National Gallery revamp wins £2m boost from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government has agreed to bankroll a radical transformation of the nation’s flagship art gallery - after its display of Scotland’s most important paintings was branded “an institutional embarrassment.”
Lifestyle 3

Haunting Scottish documentary wins acclaim in Serbia

A haunting and evocative photo documentary examining the legacy left by the Highland Clearances is attracting international attention.

Environment 2
The main entrance to the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art. Picture: Robert Perry/TSPL

Architects head to Glasgow to celebrate city’s buildings

Architectural historians from around the world will attend a birthday party for Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow this summer in recognition of his lasting international legacy.

People & Places 3
A brocken spectre caught in a fog bow from the top of Ben A'an. Picture: SWNS

In pictures: Mountain climber captures rare fog bow and spectre

A mountain climber has captured two rare weather phenomena - a fog bow surrounding a Brocken Spectre - in the same photograph.

News 6
Part of Helen Marten's installation at the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture show at the Hepworth, Wakefield.

Art reviews: Hepworth Prize for Sculpture | Rachel Maclean: Wot U :-) about?

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture is a welcome innovation, while Scottish artist Rachel Maclean skewers shallow pop culture in Manchester

Jacqueline Donachie

Ones to watch in 2017 - artist Jacqueline Donachie

Much of Jacqueline Donachie’s work is about drawing attention to things that would otherwise be invisible, but in 2017 the artist herself will take centre stage

Detail from Landscape, 1949 by William Gear, part of the Scottish Avant-Garde Art 1900-1950 exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, opening in December 2017  C. The Artist's Estate

2017 Arts Preview - The Year Ahead in Visual Art

The year ahead promises a Young Pretender, an Old Master, some modernists and a mummy – our art critics pick their highlights

Boris, by Patricia Taylor

Art review: FLY2016

“Fly” is a good Scots word. If you are fly, you are smart, but maybe a wee bit sneaky as well, though not in a malicious way. Choosing the word as the title for the VAS show this year, FLY 2016, the society’s President Robbie Bushe remembers Aberdeenshire farmers in his youth taking a break for fly cup of tea and a gossip. So he hopes this year’s show will represent the same sort of opportunity for the makers of the 200 or so works in the show selected from the 1,200 submitted. It is a chance for us, too, however to take a fly break from the bedlam of the Christmas market in the calm of the RSA to admire and reflect on it all. If you do, as you go in it is immediately striking how different this show is from the SSA one that preceded it. Not in quality. The SSA was good and so is this year’s VAS, but in style and content. It is a reflection on the vitality of Scotland’s artistic community that it could produce in succession two such different shows on this scale - and we still have the RSW to come as the third in the series that succeed each other over the winter.

Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in Scotland with Instagram users. Picture: Rob McDougall/TSPL

Instagram reveals top picture-friendly Scottish destinations

Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist attraction north of the border with Instagram users, with more than 170,000 images posted of the capital landmark in recent months.

Art 1
The Old College quadrangle at the University of Edinburgh is one of Robert Adam's best known works in Scotland. The foundation stone was laid in 1789, three years before the architect's death. Picture: Greg Macvean/TSPL

Robert Adam: The architect who brought Rome to Scotland

Edinburgh is famously hailed as the Athens of the North. But many of the city’s finest buildings are inspired by the classical stylings of another ancient capital, and the vision of one architect in particular.

Art 2
An image by riteshuttamchandani_Mumbai from Life on Instagram

The best photography books of 2016

One of the more zeitgeisty books of 2016 was Curation The Power Of Selection In a World Of Excess, by the writer and publisher Michael Bhaskar. In his introduction, Bhaskar notes that “in the last two years, humanity has produced more data than the rest of human history combined”; it’s a jaw-dropping statistic, particularly when you consider that the rate of production is still growing by 60 per cent a year.

Jonathan Owen with his Edinburgh Art Festival commission. PIC: Toby Williams

The top ten art exhibitions of 2016

From the Celts at the National Museum to Helen Marten’s Turner Prize show, Scotsman art critics Moira Jeffrey and Duncan Macmillan pick their highlights from the last 12 months

Julia Amour is director of Festivals Edinburgh, the body overseeing 12 of the city's main events.

Edinburgh Festival leaders sound warning bells for the future

Edinburgh will need to build a host of modern new venues, reinvent historic ones and combine cutting-edge technology with culture to remain world-leading in future, according to figureheads of the city’s flagship events.
Politics 5
Winter Sea V, 1958 � Estate of Joan Eardley

Art review: Joan Eardley - A Sense of Place

In 1951 an abstract painting by William Gear won top prize in a major Festival of Britain competition and the letters pages of the broadsheets blazed with outrage. Abstract art before the war was cool and manageable, the butt of jokes in Punch, but nothing worse. Post-war it was wild, anarchic and threatening and – worse still – it came from the Continent (distant premonitions of Brexit perhaps?) Although it was Scots like Gear, Alan Davie and Eduardo Paolozzi who led a new, radical approach in the south, even there it was a challenge. Back home in Scotland, it was much more difficult. This was a recipe for a very timid kind of modernism and that mostly is what we got. Joan Eardley was not intimidated, however. Her art blazed with courage as brightly as the letters pages had blazed with indignation at Gear’s success. And Eardley went further. She did not simply follow fashion to become a provincial practitioner of a style borrowed from far away. Through exhibitions at the SSA and the RSA, the new, abstract and expressionist style of painting coming out of Paris was familiar in Scotland. (American painting came here later.) In 1958 an exhibition in the RSA of the Moltzau Collection was the biggest display of abstract art ever seen in Scotland. Eardley learnt from what she saw and incorporated its freedoms into a style that was powerful and entirely her own and the title of the new show at the Gallery of Modern Art, Joan Eardley: A Sense of Place, identifies – as the exhibition brilliantly illuminates – a key aspect of her originality. However free and apparently abstract she became, her art remained firmly rooted in the specific characteristics of the people and places around her. It was not that she timidly clung to the shore, rather than risk the wild waters of abstract expressionism. She struck out across them, but on a course that was her own. Although she was only 42 when she died, the show also demonstrates how rapidly her art developed, absorbing and digesting new influences all the time, but keeping its own unique trajectory.

The National Galleries of Scotland has to raise 4 million by the middle of March to secure the future of The Monarch of the Glen.

National Galleries set to launch public appeal over The Monarch of the Glen

A public appeal is set to be mounted to help secure The Monarch of the Glen painting for the nation.
Politics 25
The Monarch of the Glen has been on display thanks to a deal with owner Diageo, but the drinks giant now wants to seel the painting. Picture: contributed

Galleries consider public appeal to secure The Monarch of the Glen

A public appeal is set to be mounted to help secure The Monarch of the Glen painting for the nation, The Scotsman can reveal.

Art 3
Young film-maker Zeki Basan. Picture: Contributed

16–year-old Scots film-maker captures vision of John Muir

A 16-year-old Scottish filmmaker has followed in the footsteps of John Muir, creating a short film on the wild places found along the John Muir Way.

News 2
Primates by Dalziel and Scullion 2013 PIC: University of Dundee Museum Services

Art review: A Sketch of the Universe: Art Science and the Influence of D’Arcy Thompson

In its heyday at the beginning of the last century, Dundee was the world capital of jute and jam, but it was also home to a significant group of artists and collectors while Dundee University could boast two remarkable professors, D’Arcy Thompson and Patrick Geddes. Both were scientists – Geddes a botanist and D’Arcy Thompson a biologist – and, though differently, their ideas had a wide impact on the visual arts and indeed beyond.

Boatman Sandy Linton pictured at Newhaven Harbour.

Early photographs of Edinburgh to be shown in new National Galleries show

Their partnership was to last just over four years but their contribution is revered as one of the most important in the history of photography.
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