Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 9 Nov-Sat 14 Dec

Richard Wilson describes 20:50 as his party piece. First created in 1987 for Matt’s Gallery in London, this seminal site-specific installation flooded the gallery space with a sea of sump oil. The viewer, walking along a trench-like walkway in the midst of a steel tank containing gallons of reflective oil, had to re-examine the immediate surroundings. The architecture of the space was reflected in the sleek, black motionless surface, which in turn created an overwhelming and disorientating experience.

20:50, which is being rebuilt for the launch of the Saatchi Gallery’s new premises in April, is a classic example of how Richard Wilson challenges preconceptions. For over 20 years, the internationally celebrated artist has made inspired architectural interventions and site-specific installations that have made us question our sense of space and of the environment around us. In She Came in through the Bathroom Window (1989), a section of gallery window was removed from its housing and

brought into the gallery space. In Deep End (1994), a huge fibre-glass swimming pool was suspended

upside down from a 60ft pipe.

More recently, Wilson’s public artworks have included Set North for Japan, a full-scale reconstruction of his home in London reduced to a metal frame, and Over Easy, a section of curtain walling placed within a purpose-built bearing of The Arc arts centre in Stockton-on-Tees, which rotates to slowly reveal the internal working of the space through the windows enclosed in the bearing.

So how does Wilson go about making these

Model of Slice of Reality, 2000

while working with the architectural space. Inspired by the act of demolition from an early age,

Wilson says Christmas was a time when you got the

screwdriver out and took your toys apart as opposed to playing with them. ‘lt’s a way of familiarising yourself with your world,’ he says. ‘To understand it, you’ve got to take it apart and peer into it and see how it’s put together.’

But Wilson has been criticised in the past for ‘violating architecture’ because of a dislike for it, a claim he vehemently denies. ‘lt’s a very sensitive choreographing of a space so if there is a direct cut


News from the world of art

AS DOUGLAS GORDON’S retrospective exhibition opens at London’s Hayward Gallery on 1 November, the National Galleries of Scotland have announced yet another

postponement of their proposed exhibition of his work. Originally planned for this summer, Scottish audiences will have to wait another two years to see the first major show of the Glasgow-born artist’s work since he won the Turner Prize in 1996. The director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Richard Calvocoressi explained that both the Galleries and Gordon felt that the refurbished Royal Scottish Academy was a more suitable venue so it was agreed to postpone until the next available slot in 2004.

Douglas Gordon

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incredible structures? Irons in the Fire reveals all in a touring exhibition of sketches, drawings and models detailing the complex workings of over 20 projects. From visiting the site on invitation and taking photographs to making the models, Wilson takes

into the building or there is something that is enlisted from the building as part of the work, it is done incredibly sensitively and is returned afterwards,’ he says. ‘I try to challenge preconceptions and by looking at my work I hope to challenge what you think

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things in the world, albeit bits of ships or swimming pools, and adapts, pulls apart and changes them



Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, until Sat 16 Nov COO.

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LIMITED EDITION PRINTS BY Anya Gallaccio, commissioned by the DCA, are on sale and on show at the DCA Print Gallery in Dundee. White Ice/Black Ice, is a pair of prints consisting of a screenprint on perspex and an etching and continue Gallaccio’s fascination with the transformation of natural substances.

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