Fruitmarket Gallery announces plans for reopening + Karla Black's first selected survey in UK

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Fruitmarket Gallery announces plans for reopening + Karla Black's first selected survey in UK
Karla Black Installation View Palazzo Pisani 2011. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Gisela Capitain Cologne. Photo: Gautier Deblonde.

EDINBURGH.- The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, UK, today announced plans for 2020 when the gallery will reopen with their existing galleries refreshed and expanded into a large adjacent warehouse in a £3.75m capital development. A major exhibition by one of Scotland’s most renowned sculptors, Karla Black, will inaugurate the newly expanded Fruitmarket, which also makes room for a new cross cultural programme.

The development brings the gallery’s next door building – also a former fruit and vegetable warehouse – into active cultural use, as an expansive, inspirational space where artists can make new work in and for the Fruitmarket Gallery, creating a regular programme of Fruitmarket Gallery commissions curated in-house. The new space will realise the gallery’s ambitions to deliver a year-round multi-art form programme from a venue at the heart of the capital. It is expected that the gallery will reopen in August 2020.

The new Fruitmarket Gallery will open with a major exhibition of work by Glasgow-based artist and Turner prize nominated Karla Black across both the exhibition galleries and the new warehouse space. The Fruitmarket curated Black’s solo presentation for Scotland in Venice at the 54th International Biennale in 2011 but has yet to work with her in Scotland. The renovation and expansion will offer the artist inspirational, materially resonant spaces in which to make and site her work. The exhibition will include two major new commissions for the warehouse and the upper exhibition gallery, with existing work showing the range of Black’s practice borrowed from public and private collections gathered together on the ground floor.

In the new installations, Black will bring her understanding of how people relate to the materials she uses to bear on how people relate to space. She will work horizontally in the Fruitmarket’s light and airy upper gallery, spreading a carpet of coloured powder across the floor. In contrast she will play with the height of the new warehouse space, hanging painted and powdered cellophane off the beams and coating the floor with reflective Vaseline to bounce light around the space. These works will be contextualised within Black’s practice by the existing works, a group of standing and hanging volumes and planes in each of the artist’s signature supports, worked on in her inimitable materials palette.

The new Fruitmarket Gallery will offer new opportunities for partnership working with other cultural organisations locally, nationally and internationally. The space will lend itself to theatrical and musical performances, spoken word and dance events as much as it will to the presentation of visual art. The redevelopment will ensure that the Fruitmarket can continue to operate at the forefront of contemporary culture for decades to come. The architects who will develop the site are Edinburgh based Reich and Hall.

Fiona Bradley, Fruitmarket Gallery Director, said, “This is an exciting year for us, as we work towards opening an inspirational new space for creative, collaborative working and our refreshed and renovated existing building. We can’t wait to work with Karla Black. There is a defiant force to her work - it is demanding and disruptive as well as beautiful and inspiring. It is because of this that we invited her to be the first artist to work in the newly reopened Fruitmarket: we value artistic experiment and we want her to really challenge the new space. We look forward to sharing her insights with our audience.

As we work towards the reopening of the Fruitmarket we are using poetry, drawing, dance, film and performance to reflect on the spaces of the gallery from the beginning of the development through the refurbishment, marking the transition into the new and renewed spaces.”

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