Peter Doig/Udomsak


Edinburgh: Fruitmarket until Sat 27 Mar it?

A chilly air blows from the paintings of Peter DOig. Tracks of open land, a Juggernaut charging through the darkness along the highway, a holiday home -- all seem touched With a chill- cabinet kind of moodiness. Listen hard

; enough and you could well hear a

mourriful cry a lone dog howling or mutterings of domestic despair. Doiri was born in Edinburgh and

spent his childhood in Canada He’s an

artist who has received acclaim for llil(?( ting painting With a Vigour when it was llt‘llifi increasingly castigated as a nei‘ir-reoundant medium in the 80s.

: With their T‘.‘.'lll Pt.>al<.s‘-isli overtones ~ is

that a sat-xiiiill in the background? the paintings successfully kicked aSIde

the notion that the great outdoors was

all fun and games and lyrical good looks Contemporary painting could be impassioned But then again, maybe

1 it's jllSl the unfamiliarity of the

Canadian landscape that allows us

small islanders to imagine all sorts of


misdemeanoiirs taking place behind a blanket of fir trees

Reflection (What Does Your Soul look Like) by Peter D

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The trouble is that the gallery is filled with this quiet foreboding and it never quite gets anywhere. What is needed is a change in tempo. It is like a film soundtrack: the suggestion of menace is definitely there, but neither the first nor the final blow in mood development is reached. The chill levels remain static.

Alongside Dorg’s paintings are works by Udomsak Krisanamis. A Thai-born artist who now lives in New York, his meditative collages of 'transparent cellophane noodles’ and acrylic paint are strangely engaging. In Loop Of Fury, a length of plastic loops across the canvas. The pent-up fury is near palpable Elsewhere tiny dots of colour are scattered across canvases Vital punctuation pOints, breathing spaces that pierce through the darkness. In this claustrophobic world they deliver respite from density and intensity.

For all this, Krisanamis’s paintings are mesmerising. It is as if he is trying to make sense of this world and the way he sees it. The titles of the work, such as This Painting Is Good For Her or Je Voudrais Une Chambre Avec Douche, offer no illumination except, of course, that life throws up a world of intrigue. (Susanna Beaumont)

Edinburgh: Collective Gallery until Sat 27 Feb *'

Janice McNab’s Cell

1 Angst is arguably one of Britain's main

' cultural exports, this painting show,

l)()\‘.’(".’(“f, isn't all angsty doom and

f gloom John Tiriiberlake, for one, has turned his back on the studio and

sidetracked into a bedroom project where he created fake apocalypses With egg boxes So how do you react to Blue

Peter Armageddon?

Is there a nostalgia for our Cold War past and a hankering for a plausible response to the ceaseless cry 'Is there anyone out there?’ Perhaps it is the work of contemporary ‘others', Such as aliens, that can provrde the answer. Liz Arnold's cartoon style encapsulates a dream-like space. Strange forces are at work in a mutated Vision that lies somewhere between Fortean Times and South Park. Her characters are lonely or rust plain absent, their presence signalled only by their fabulous shoes.

Arnold’s world is more playful than the one Janice McNab interrogates. McNab shows large canvases produced in the brutal light of a New Mexrco residenCy. The isolation and veiled threats of her black shadows and brilliantly muted colours bring into focus the lives of people in a desert eXile comprising organic food and clean air. A caravan holiday this is not here your caravan seems closer in mood to an underground bunker. These are the -V|CllmS of chemical exposure: a kind of Gulf War Syndrome minus the war bit. The implication of the show seems to be that, if the aliens don't get us, then we Will get ourselves in the end. (William Silk)

reviews ART

Archibald Skirving

Edinburgh: National Portrait Gallery until Mon SApr area

Eclipsed by the success of his contemporary Henry Raeburn, Archibald Skirving did not so much lead a qUiet life as one little talked about today. Even the show’s title, Raeburn’s Rival, suggests he can't hold his own and, perhaps unfairly, that he was constantly competing with Raeburn. Even his name, Archibald Skirving, suggests a man not short on scheming tendencies.

That said; Skirving is an accomplished artist. He painted Scotland’s gentry with lightly flushed cheeks and a look of overwhelming benevolence. His women Sitters are not great glitzy society variety but gentle-faced, slightly retiring sorts who doubtless saw themselves as the backbone of ’good sooety.’ Standard portraiture maybe, but Skirving does deserve coverage if only to show that together with Raeburn and Allan Ramsay, Scotland had a thriving and confident art scene in theIBth/19th century.

(Susanna Beaumont)

Self-Portrait by Archibald Skirving

New Architects

Glasgow: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum until Sun 21 Feb “a:

For two weeks this January, sited on the concourse of Glasgow’s Central Station, stood a pistachio-coloured cube next to the man who sells real pistachios. Glasgow qUickly found a use for this most impractical of objects couples met next to it. One morning a large footprint was spotted on the cube’s exterior. PeOple were gorng inside.

Now relocated to Kelvmgrove, the cube is in fact a showcase of young architectural businesses. Taking its name, New Architects from a book of the same title, inside its four walls are panels of text and photographs and an interactive computer game. One Video makes you want to be an architect and wear the seemingly obligatory JarVis Cocker spectacles. Another video asks questions about what architecture can do. lvlany Scottish architectural firms are represented including 200, who are currently refurbishing Glasgow’s Tramway. New Architects is meant to encourage you to think about architecture. It does. I wonder if someone c0uld build me a 'cube.’ Part of Glasgow 99. (Moira Jeffrey)

Tongues Of Diamond Glasgow: Collins Gallery until Sat 13 Feb «we

Detail from Three Ladies Whom I Like by Alison Harper

The five women artists in Tongues Of Diamond are 805 graduates from Glasgow School Of Art, a time that Witnessed a resurgence in figurative painting. Their work represents this strand which has flourished qUietly ever since. It's meditative in style and theme. In this selection there is an emphasis on storytelling and metaphor, on public and private mythologies.

Helen Flockhart is probably the best known of the five. Her painting Legacy deals with the William Wallace we know from the minstrel tradition rather than the mowe. It is a kind of history painting that readily acknowledges the myth and legend layered on the man. Lesley Burr's vividly coloured landscapes are emotional rather than topographical. Debbie Lee and Alison Harper both paint With explicit reference to mythology. Lee works on classical themes, while Harper's studies in India have lead her to playfully depict more contemporary goddesses such as Princess Diana and Barbie. (Mona Jeffrey)

4—‘18 Feb 1999 THE LIST75