Massive free exhibition British Art Show 8 opens in Edinburgh

Sequence by Benedict Drew at the Talbot Rice Gallery. Picture: Getty Images

Sequence by Benedict Drew at the Talbot Rice Gallery. Picture: Getty Images

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Aspiring culture vultures who never actually make it to an art gallery or complain that the best shows are always in London have officially run out of excuses.

British Art Show 8, a massive free exhibition of some the most significant contemporary art produced in the UK, opens in Edinburgh today.

The British Art Show is widely regarded as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art

Simon Groom, SNGMA DIRECTOR

Spread across three venues, the UK’s largest touring exhibition travels the length and breadth of the country every five years. This year it features the work of over 40 artists.

The venues are the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (SNGMA) (Modern One), Inverleith House at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Talbot Rice Gallery at the University of Edinburgh.

Works being exhibited at SNGMA include the 2013 Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost; the celebrated artist Linder Sterling who started her career in the Seventies punk scene in Manchester; and acclaimed Scottish filmmaker Rachel Maclean.

A large-scale installation being shown for the first time in the UK is Dodo (2014) by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin featuring a Second World War B-25 Mitchell bomber plane propeller spinning on a massive metal frame. The artists used metal elements excavated on a site on the coast of Sea of Cortez where the Hollywood movie of Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 was filmed in 1970.

The installation also includes a film projection of unseen footage from the film, found in the archive of Paramount Pictures.

Another first is a new painting by Jessica Warboys made on a beach in East Lothian.

The show feature paintings, sculptures, printmaking, textiles, film and media, large-scale installations and ceramics.

Anna Colin and Lydia Yee, the show’s curators, said: “We are excited that British Art Show 8 will continue to develop throughout its tour. In Edinburgh, we are delighted to present major additions to the exhibition by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Ryan Gander and Jesse Wine, as well as new iterations of projects by Pablo Bronstein, Benedict Drew, Will Holder, Ciara Phillips, Laure Prouvost, Eileen Simpson and Ben White, Jessica Warboys and Stuart Whipps.”

Simon Groom, director of the SNGMA, said: “We are thrilled to have the British Art Show back at the SNGMA after 15 years. It is widely regarded as the most ambitious and influential exhibition of contemporary British art, and includes artists who already enjoy great critical acclaim, as well as artists just emerging into the national spotlight.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be part of this exhibition, and have the opportunity to share with our audiences in Scotland new works by some of the best contemporary artists from across the whole of the UK.“

Organised by Hayward Touring at Southbank Centre, the show runs until 8 May.

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