Dark underbelly of Scots art inspires new Edinburgh Festival show

Between Dark and Dark, by Kenneth Dingwall. Picture: ECA

Between Dark and Dark, by Kenneth Dingwall. Picture: ECA

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THE dark underbelly of Scottish art is to be exposed for this year’s Edinburgh Festival – in a major new exhibition partly inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson famous Jekyll and Hyde horror story

More than 40 little-seen works created between the end of the Second World War and the present day which are said to represent the “tensions which seethe within the Scottish psyche”– will be on show.

Work tackling a range of “disturbing and provocative” issues will be brought together for the first time for The Scottish Endarkenment, which will be at the Dovecot Gallery for the Edinburgh Art Festival.

Curated by Edinburgh University art historians Bill Hare and Andrew Patrizio in partnership with the Dovecot, the exhibition will cover 70 years of Scottish art and feature work by Alan Davie, Joan Eardley, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Eduardo Paolozzi and Steven Campbell.

Alison Watt, Douglas Gordon, Christine Borland, Kenny Hunter and David Shrigley will be among the modern-day artists in the show, which will feature workranging from the “overtly horrific and darkly satirical” to moral struggles between good and evil.

It will be accompanied by a series of film screenings, including The Body Snatcher, a 1945 horror based on a Stevenson short story, Madeleine, the 1950 film based on the true story of a 19th century Glasgow socialite who stood trial for murder, and Under The Skin, which saw Scarlett Johansson depict an alien seducing young Scottish men.

Mr Hare said: “One of the distinctive characteristics in the period since 1945 has been artists looking at more challenging and disturbing matter, which is really in contrast to much of Scottish art history before that as well as to Scottish literature.”

A spokeswoman for the Dovecot said: “The show engages with a wide and varied range of demanding topics from ever-escalating communal and international conflicts, social inequalities and consumer materialism to threatened gender identities and sexual prejudices.”

• The Scottish Endarkenment runs until August 26. More info: http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/history-of-art/news-events/the-scottish-endarkenment

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