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Edinburgh Art Festival Unveils 2009 Exhibitions Programme
Bob and Roberta Smith with a section of his painting This Artist is Deeply Dangerous. Photo: Joe Angio

EDINBURGH.- The Edinburgh Art Festival, the international showcase for Edinburgh’s galleries and artists, today unveiled the programme for its 6th edition, the core dates for which are 5 August to 5 September 2009. Ranging from major exhibitions by leading British and international artists to work by a new generation of talent, the 2009 EAF programme sees 50 participating galleries, both permanent and temporary, including 11 spaces new to the Festival.

First UK Showings by Major International Artists
The Fruitmarket Gallery is to show studiowork, several pieces of which have never been exhibited before, by the seminal German-born, American artist, Eva Hesse. Curated by Briony Fer and Barry Rosen, the exhibition offers a new interpretation of Hesse’s historical position and her relevance for contemporary art today. The Institut Francais d’Ecosse will see the first Scottish showing of the 19 original photographs taken between December 1929 and February 1930 by Paul Nougé - the poet, instigator and theorist of Surrealism in Belgium, which were published after the artist’s death under the title Subversion of the Images. Inverleith House meanwhile offers the first solo show in the UK for one of the great living American artists, John McCracken. Probably best known for his ‘planks’ - elegant lengths of highly polished, brightly coloured plywood (made using techniques similar to those used in the construction of surf boards most commonly found in his native California), which lean against a wall, McCracken’s meditations on pure colour are perhaps the perfect resolution between painting and sculpture. The exhibition will feature major sculptures and drawings, dating from 1965. At Stills the first solo UK show by Joachim Koester will include photographic work alongside film and video installations, which together trace a line through the artist’s practice, together with a newly commissioned work developed for the gallery.

New Work by Leading British Artists
Once again several galleries are set to present new work by leading UK artists as part of the EAF. At doggerfisher one of this year’s Turner Prize nominees, Lucy Skaer, joins forces with Rosalind Nashashibi. For this their first solo exhibition in Scotland the two artists, who have been collaborating since 2005, will exhibit a new 16mm film which takes as its starting point Paul Nash’s painting Flight of the Magnolia. This Artist is Deeply Dangerous, an 11-metre painting which breaks down into 9 panels, is one of the largest works created by artist Bob and Roberta Smith. The work which takes as its starting point Guardian sports writer Steve Bierly’s review of a Louise Bourgeois exhibition, will be shown by The Grey Gallery this year moving from a derelict warehouse to the opulent surroundings of Hawke & Hunter. The Ingleby Gallery celebrates the first anniversary of its move to Calton Road with work by two former Turner Prize nominees; Edinburgh-born abstract painter, Callum Innes, whose quietly seductive paintings have continued to nudge the possibilities of painting forward, will be featured across all spaces in the gallery. Meanwhile, Tacita Dean will be the latest artist to create a work as part of Ingleby’s Billboard for Edinburgh project. Talbot Rice Gallery offers an exhibition of film and photography by Jane and Louise Wilson. Their first solo exhibition in Edinburgh, it will include a new film and recent photographs alongside a new sculptural commission.

Old Masters and Young Turks
At Dovecot Studios Grangemouth-born artist Alan Davie, who this year celebrates his 89 birthday, is to be the subject of a major retrospective. The exhibition presents a broad spectrum of work produced by Davie in a career spanning over 7 decades, including sculpture, painting, tapestry and rug making, jewellery design, printmaking, drawing, photography, poetry and experimental jazz. Edinburgh Printmakers in association with the Paul Stolper Gallery, London is to present the Scottish Premiere of the Venice Suite and other works by Peter Blake - to many the father of British Pop Art. The Venice Suite comprises twenty new screen prints inspired by his recent experiences in the Italian city. A highlight of the National Galleries of Scotland’s programme will be The Discovery of Spain. Outstanding examples of Spanish art, including works by Velázquez, El Greco, Murillo and Zurbarán, will form a dramatic centrepiece for the exhibition, and paintings by major British artists who were captivated by the experience of travelling through Spain will also dominate the show including important paintings by Sir David Wilkie, David Roberts, John Phillip, Arthur Melville and David Bomberg. The National Gallery Complex also offers the rare opportunity to view outstanding examples of European drawings spanning some 500 years, from the Italian Renaissance to late nineteenth-century France. The principal strength of the collection lies in the Italian and French schools, including such celebrated artists as Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Guercino, Claude Lorrain, Canaletto, Watteau, and, from the nineteenth century, Ingres, Degas, Manet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Redon. Meanwhile, a journey of artistic reflection, demonstrating the great technical diversity and depth of subject matter treated in the 50-year career of the influential Scottish painter John Bellany, will be showcased Open Eye Gallery. New paintings by the 77-year old Scottish landscape artist James Morrison form the focus of The Scottish Gallery exhibition.

At the other end of the spectrum a group by emerging artists from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Munich will show work at art’s complex. In Reveal/Reset New Media Scotland will reflect our information-rich world where attention is a commodity. Amongst the Alt-W projects on show in their new venue, Inspace is Alex Hetherington's Distance Lab that allows lovers to communicate over distance through the language of touch on the human body. Edinburgh-born visual artist Kate V Robertson will create a disparate collection of 2D works, installed on walls throughout the city. More substantial than fly-posters yet more subtle than propaganda – the works will form a kind of invisible graffiti, which does not shout its message but whispers to those who tune in. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery will see some 12 young artists inspired by street art and graffiti culture, present their remixed version of Scottish history, painted, pasted and projected directly onto the walls of the evocative empty space produced by the Gallery’s current closure for redevelopment. Meanwhile at Tent Gallery (Edinburgh College of Art) eight emerging artists from Japan and Europe, who have collaboratively explored the idea of a Camera Infinita, examine processes of navigation, expansion and differentiation of spaces, through drawing, video, sculpture, performance, photocollage, documentation, collection, and narration.

A wide variety of sculptural works will be seen across the city this summer both in galleries and public spaces. Alongside the sculptural forms of Hesse, McCracken and the Wilson Twins, works by a range of international artists, many commissioned especially for exhibitions within the Festival, will be unveiled. The young American artist, Andrew Ranville, showing work for the first time in Scotland, will exhibit films and prints in the Corn Exchange Gallery, and a specially commissioned large-scale sculpture in reclaimed timber in Gayfield Square Gardens, where it will create a focal point at the top of Leith Walk. Over at Edinburgh College of Art Milestone will see ten international sculptors each carving a new sculpture in a 1-2 tonnes block of stone. A daily event in the Art College quadrangle this will offer a rare opportunity to watch stone sculptors in the process of creating their work. Milestone is part of the wider Stone project, a threeyear eca research initiative, conceived and structured by sculptors Jake Harvey and Joel Fisher, and filmmaker Noe Mendelle. This year’s Magazine exhibition is the first of a two-part project inspired by the planned development of Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s new international centre for contemporary sculpture. The show will consist of the responses of three artists to the public spaces within the current building as they investigate, alter, subvert or reinterpret their uses, form and function. At the National Museum of Scotland Ballast: Bringing the Stones Home will see New Zealand artist, John Edgar create a series of works from stone collected in various historic quarries across Scotland. His sculptures explore the experience of the emigrant: the leaving of a homeland, the voyage through unknown seas, the arrival in a new land. Also working in wood like Andrew Ranville, but on a much smaller scale is Roger Ackling. One of the generation of artists graduating from St Martin’s in the 1960s, Ackling was part of the movement that decided sculpture could be anything they wanted it to be. In Ackling's case this is a small piece of found wood marked by the sun. Focusing sunlight through a hand held magnifying glass to draw onto pieces of discarded wood rescued from the edges of our everyday lives, Ackling, who will show work at sleeper, effectively draws with light.

Moving out of the city centre the new gallery Sierra Metro, based in the Granton Lighthouse, is set to host an exhibition by Aileen M. Stackhouse - a Sculpture graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College. Aileen will create a site-specific piece incorporating drawing, which will then be transformed into sculpture. Visitors will be able to witness the artist occupy the space with vast lengths of paper which are then transformed into the final works. In the stunning 90-acre grounds of Bonnington House at Kirknewton, 10 miles west of Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland brings together a permanent collection of world-class sculpture by some of the most highly regarded contemporary artists as well as some exciting British newcomers. Sitespecific, and in the main commissioned for Jupiter Artland, the works are the private collection of Nicky and Robert Wilson. Jupiter Artland, which opened to the public earlier this month, includes a series of works by Andy Goldsworthy, a large scale figure by Antony Gormley, a four-acre landform by Charles Jencks., an enormous orchid by Marc Quinn, Anish Kapoor's “Suck” and a series of work by Ian Hamilton Finlay as well as site pieces by Cornelia Parker, Alec Finlay, Peter Liversidge, Laura Ford and Shane Waltener.

Elsewhere Across the City
Other exhibitions see Alexander Hamilton showing Blue Flora Celtica - a series of paintings inspired by Hamilton’s reflections on his relationship to artist Joseph Beuys; Atticsalt features images by American photographer Kate Pollard created in the aftermath of her father’s death that document a journey through her family’s grieving process. Beyond Words offers We Love Lomo - a showcase of images by some of the world’s leading photographers, home grown talent and others selected through open submission - all shot using Lomo cameras. Bourne Fine Art offers 200 years of Scottish painting from Sir Henry Raeburn to the current day. The How Not To Cookbook – Lessons Learned the Hard Way is a limited edition book and art project by Aleksandra Mir commissioned and produced by Collective. Based on Mir's personal history of cooking disasters, the project invited 1000 people from all around the world to give their advice of how not to cook and is illustrated by the artist. In Grandmother Waits for You the Embassy Gallery steps gingerly into the well-worn slippers of relational engineering. A plan is being drawn up to create a yarn-based sculptural assemblage representing a sentient global network (the ‘noosphere’) with individual ‘granny squares’ acting as thriving nodal ‘hot clusters’. Those who choose to follow the threads will find themselves in a rich-tea environment of cultural exchange that Facebook cannot ever hope to replicate! The Granton Lighthouse, is host to a second exhibition - this time by galleryA1. JUMP 2 DE Light, which interrogates city planning, takes the Edinburgh Waterfront redevelopment as the exhibition context. art’s complex also is home to NEKOJUICE, a collective of artists from Edinburgh and Berlin whose show interrogates the nature of Change; at Patriothall members of the recently-formed exhibition group (S.T.A.R.*) – all graduates of the former Tapestry Department of Edinburgh College of Art, will show crossovers and explore links between different media as well as allowing the audience into the often-hidden processes behind the realisation of the project. An exhibition exploring the tradition of the ‘Conversation Piece’, group portraits of high-society sitters in strikingly informal situations, is the Queen’s Gallery’s contribution to the 2009 EAF. REWIND at Stills is a specially-curated exhibition of seminal works from the formative years of British Video Art. In Alexandria Light Rose Frain will create an installation referencing the socio-political environment of Alexandria and The Royal Scottish Academy will show a presentation of contemporary Polish fine-art film curated by Lokal_30, Warsaw. In another venue new to EAF, the Scotland- Russia Institute, the first major Scottish exhibition of works by the Edinburgh-based, Russian born artist Gennadii Gogoliuk will be staged. Schop will show a selection of drawings by the Irish born artist Nigel Peake. At The Henderson Gallery, also making its EAF debut, Unspoken Lines will showcase work by Joyce Gunn Cairns MBE. And last, but by no means least, Total Kunst will be making good use of its central Edinburgh gallery space to provide an upbeat series of small but perfectly formed alternative art experiences, showcasing work in a wide variety of media and formats and providing plenty of opportunities to engage with both the art and the artists who made it.

Temporary Exhibitions
Alongside the 40+ venues staging major exhibitions a series of shorter exhibitions will feature in the 2009 EAF. These include: Palimpsest a one-weekend exhibition in an empty flat in Edinburgh City Centre, presenting new work by Sandy Hutton, Maggie Mowbray, Valerie Norris and Drew Wright; Briony Anderson’s Studies for Raeburn - a series of paintings that responds to the portraits of Sir Henry Raeburn, specifically those which are set against a landscape backdrop; the Big Things on the Beach Garden Gallery; The Caravan Gallery making its EAF debut as part of an on-going collaboration with Street Level Photoworks; open studios at Coburg House; selected work by post graduates and artists in residence from ECA in Laurieston Castle Glasshouse; an exhibition of reproduced pages from the woodblock printed album Murasaki Shikibu Genji Cards by Baichoro Kunisada II, from the HenHenry Dyer Collection of Japanese art and the Travelling Gallery PAINT CAN at locations throughout the city.

Edinburgh Art Festival | Sir David Wilkie | David Roberts | John Phillip | Arthur Melville | David Bomberg. The National Gallery |

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