EDINBURGH'S DEAN GALLERY IS THE NEWEST addition to the National Galleries of Scotland portfolio of venues. According to Keith Hartley, deputy keeper at the Gallery Of Modern Art, it will allow ‘a more continuous stream of exhibitions of contemporary art.’ With the Dean bringing together invigorating work by younger artists, the table seems set for an increasingly broad exhibitions programme. ‘We are hoping to bring artists from Scotland and abroad and build good relations with overseas galleries,’ says Hartley, ‘1 hope the Dean will initiate shows that will tour to venues in Britain and beyond? Strategically placed opposite the National Gallery Of Modern Art, just beyond Edinburgh’s West End, the Dean is a 166- year-old building which has been nipped and tucked into its latest role by Terry Farrell and Partners, the architects behind Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre and the M16 headquarters in London. It was no easy brief. As this is a Grade A listed building, planning restrictions ensured that alterations had to be kept to a minimum. What’s more, the building was originally constructed as an orphan hospital by Thomas Hamilton, one of Scotland’s most revered architects — he designed the famous Royal High School on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. Today’s architects have used colour to inject a blast of late 20th century modemity. The warm shades and tones of the Dean Gallery have more in common with a Mediterranean-influenced style bar than the chilly white cubes which are de rigeur as art spaces. Which is apt. Over the last year or so, Edinburgh’s contemporary art scene has warmed up its act. Often
NEW ARTS VENUES
seen as a maiden aunt to Glasgow’s more middle-youth approach to contemporary art, Edinburgh has seemed happier peddling the past than promoting the resolutely contemporary. But, with Devolution and the opening of the Scottish Parliament just around the corner, the new gallery is well-timed: Scotland can‘t rest on its artistic laurels. The Dean’s floor of galleries devoted to temporary exhibitions should have a big impact on Scotland’s art scene. Moreover, the opening of the touring British Art Show in April 2000 in the Dean and other Edinburgh venues, will further spice the Capital‘s art stew.
The first fruit of the programme is a show of work by the German photographer Andreas Gursky, while over the summer their will be an exhibition of new work by Gary Hume, the artist who has found fame painting the likes of Kate Moss and Tony Blackburn in hi-gloss household paint. Hume has been selected to represent Britain in the 1999 Venice Biennale — an international exhibition marking a high point on the contemporary art calendar — which will boost the buzz around the artist's Dean show.
The Dean will also enable the National Galleries to give more extensive coverage to its Dada and Surrealist collection, considered to be one of the finest in the world. The ground-floor galleries will permanently display work by Dali, Magritte, Man Ray and others including Scotland’s own Eduardo Paolozzi. In fact, the Leith-born artist is to receive star treatment — his studio is to be recreated at the Dean.
The Dean Gallery, Belford Road, Edinburgh opens on Sat 27 Mar. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun 2—5pm. Admission free except for some temporary exhibitions. For information call 0131 624 6200.
From top left, clockwise: Gary Hume’s After Petrus Chrlstus, 1994; The Dean Gallery interior; Andy Warhol’s Portrait Of Maurice, 1976; Rene Magritte’s The Bungler, 1935; Eduardo Paoloul's London Zoo Aquarium, 1951 and Man Ray's Aviary. 1919
Dean Gallery exhibition line-up
Andreas Gursky: Photographs 1994-1998
Stylisth stark interiors of Prada shops and vast open-plan workplaces caught on camera by
the German artist, Andreas Gursky.
An unnerving pictorial essay of modern life at the end of the 20th century. See Frontlines, page 4. Sat 27 Mar—Sun 76 May.
John Coplans: A Self-Portrait 1984—1997
Work by the 79-year-old British- born, New York resident, who for the last twenty years photographed
his own naked body. Sat 29 May-Sun 25 Ju/.
New Paintings By Gary Hume The London-born artist and promi- nent member of the so-called Brit Pack, who has been selected to represent Britain in this year’s Venice Biennale, shows his new work for the first time. Wed 77 Aug-Sun 77 Oct.
Magritte, the celebrated Surrealist, whose bowler-batted gent set against a blue and cloudy sky is one of the 20th century’s most enduring images, is given a mini- retrospective. Wed 22 Dec-Sun 26 Mar 2000.
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