Dundee Contemporary Arts
Dundee: Nethergate ‘:‘<
Andy Warhol's Jackie
Stand With a pen and paper before LOLrise Hopkins's EurOpe Map (2) and a gallery attendant appears offering further Information, perhaps even directions. Elsev-x'nere, clusters of people are gUided around the gallery talking about Catherine Yass's images of the Tay Bridge and the number of
hooks screwed into Tony Craggs' landlocked boat. Welcome to Dundee Contemporary Arts, the city’s new £9m arts venue, where public relations are all important.
The strategy and the place works. This IS not architecture that deals in intimidation. There was concern that the Edinburgh-based architect Richard Murphy might not translate up from the predominately domestic scale of his preVious work — but he does. A large paved area, a foyer that glides into an internal 'street’, then descends into a cafe bar. This is architecture that beckons you forward, that has character Without attempting to steal the show
Prime, the opening exhibition, is full of good intentions — if not entirely satisfactory. Callum lnnes's paintings of cadmium red and raw canvas are ever bewitching; Lomse Hopkins gives gentle menace to furnishing fabric; and Andy Warhol's screenprints of Jackie Kennedy give punch. Appealing and pleasmg are the tiny apertures Showrng Videos of Ann Hamilton rolling stones around her mouth.
A Wise move to stage a something- for-everyone group show. The venue, one suspects, Will display its curatorial prowess later. (Susanna Beaumont) Prime runs until Sun 9 May.
g The Dean Gallery
Edinburgh: Belford Roar" Walk along the ritidrtight—blue corridor punctuated by display cabinets and chOice lighting fixtures, and you could easilyimagines/(>1; had tharited upon a rather stylish mail The Dean Gallery, the latest addition to the National Gallery of Scotland's portfolio, has Spurned the ('tirtterr‘ipor‘at'y art space white-look and in part adopts a 90s Shopping arcade arnbience
The conversion of '.'.rhat was a 19th Century orphanage into a gallery was bound to be If'K'KV, out it's a stitcess YOu (it; get the seixse, as you ponder another floor-in'aiti plaster foot and the 'obiets' plated in every available iil(fl(.‘, that Visual stirriiilation is on red alert Perhaps, somewhat ironically as London's new Bank-side Tate aims to offer minimal iiesrgr: intrusion, Edinburgh is taught tip on interiors Another guestioii regards the allotment of spate To various artists art politits no role
doubt have played a
Landscape by Andreas Gursky
Paolozzr, whose gift of work acted as an initial impetus to establishing the Dean, has a room given over to the contents of his studio which — fenced off and piping out choral mUSIC ~— demands veneration it doesn’t deserve. There are no intrinsic thrills at looking a piles of books and endless marquettes and, as one person was heard to say, 'it Iboks jUSI like my office'.
What is revealed is the gallery's extraordinary Surrealist and Dada collection — stunning works from the serious heavyweights including, among other knock-outs, Picasso's The Dream And Lie 0/ Franco and Breton’s The Decline Of The Bourgeoisie Soc/ety Shame, however, to see Giacometti’s Woman With Her Throat Cut eXiled into a glass cabinet, one wonders if the gift shop across the way has been a tad too influential Finally, the upper galleries, reserved for temporary shows, look good parading Andreas Gur‘sky's cool and corporate photographs (Susanna Beaumont) Andreas Gurs‘ky runs until Sun 76 May
Edinburgh: National Portrait Gallery until Sun 30 May *frsfr‘ik
The myth of hist0ry lies not so much in the way you tell it, but in who‘s doing the telling. Hence the Orwellian revisronism of Stalin, Thatcher and Blair, and likeWise in Kenny Hunter's plastic sculptures, where he swaps these three wise monkeys for the unofficial vrew. So in Space Chimp, it’s the first simian in space who’s heralded with medals, while the diplomatic double act of Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin are re-cast in a jelly- red mould — a pair of laughing boys milking the old pals act to mask their uselessness. Mount Rushmore as interpreted by Tex Avery of cartoon film fame, if you will.
Even more telling are Monica Lewmsky features translated into a mug which doubles up as a book— end. It brings to mind the plaster of Paris moulds of pedigree dogs' heads you used to get at the bottom of mousse cartons. In this he” of plastic people' Hunter both raises his subjects to iconic status and satirises them. Hunter's vision is a gurrky, critical one, as he debunks, cartoonifies and all but re-invents history. (Neil Cooper)
Intercontinental jolly-mould: Kenny Hunter
Graham Fagen Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden until Sat 1 May 9% 1k 5: e
Graham Fagen burlt up a personal 'archive' of photographs, writings and drawings that sit somewhere between a library, museum and collection. Using parts of this archive here, he forces you to take each work on its own terms through a sensrtively hung exhibition.
The eye is attracted like a bee to large colourful photographs of closely cropped blooms. The images are glossy and satisfying, while the mind takes the eye to the accompanying text: the nectar of information, you presume, that will tell you the genus or country of origin.
Instead, we are given stories exploring love, hate, class, religion, socral constructs, nationalism and nationhood. The photographs are simply a version of the reality that accompany the flowers, trees, castle and lawn surrounding lnverleith House. The work examines our reactions and thoughts: what we, the Viewers, create in the spaces between the text, the image and the ’real’.
Fagen IS an artist and does not claim to be a writer, a photographer or a sCientist. The photographs are too unfocused to be botanical. But, scientific 'reality’ gets its place at the end of the exhibition with dried examples from the Botanic's herbarium of each of the plants photographed. It is as if, sitting on the fence, you can see the grass is greener — but who said you could see the wood from the trees? (Will Silk)
This Was Now Touring: The Travelling Gallery
As magic buses go, The Travelling Gallery is a tardis of delights. For two decades it has served up contemporary art to all corners of Scodand.
This latest exhibition from the Scottish Arts C0unCil's tour bus IS of figurative work. Moyna Flanagan's paintings capture the transitory nature of life. Her SUbJECIS are living in the moment, but it’s the faces that Will last longer than the fashion clothes they parade. Jun Hasegawa's cartoon figures could have stepped straight out of Japanese manga comics, while Wendy McMurdo’s manipulated photographs set figure upon figure or contain all the fear and loathing of the annual school photo portrait. Elsewhere, Kerry Stewart's spooky sculptures are blank-eyed, troubled and alarmingly life-like.
Offering a reprieve from this quret menace is a film piece by the artist collective Henry Vlll's Wives, who attempt through acrobatics to become a human-sized, human-made exeCUtive toy. There's also Take Two’s series of performance videos, which range from slapstick sketches to 'purging through pain’ demonstrations. For such a biiou single decker, one would never guess there was so much in it. Get on board now. (Neil Cooper) at; For (Curing details see art listings.
This Was Now by Moyna Flannigan
1—15 Apr 1999 THE usr 73