QXISI, their eiiipliaSis is on past masters, leaving a yawning gap in the contemporary scene. Scotland has the artists, the money, and -- it is hoped —- the inclination to buy, but it doesn’t have the commercial outlets. That is a role the lngleby Gallery wants to fill, and it is thinking big It 'aims to become Scotland's leading venue for the bast of contemporary and 20th century British art'

Occupying a Georgian house on

Carlton Terrace, the gallery is similar to the New Town's Bellevue Gallery - another recent addition to this new breed of commercial contemporary spaces. Although it doubles up as a family home, the lofty ground floor rooms are given over to art. lt’s run by Richard and Florence lngleby (Richard is an art critic for The Independent), who left London with the plan to open a gallery and create a space that does not intimidate with a bleached- White starkness.

At the moment, London pretty much monopolises the market, which is something the lnglebys want to challenge. Numerous Scotland-based artists rarely show their work in this country’s galleries or have an agent in their homeland. In the opening show there are works by artists who are regularly seen up here Callum lnnes, John McLean, Craigie Aitchison and Ian Hamilton Finlay but often Without a price tag attached. The hope is that art buyers Will start to shop locally, while foreign buyers will think ’Scotland' before they think 'London'. Let’s hope the red dots are prolific. (Susanna Beaumont)

Beatrice Maleyre

Edinburgh: Talbot Rice Gallery & lnstitut Francais D'Ecosse until Sat 25 Jul as s-

Salt Pile: Beatrice Maleyre's work at the Institut

It is not often that an artistcan command occupancy of two art spaces in Edinburgh. French artist

70 Til! LIST 9—23 Jul 1998

Beatrice Maleyre manages this coup but does not, however, completely pull it off.

Mirrors feature in both spaces. At the Institut, salt blocks (as in the ones given to cattle) are arranged in a circular pile. One mirror Sits in the middle, another hovers above the saline creation. There is a definite dizziness when yOur eyes cast a look into this eprOSion of tunnelled space and duplicated reflections, but the drawings on the wall lack vrsual thrills. Reminiscent of root canals in teeth, they are made from melted and doubtless watered-down chocolate. Perhaps there are some culinary references to tune into, but they are too elusive to be engaging.

At the Talbot Rice, Maleyre steps more into stride. A large circular mirror rests flat Just above floor level while two model trains travel around the perimeter. Entitled Space In Between, the piece makes references to the eye, says Maleyre. At the centre of the mirror is a small dark pool mirrored eye with a pupil at its centre. Thoughts turn to 'windows onto the soul' and the conceit that every eye looked into creates the looker’s Own reflection. The trains well, perhaps the tracks of your mind.

(Susanna Beaumont)

Picasso & Printmaking In Paris Glasgow: Hunterian Art Gallery until Mon 28 Sep * * “k a:

Arguably the century's most influential artist, this quality exhibition of Picasso prints is impresswe. Hanging at the Hunterian, it presents the Spaniards work alongside Matisse, Braque and Delaunay.

Comprising pieces from the British Museum and Glasgow UniverSity collections, the show is a tribute to the creative fervour of Picasso and his peers in Paris before and after World War II. Etchings, linocuts and woodcuts may be familiar techniques, but Picasso stretched each medium, developing innovative methods, simultaneously subverting traditional procedures.

The show spans the early, delicate figurative work through to the bold, almost impenetrable abstracts of his middle years, concluding with his final series of erotic etchings drawn at the age of 80. The recurring subjects of sex, women and the minotaur, for instance, pomt to a libido that was a major force behind his work. (Paul Welsh)

Karen lngham Edinburgh: Portfolio Gallery until Sat 25 Jul it at shit

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A photograph from Karen Ingram's Lost

Childhood is usually recalled as a blissful period when persuading mum to buy you a new bike was about as difficult as things got. Taking a far-from- sentimental look at those formative years is Karen lngham's Lost, which explores Our fears for the safety of children in an increasingly complex world

Particularly menacing are the colour series of small, back-lit transparencies which present images suggesting a child at play has in some way been disturbed a Barbie doll lies abandoned in soil, a bike is left at the edge of a wood. Appealing to our instincts to nurture and protect, these images leave us to imagine the scene lurking beyond the frame. In prints of the photographer’s family, we are presented With experiences of childhood, family and the loss of innocence, be it through sexual awakening or ’contamination' at the hands of grown-ups.

In this highly topical show, lngham skilfully manipulates her subiect matter so that, in isolation, each piece could be seen to represent a JOYOUS wrapped-in- cotton-wool time, but together they hint at an overwhelming vulnerability. Reminiscent of numerous horrific headlines, the collection is a discomforting warning about the difficulty, or perhaps impossibility, of keeping a child's world pure. (Claire Prentice)

Adrian Wiszniewski

Glasgow: Glasgow Print Studio until Sat 25 Jul sir we sir

Adrian Wiszniewski is unmistakably himself. The artist who in the 1980s was dubbed a Glasgow Boy, forming part of a band of painters, continues to present his personal Vision and perhaps a crusade. His new show, E-Pi'x at Glasgow Print Studio, is no epic storm, more a relaxed Wash in shapes, colour and light.

The ongomg anXiety about the possible death of painting is answered back in Dead Good a perhaps political painting Which comes with the hefty tag of £20,000. In Blue Interior and Strawberryade there are echoes of Matisse, along With Vivid colour and some reliably good drawing. Meanwhile, the twelve-panel abstract Comfortable Armchair is definitely easy viewing. This is so far from angst, it's almost Glasgow’s moneyed quarter, Newton Mearns, which is probably where the painting Will end up. (Paul Welsh)