Posts Tagged ‘Glasgow’

Ingenious Impressions – Hunterian

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Quite recently I visited this exhibition which is in the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow and I absolutely loved it.

The Exhibition draws on the extensive research of a five year project to catalogue the University of Glasgow’s collection of fifteenth century printed books and gives you a background to each of the books as well as explaining how they were produced, collected and then bequeathed to the University.

The exhibition space is dimly lit, which is to preserve the books, but the accompanying text panels are well lit and a clever use of mirrors allows you to see many of the ornate covers and bindings hidden beneath.

My particular favourites included the Roman Breviary, the Calendar and the Canon of Medicine. A Breviary is a liturgical book which contains prayers, hymns, psalms and readings for everyday use by both the clergy and the laity.  This one was printed in Venice in 1478 and was a special luxury copy printed on vellum and beautifully decorated.  It is believed to have been produced as a gift for Leonardo Botta, the Milanese ambassador to Venice, and the detailed images and brilliant colours are as impressive today as when they were created.  The Kalendarium (Calendar) by Erhard Ratdolt was also produced in Venice but the printer was German and he had moved to Venice attracted by the thriving intellectual scene.  He produced technically innovative publications and this calendar includes paper wheels which can still be turned today to show the motion of the moon. The Canon of Medicine was an encyclopaedia of medicine compiled around 1025 by a Persian philosopher known as Avicenna. Originally written in Arabic it was translated into many languages and it’s one of the most famous books in the history of medicine.  This copy too was printed in Venice and its decoration, known as illuminations, are by an artist known as Pico Master and are extremely lavish.  There are also many annotations (or notes) written next to the text throughout the book so it was obviously well used.

The aim of the project was to promote this collection to a wider audience and I’m convinced this has been achieved.  Many of the people I know who have visited the exhibition are not academics but are book lovers keen to look at early versions of their much beloved pursuit of reading. The information provided between each set of books is detailed and informative and I came away with a greater understanding of both the production as well as subject matter of early printed books. I also earned that very early printed books, produced in the fifteenth century, are known as incunables and was able to look at a working model of an early printing press.

As I said earlier, I loved it and I am sure you will too.

Visit before it closes on 21 June.  Admission is free so spend your saved cash on the gorgeous accompanying catalogue.

Let us know your thoughts if you’ve visited.

Pulse Project – London Road

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I took a tour organised by the Velocity Project which has been responsible for working in partnerships to provide a cultural response and long lasting legacy to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.  Part of this project includes PULSE, a series of artworks along London Road connecting Glasgow Green and the Barras Calton.  The tour took us to look at two of those permanent artworks.

The first piece we looked at was Cut From The Factory Floor by the artist Iain Kettles, who is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art.  Fabricated in Corten steel it stands as a roll of carpet slightly unfurling at the corner.  The artist used the Templeton Carpet Factory archives, which are stored by Glasgow School of Art, to look at patterns for the chenille carpets which were produced by the Templeton Factory and incorporated that pattern into his sculpture. The Templeton Factory building is just down the road from the sculpture and is an icon in Glasgow, having been modelled on the Doge’s Palace in Venice.  In its heyday from the 1850s to the 1960s it produced carpets for clients all around the world including the cruise liners built in the Glasgow shipyards and Mrs Abraham Lincoln also had a Templeton carpet in her home. It finished manufacturing in the 1980s and today the building houses offices, studios and homes, as well as a brewery and pub.

The sculpture’s pattern was created using water jets to slice through the steel to create the pattern.  The piece celebrates the rich industrial legacy of this part of the East End of Glasgow and the talented and creative workers employed in the Factory. We viewed the sculpture on a brilliantly sunny evening so the colours of the green trees and blue sky, viewed through the pattern, made it look very like a brightly patterned carpet.  It is an impressive and salutary reminder of Glasgow’s rich industrial heritage and ability to provide world class items for export around the world. It is also hard to believe, when you look from a distance, that it is made of steel and won’t unfurl and collapse to the floor. You will find the sculpture in Claythorn Park, on London Road, and it is visible from the road.  There are future plans to light it internally and I look forward to going back once that has been installed and see another version of this brightly patterned carpet.

We then walked back down London Road towards the Barras and the City Centre.  At Greendyke Square we found the installation by Jacqueline Donachie called Slow Down.  This piece began life as a project centred round the 100 day countdown to the start of the Commonwealth Games.  Slow Down involved 100 cyclists slowly travelling through the City with a small attachment on each bike which left a line of chalk on the ground resulting in a ribbon of colours along the Glasgow streets.
Jacqueline joined us on the tour, so we were able to ask lots of questions about the piece.  She was born in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow School of Art, completing a Masters of Fine Art at Hunter College in New York. This piece celebrates the interactive Slow Down project with permanent coloured lines of chalk surrounding the framework.  The sculptural steel framework is painted with a very bright and eye catching colour and it is so perfect we thought it had been machine painted.  However, Jacqueline told us it had all been hand painted – which was very impressive. The framework is a cross between a bike park and a railing to lean on and it is hoped people will use it as a meeting place and focal point.  If you are heading up towards the Barras you cannot miss it.

Both these installations celebrate Glasgow and I hope people will take a bit of time to have a look at them as they walk past.  If you spot them, let us know what you think.

Elvis in White

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Niall Macdonald was born in the Outer Hebrides and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art.  He now lives and works in Glasgow and his latest exhibition, Elvis Nipple Plinth, is a solo exhibition at the Kendall Koppe Gallery.
We visited on Saturday and really liked the work, which yet again I’d discovered on social media (Twitter to be precise).  It’s not a very big exhibition, the Gallery space is only small, but you spend a lot of time trying to work out the links between each of the objects.  Apart from one piece, which sits on the far wall, there are two objects on each plinth, all created in white, and one object sits on top of the plinth and one on the front of the plinth.  E-Book Skull Plinth has a very small skull sitting on the plinth and an e-book reader on one side of the column.  We couldn’t decide if the skull represented the death of the book and the rise of the digital format, or if it was the artist’s thoughts about the impact of digital books.  By placing the objects out of context the artist manages to change their meaning and Niall is particularly interested in the concept of ‘must have’ objects, in particular technology.
The Elvis Nipple Plinth, the title of the show, has a bust of Elvis on the top with a teat, or nipple, attached to the plinth.  Make of these juxtapositions what you will but you will have fun doing it and come up with some interesting ideas.  The artist himself describes his Exhibition as more Space Odyssey than Elgin Marbles and the stark whiteness of the objects, plinth and gallery appear influenced by the Kubrick film which conicidentally was shown on BBC2 this weekend.
The Kendall Koppe Gallery is at 6 Dixon Street, just off St Enoch Square, so it’s very central and is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11.00am to 5.00pm.  Press the buzzer for the Gallery to gain entry and it’s on the first floor. You won’t be disappointed…

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

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum – #museumfact

Monday, September 27th, 2010

 

It is a popular myth that the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow was built the wrong way round and that the Architect, upon realising this, jumped to his death from one of the towers!  The myth arose because what is considered to be Kelvingrove’s main entrance looks into Kelvingrove Park rather than out onto Argyle Street, which is the main street.  Today most visitors enter from Argyle Street on public transport however, in 1901, visitors would have entered through the park and it was always intended that this should be its main entrance.

There were in fact two architects – John Simpson and Milner Allen – and they were both very happy with the building when it was completed!  They were chosen from a competition in 1892 and the Art Gallery & Museum was completed and opened in 1901.

The Grand frontage and towers were inspired by those of the great Sppanish pilgrimage church of Santiago de Compostela and the interior was based on an Italian Renaissance palace.  Kelvingrove was paid for with profits from the 1888 International Exhibition and public subscription.

Intermezzo organise private viewings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum and offer assistance with income generation and sponsorship to Museums, Art Galleries and Heritage Properties. For more information contact us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk or on 0141 636 6929

Riverside Museum

Monday, September 13th, 2010

The second most visited Museum of Transport in the UK was Glasgow’s Museum of Transport in the City’s West End.  It closed in April 2010 and will move to its new home, the Riverside Museum, on the banks of the Clyde in Spring 2011.

The Riverside Museum was designed by Zaha Hadid CBE, a leading, award-winning architect whose spectacular designs can be seen in cultural buildings all over the world.  Born in Iraq, she now lives and works in London and was the first female to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Displays in the new Museum include trams, steam trains, cycles, cars, ships and motorbikes which will all be housed in unique and innovative exhibitions.

To view short films on the current progress of the Museum visit

http://www.riversideappeal.org/about-the-museum-and-appeal/podcasts/

To support the Riverside go to

http://www.riversideappeal.org

Intermezzo are currently providing Hard Hat Tours for businesses interested in supporting the Museum.  For more information on this unique opportunity to see a work in progress please contact us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk

The Last of the Clan 1865 by Thomas Faed (1826-1900)

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Last of the Clan by Thomas Faed Image courtesy of Glasgow Museums

This painting has come to symbolise the Highland Clearances which was a time when many Scots were forced to emigrate, driven from their land by poverty, or evicted by greedy estate owners.  Although by then the worst of the Clearances were over, the story told by the picture still aroused strong feelings and inspired him to create the most enduring image of this tragic period of Scottish history.

 Grief is written on the faces of the young and old and even the horse, as an unseen ship sails away.  As a viewer of this painting, we appear to be on the departing ship. There is beauty however, in the skilfully painted young women, surely out of place with their London fashions, and the random objects scattered on the quayside.

Thomas Faed was one of the most successful painters of his time.  His work was popular with the Victorian public who queued to see his latest paintings of sentimental Scottish themes. When this painting was exhibited, the Royal Academy had to have barriers erected to control the crowd!

He was born in Gatehouse-of-Fleet in South West Scotland and trained in Edinburgh at the School of Desig, becoming an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy at the young age of 23.

He moved to London in 1852 where he became one of the most successful painters of his time. Although he lived in England, his paintings often dealt with Scottish subjects.  His work was popular with the Victorian public who queued to see his latest paintings of sentimental Scottish themes. He was a technical expert in oils and excelled at still-life details, figures and landscapes.  By 1893 he had become almost blind and retired from painting.  He died in London in St John’s Wood in 1900.

You can see this painting in the Scottish Identity in Art Gallery in the Expression Wing on the first floor of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.

For personal daytime and gift voucher tours and private evening viewings of Kelvingrove contact us on 0141 636 6929 or email us at info@intermezzo-arts.co.uk