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FROM THE SAATCHI GIFT Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 9 Feb

If one name is associated with contemporary art in the UK, it’s Charles Saatchi, thanks to the advertising magnate’s avid collecting and knack for hyping up the supposed shock tactics of the YBAs he favours. In 1999, Saatchi donated some 100 works from his collection with the express intention of making them available to a wider public, and the latest show selected from his ‘gift’ opens at Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery.

’I think I would interpret the selection I have made as a very accessible one,’ says Pat Fisher, assistant curator at the Talbot Rice Gallery. ‘The works are mainly paintings, and the figuration in the work and a quirky approach to portraiture were things that interested me in particular. I really wanted to show that people shouldn’t dismiss Charles Saatchi as being someone who only goes for shock and sensation. I wanted to encourage the public to come and see the exhibition, perhaps through the Saatchi name, then to maybe change their minds 3 little.’

These choices might avoid the slow-

news-day tabloid favourites, but that doesn’t mean that the work on show lacks the capacity to knock the viewer sideways. ‘There are some very abstract works,’ Fisher explains, ‘like the duo by Mark Francis, Positive & Negative, which at first look like something in the style of Jackson Pollock, but are in fact paintings of sperm, so in some ways the genesis of creation is there in portrait form, and it works as a counterbalance to the more graphical images. There’s a work by Alison Gill, a sculpture called Talking Dead. It’s a metal travelling trunk with a ventriloquist’s dummy inside. It’s humorous, but at the same time there’s something quite scary about it. You look at it, think you’ve seen one thing, then have to do a



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The show is nothing if not wide-ranging, with abstract pieces by the likes of Keith Coventry and Scottish artist Louise Hopkins, unnerving sculpture from Kerry Stewart and paintings by James Reilly and Simon Callery, a Saatchi favourite to the extent that the collector famously bought every last piece in the artist’s studio on his first visit. In short, it’s a chance to see some of the best work by the current generation of British artists and, perhaps, a look at the quieter side of Charles Saatchi’s role in the British art scene. (Jack Mottram)

Thought-provoking images

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News from the world of art

THE SHORTLIST FOR THIS year's Beck's Futures was announced last month and among the predominantly London-based line-up. Glasgow-born artist Toby Paterson, best known for his paintings of architectural features. will be competing fOr the 5:24.000 prize money. Described as ‘the cool alternative to the Turner Prize'. the Beck's Futures award is now in its third year and Roderick Buchanan and Tim Stoner are among the preVious winners. The exhibition of the shonlisted works will be shown at London's ICA from 29 March to 5 May. and the overall Winner will be announced on 23 April by a panel of judges which includes Marianne Faithfull. Julian Opie. Saskia Bos and Mark Francis. The exhibition will then t0ur venues around the UK including Glasgow's CCA later in the year. For more information. log onto to www.becksfuturescouk

Apollo (detail) 2001 by Toby Paterson

THE DATE HAS BEEN SET for this year’s Glasgow Art Fair, the largest contemporary art fair outside London. From Thursday 11 April until Sunday 14 April, 40 galleries across the UK and Europe will be taking up residence in Glasgow’s George Square in an effort to encourage people to buy art for their homes. For tickets call 0141 353 1937 or check out the website which will be live from 1 February, ARTIST CHRISTINE

Borland recently unveiled proposals for a new public art work commiSSioned by the University of Glasgow as part of its 550th anniversary celebrations. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997. BOrland will be creating a maior art work in one of the university's public green spaces. between the grade A-Iisted Round Reading Room and the l-lunterian Art Gallery and it is due to be opened in the Spring.