Arts preview of 2018: Susan Mansfield and Duncan Macmillan on the year ahead in visual art

The Scotsman's art critics highlight some of the eye-catching Scottish exhibitions planned for 2018

Junks, (red) by Emil Nolde will feature in Emil Nolde: Colour is Life at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, from 14 July until 21 October
Junks, (red) by Emil Nolde will feature in Emil Nolde: Colour is Life at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, from 14 July until 21 October

Lee Lozano, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 3 March until 3 June

Lozano was a major name in the New York art scene in the 1960s and early 1970s, a hugely talented painter who gradually embraced abstraction, then conceptual art. She is almost unknown today because, in 1972, she made Dropout Piece, a conceptual decision to withdraw from the art world, which lasted until her death in 1999. Here, her work is being shown for the first time in Scotland in a show which recovers her practice through drawings, paintings and the notebooks and written works she produced in later life. SM

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 30 March until 14 August

2018 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Fifty years ago his centenary was marked by a major exhibition in Edinburgh. It was the beginning of the revival of his reputation and since then he has become Glasgow’s hero. Fittingly therefore his sesquicentenary will be marked by year-long celebrations in his native city. These will include the historic reopening of the restored Willow Tearooms, but there will also be a major exhibition at Kelvingrove. The show should be of special interest because some of the work to be shown is billed as unseen or rarely seen. The exhibition will include work by Mackintosh himself, by Margaret and Frances Macdonald, James McNair and by others who contributed to the distinctive brand of early modernism that Mackintosh pioneered. DM

Glasgow International, 20 April until 7 May

Glasgow’s biennial, now in its eighth iteration, has become a confirmed highlight of the international contemporary art calendar. This year, under new director Richard Parry, there is an emphasis on giving artists space to respond to recent political events and social changes. A major group show, Cellular World, at GoMa, sets the tone, addressing themes of artificial intelligence, avatars, identity and society. There are over 80 exhibitions throughout the city, with highlights including Mark Leckey (Tramway), Ross Birrell’s commissions for Documenta 2014 (CCA) and a new commission by this year’s Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid in the central hall at Kelvingrove. SM

Canaletto and the Art of Venice, Queen’s Gallery, Edinburgh, 11 May until 21 October

Canaletto will always give pleasure and the paintings by him in the Royal Collection are outstanding even among all the masterpieces of Western art that it includes. The most significant collection of his work anywhere, it was acquired in Canaletto’s lifetime by George III and includes not only a considerable number of paintings, but also a great many works on paper. Some have been shown in the Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood before, but the collection is so rich that it can easily provide a second show. This time too there will be added interest from the inclusion of works by contemporaries of Canaletto in Venice such as Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli, Rosalba Carriera, Pietro Longhi and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. DM

Reopening of the Collective Gallery, Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Spring (date tbc)

The four-year, £4million project to transform the historic Observatory on Calton Hill into a new home for the Collective Gallery is due for completion this spring. A combination of restoration and sensitive new-build will see the contemporary gallery occupying several buildings on the iconic site, while preserving elements of its rich history. The opening exhibition, Affinity & Allusion, will use all the spaces in an international show featuring Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Klaus Weber (Germany), Alexandra Laudo (Spain) and Glasgow-based artists James N Hutchinson and Tessa Lynch. SM

Eve Fowler, Dundee Contemporary Arts, 9 June until 26 August

DCA hosts the first major show in Europe by Los Angeles-based artist and photographer Eve Fowler, whose work is part of major collections in the US and has been shown at MoMA. For the last seven years, her work has focused on engaging with the writing of Gertrude Stein, creating billboards, posters, paintings and installations which bring Stein – feminist, modernist, lesbian – vividly into the present moment, challenging the dominant narratives which are still a part of society. Her work promises to reach beyond the walls of the gallery and out on to the streets of Dundee. SM

Steven Berkoff: The Gorbals and London’s East End, Streetlevel Photoworks, Glasgow 23 June until 26 August

In the 1960s, Steven Berkoff was a promising young actor who appeared in several seasons at Glasgow’s Citizens’ Theatre. His Rolleiflex camera was his companion wherever he went, and with it he documented the landscape and life of the Gorbals as he found it. This show brings together his rarely shown photographs of Glasgow with his images of London’s East End where he grew up, comparing and contrasting the vibrant life in each place, and acting as a pictorial guide to the formative influences on Berkoff as writer, director and performer. SM

Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 7 July until 14 October

The National Galleries’ major show of the year will be Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master. Only showing in Edinburgh, it will be a unique opportunity to see a wide range of his works brought together including landscapes, portraits, self-portraits and religious pictures. As well as paintings there will also be etchings and drawings. The show will tell the story of the British discovery of Rembrandt both by collectors from Charles I onwards and by artists. There will be works by the likes of Hogarth and Reynolds, but also by John Bellany, Eduardo Paolozzi and Leon Kossof. If that sounds like padding to fill the galleries of the RSA building, there will nevertheless be enough Rembrandt to make it a genuine blockbuster. DM

Emil Nolde: Colour is Life, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 14 July until 21 October

Emil Nolde: Colour is Life will be shown at Modern 2 from July. Nolde, born Danish, became a leading German expressionist and part of the early 20th century artistic revolution in Germany. He was however also an early member of the Nazi Party. This has certainly told against him in the UK and this will be only the second ever exhibition of his work in Scotland. Ironically, in spite of his sympathies, he was condemned as a degenerate artist by Hitler and his work was shown along with all the other “degenerates”. They were mostly those we now regard as the heroes and heroines of modernism. So was he really one of them? We will now have the chance to judge. DM

Pin-ups: Toulouse Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity, Scottish National Gallery, 6 October until 20 January 2019

Did Toulouse Lautrec invent the pin-up? That certainly seems to be implied by the title of the NGS’s major show Pin-ups: Toulouse Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity. Lautrec’s prints and posters of the demi-monde of Montmartre are universally familiar. They are so elegant and economical that we forget what a seedy world it really was that he both inhabited and recorded. From it, however, he also picked out individuals and gave them a kind of celebrity. It’s not quite the same thing as modern celebrity born simply of media presence – it is much more enduring. Indeed his art gave immortality even to those who were as anonymous then as they are now. This show will also include work by French and British artists like Bonnard, Sickert, Arthur Melville and JD Fergusson, who were either influenced by or shared the inspiration of Lautrec. DM