Narcissus: Twentieth Century Self-Portraits

National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun I Apr

It is the ultimate act of self-revelation. In self-portraiture, the artist assumes the unique position of being both viewer and viewed. We as viewers are watching the artists watch


Drawing together over 50 works comprising prints, painting and photography by some of Scotland's most notable artists, the exhibition serves as an overview of the

developments of the self-portrait in

the 20th century. From the conventional head and shoulders portraits by JD. Fergusson, Anne Redpath and Sir William George

Gillies to the more abstract works of

Gwen Hardie in Navel - a self-portrait in the broadest sense as flesh-like tones suffuses the canvas and David Williams' Source as five photographic panels reflect not the artist's but your own reflection.

But it is perhaps the contemporary

Jenny Saville's Plan (1993)

preview ART


* Artbeat

News and views from the world of art

TURNER PRIZE NOMINEE Vong Phaophanit's newly commissioned work, comprising twelve larch tree trunks, was installed at Tyrebagger forest, near Aberdeen last week. Phaophanit has placed the trees in a line creating a sculptural wall. Each trunk has in turn been drilled with holes which, when looked through, frame a unique view of the landscape. Commissioned by Art in Partnership, Phaophanit's sculpture joins other newly commissioned work by Daziel and Scullion, Donald Urquhart and Simon Beeson.

ARTISTS RODERICK BUCHANAN, Nathan Coley and Elizabeth OglIVIC were among the f0urteen recipients of a £25,000 Scottish Arts Council Creative Scotland Award 2001 last week. With this newly acouued finanCial aSSistance, the three artists WIII embark on a range of proiects including Buchanan’s plans for a major new artwork using film which deems to uncover the precise JOUIIIC‘Y taken by the 18th century Scottish reformer

works of the 805 and 905 that pack the most visually striking punch. Jenny Saville‘s Plan, 1993 on loan from the Saachi Collection has huge presence both in terms of its

scale and subject-matter. Inspired by the cosmetic surgery

ads found in the classified sections of women's magazines, Saville confronts the viewer with an obese, full-sized female nude. Mapped out in the folds of her flesh are the surgeon's preparatory markings for incision. Conjuring up notions of female beauty, the desired stereotype of the

female form is brought into question. But there is also

something quite vulnerable about Saville's painting. The left arm, folded across the breasts grasps her right side. The head painted small tilts to one side. Thoughts immediately fall on the physicality of the figure, but few thoughts are spared for the person inside.

Equally striking is Peter I-Iowson's Nimrod in which the

body appears to stripped bare of its protective skin,

revealing only the muscular system of the body. Dogged by

years of alcoholism, Howson presents himself as a tortured figure. In three paintings by Joyce Gunn Cairns, she exposes her self-loathing of her naked body. In one portrait, she even dehumanises the face.

On a lighter note, Andy Wiener’s humorous photographic works from the series A Rake’s Progress show people in a pub sporting a photographic mask of Wiener's own face. Aerial photographer Patricia Macdonald turns the lens in on herself with two pictures, one showing the shadow of her body cast on the ground, the other showing the shadow of an aeroplane. Douglas Gordon’s Self-portrait as Kurt Cobain as Andy Warhol as Myra Hindley as Marilyn Munroe is a negative-sized photograph of himself in a blond wig.

Although self-portraiture allow the artists to control their own representation, the works on show are nonetheless deeply personal. You feel as though you're spying on their innermost thoughts. (Helen Monaghan)

Thomas Murr. Coley plans to travel to North and South America, Europe and Scotland to research constructed space and the wilderness which Will be developed into a series of radio broadcasts and an artist’s book. And Ogilvie will create an installation featuring a vast reflecting pool wrth public access and catwalks. We await the outcome.

THE FIRST WINNER of the The Times/Artangel Open award, Michael Landy, takes up residence in London's C&A store on Oxford Road for his commission Break Down from Saturday 10—Saturday 24 February. The London-born artist whose work was first shown at the

MIXED MEDIA Peter McGoldrick,

i Michael Wilkinson and Janice McNab

Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat

24 Feb

Michael Wilkinson's Triptych

It seems as though not a day goes by 9 without seeing an advert for Gap.

Whether on buses, TV or a fully Gap- clad passer-by, the American high

I street giant is omnipresent. Gap and

fashion advertising is the muse for Peter McGoldrick’s first solo show of new paintings entitled Jesus died for

Gucci. Stripping the industry bare of all its allure and surface gloss, McGoldrick presents us wrth a series of arresting images.

Gap for Gimps shows a masked figure in tight bondage outfit With the words ’Every One In Pain’. You can Just imagine the TV ad campaign for that one. In ’Let’s pretend to be poor’ (scotmid), a well-turned out woman shown only from the waist down, carries a Scotmid carrier bag. Immediately conjuring notions of wealth, it makes you question whether she would really do her shopping there. In MODERN L/V/NG MADE EASY, a series of five paintings, a label Junkie goes one step further by tattoorng the word ’Prada’ onto his flesh.

Also showrng off new work IS Michael Wilkinson. Referencmg obscure German electronic musrc and the graphic qualities of 805 Vinyl, the works are qurte nostalgic. A particular favourite is Triptych in which Wilkinson recreates a series of albums. Placed on

the floor, leaning against the wall, five orange covers sit alongside a blue and white cover and a picture disk. With no text, only the design remaining, have a go at guessing the artist. Here’s an easy one for you: The Smiths’ Hatfu/ of Ho/low IS the blue and white one.

And in the gallery’s Proiect Room are two new paintings by Janice McNab. Stephanie Is Too Sma// For Her Age shows a small child twrrling round in a darkened room. Dark shadows fall across her face, the eyes are barely

Visible. In Laurie is Hyperactive, a family i in darkness. Continumg McNab’s investigation into chemical warfare on the domestic

Sit round a table

front, these are very moving images. Reading the accompanying text, you discover that the whole family developed organophosphate porsoning from discarded cans of Diazinon sheep dip left by their vegetable patch.

Three diverse artists. Three good reasons why you should go. (Helen Monaghan)

' legendary Freeze exhibition of 1988, has made an inventory of life documenting every single thing he

owns. From his Koala bear slippers to his Chris Offili print which he won in a Time Out competition,

Landy has created a special artist‘s book. For more information on Landy’s possessions check out the website www.artangel.org.uk

Phaophanit's sculptural wall

at Tyrebagger


l-IS Feb 2001 THE U81 81