Posts Tagged ‘Gallery of Modern Art’

Niki de Saint Phalle Exhibition – Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Niki de Saint Phalle has a long association with the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.  When the Gallery was being converted she created the mirrored mosaic on the outside of the building which depicts the St Mungo legend, including the fish, the tree, the bell and the ring, which you can see on the triangular pediment of the building.  She also created the mirrored entrance hall.  Following an exhibition of her work at the McLellan Galleries she gave two sculptures to Glasgow – these were The Great Devil and the Altar to a Dead Cat.

This exhibition is based around a generous donation by Eric and Jean Cass.  They have collected contemporary art for over 30 years and were looking to distribute that art to museums and galleries around the UK.  Knowing Glasgow’s association with Niki de Saint Phalle they offered some of her work  to Glasgow to form part of the permanent collection.  This exhibition includes these new works as well as her original gifted sculptures, which were on view for many years when the Gallery of Modern Art first opened.

Niki de Saint Phalle

Reproduced courtesy of Glasgow Museums

It’s a fabulous exhibition – very accessible with bright colours and beautiful pieces which you could imagine owning.  There are some dark background stories to some of her more colourful pieces but her only truly dark piece on show is the Altar to a Dead Cat.  Many of the pieces come from her imagination and dreams.  There is a little brightly coloured frog (grenouille in French) which is a lovely thing to look at but if you look closely you can see that he has doesn’t look very happy.

 

The Great Devil (1985) is a massive sculpture which used to stand in the entrance to the Gallery.  This was one of the artist’s gifts to the City and she said that she was often scared whilst creating this piece.  You can see how she was influenced by Gaudi’s work in Barcelona.

Niki de Saint Phalle

Reproduced courtesy of Glasgow Museums

The Altar to a Dead Cat (1962) was created out of all the things which had happened to in her life including her strict Catholic upbringing and abuse by her father.  She would shoot at the object which caused the paint cans attached to the piece to explode.  There are two accompanying films which show how it was created and how the conservation team today prevent any deterioration.

There are also practical pieces including a plant holder and a side table, which Eric and Jean used within their home. 

 If you are visiting the Pompidou Centre in Paris you will see Niki de Saint Phalle’s work in a fountain which sits next to this Gallery which comprises of sculptures representing the work of the composter Igor Stravinsky.

Allocate an hour for this exhibition to take in all the films and background information for this beautiful and enigmatic artist.

Exhibition on until 16 November 2013 at The Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow

Intermezzo provide art and artist research for short term exhibition projects. For more information contact us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk

 

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Here’s my write-up of an afternoon spent at the GI Festival in Glasgow – a celebration of visual and contemporary art in the City.  We started off at the Gi Hub on Miller Street to see Rosalind Nashashibi’s film of Scottish Ballet rehearsals.  It’s a lovely piece that lets you eavesdrop on the locals who are in to see rehearsals, including an older lady who comments on how young and supple the dancers are!  It also lets you hear how arduous the dancers find the rehearsals, there’s a lot of heavy breathing, and it finishes with two policemen whose blank expression makes it hard to work out exactly what they think of the dancers.

We then headed off to Trongate 103.  In the Glasgow Print Studio we saw Adrian Wiszniewski’s work which consisted of large canvases.  As part of the group known as the New Glasgow Boys he helped bring Glasgow to the attention of the national and international art world and I remember seeing his work in the Gallery of Modern Art when it first opened.  We particularly liked the very small coloured sketches made on gesso – they were delicate and beautiful.  If only we had the money to purchase ….

Also in Trongate 103 we visited Street Level Photoworks where we saw Marjolaine Ryley’s photographic project.  This is a really interesting exhibition and the photography is supplemented by beautifully written thoughts on her early life.  As a child she lived in a commune in the South of France and a squat in London and all of this is covered in this exhibition.

Image from the BBC website

Sacrilege at GiFestival

We then headed off to Glasgow Green which looked fantastic on this sunny day in Glasgow.   There were groups of young people playing cricket and football and a large crowd for Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege.  This is an interactive artwork which is an inflatable made to resemble Stonehenge.  Deller is a previous Turner Prize winner who has exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow and this work will head off to London for the 2012 Games later in the year.  It was packed full of school children (and many adults too!) bouncing around and having a lot of fun.  We decided just to take photographs … it all looked too energetic for us and just a little bit too crowded!!  This public artwork definitely puts a smile on your face.

We walked from Glasgow Green down to The Briggait where we saw One Person’s Materialism is Another Person’s Romanticism.  This is a fantastic space and the 1873 Hall renovation is impressive.  We sat on a very low red plastic sofa to view the video piece Venice by Anthea Hamilton.  You must see the Yogic John Travolta – inspired!  Do not sit on the red sofa if you are over 30 though … I had immense trouble getting off the thing … I had to slide onto the floor and then use my knees to stand up.  Not very graceful.  I also liked Anthea Hamilton’s costume, which greets you as you enter, called Pasta and Noodles – very 1980s!

From The Briggait we walked along to the Gallery of Modern Art to see Karla Black’s sculpture made entirely of sawdust.  It’s a fantastic piece, very impressive, with cellophane sculptures hanging across.  It fills the entire hall of Gallery 1 and looks good enough to eat – we thought it looked like a large Tiramasau.

Finally we headed down to Dixon Street.  First we called in at the Mary Mary Gallery to see Lorna Macintyre’s Midnight Scenes and Other Works which have a very distinct diamond motif throughout and are very thoughtful pieces.  We finished at the Kendall Koppe Gallery and Emory Douglas’s work with the Black Panthers.  Douglas is an American artist and activist who provided many of the images which those of us who lived in the 60s and 70s will remember.  The messges are very strong but I really liked the mix of the political with the art and this exhibition in particular has stayed with me.

If you are new to contemporary art I would recommend Emory Douglas at the Kendall Koppe Gallery, Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege in Glasgow Green and Adrian Wiszniewski at the Glasgow Print Studio to start you off.  They are all great in their own way and offer a window into the contemporary art world.

For more information on the GI Festival go to www.glasgowinternational.org

Enjoy!

Peace at Last! by Kate Davis

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
A response by Kate Davis to Glasgow Museums' Collection

A response by Kate Davis to Glasgow Museums' Collection

I have just been to the preview of Kate Davis’ new exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow.   It was created specially for GoMA by Kate and is her personal response to Glasgow Museums’ collection.

It’s an interesting exhibition with a mix of Kate’s own work alongside work by Goya, Jo Spence and Terry Dennett among others and has a particular emphasis on feminist art and the women’s suffrage movement. 

I particularly liked the the pamphlet, given extra gravitas by its storage in a glass case, which has a transcript of a speech by Christabel Pankhurst in 1908 outlining the need for a militant approach to securing the women’s right to vote.  The cover of the pamphlet shows a portrait of Christabel which at some time had been defaced and her features almost entirely eradicated and Kate has reproduced the cover of the pamphlet in an enlarged form which heightens the impact of the damage.  She has then reclaimed Pankhurst’s face by drawing in the detail which is missing.  It really makes you stop to think.  There is also a postcard from the early 20th century, called Peace at last!, which has a caricature of a woman’s head with her tongue nailed to a table .. a quite shocking image in 2011.   By the time you reach the Pankhurst pamphlet at the far end of the exhibition you began to understand the need for militant action.

The Goya prints are strange and beautiful and it’s fantastic to have an opportunity to see them close up.  As Goya didn’t leave much information about these prints, there is little knowledge about their intended titles or the sequences in which they should be viewed, and Kate’s interpretation of them, and their role in representing the past, really brings them to life.

There are also video works, which I will go back to the exhibition to take some time to listen to, and the very emotional and moving photographs of Jo Spence taken by Terry Dennet and an intepretation of some of Jo Spence’s photography by Kate in which she considers how the artist addressed the question of who owned the images, especially images of the body.

A very thought provoking exhibition and one which I hope to return to many times during its run.

Peace at last! runs from 13 July to 16 October in the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow

Intermezzo offer private evening tours of exhibitions for corporate, luxury travel and conference groups.  For more information contact us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk

Gallery of Modern Art #museumfact

Monday, December 6th, 2010
Gallery of Modern Art Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art - Glasgow

The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow is housed in a neo-classical building in Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow.  It was built in 1778 as the town house of William Cunninghame, a wealthy Glasgow tobacco baron, and went on to be used as a bank, a business exchange, a telephone exchange and a library before being transformed in 1996 into a gallery housing the City’s contemporary art collection.

 Many famous people signed the visitors’ book in this building including

Robert Peel – who gave his famous address in a marquee outside the building, built to house a dinner to honour him after he was installed as Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1837.

Napoleon III of France – who visited the City in 1839 for the Eglinton tournament.  This was a re-enactment of a medieval joust held in Kilwinning in Ayrshire.

Josiah Henson – an author, abolitionist and Methodist minister.  He was born into slavery in America but escaped and founded a settlement for fugitive slaves in Canada.  He inspired the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  He spoke at the City Halls and Kibble Palace in Glasgow to huge crowds.

If anyone knows of other famous visitors to this magnificent building please let us know.

Intermezzo provide guided tours and private viewings of Glasgow Museums and work with Museums, Galleries and Heritage Properties to increase revenue streams.  For more information contact us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk