Galleries - August 2010

North; and while Glasgow later gloried in being The Second City of the Empire, it was the dazzling modernity of Paris which made it, in the words of Walter Benjamin, “The Capital of the Nineteenth Century”. The visual chroniclers of the hustle and bustle of Parisian city life were the Impressionists; yet they all had a deep yearning to return to the tranquillity of the secluded garden. The National Gallery of Scotland’ s major exhibition 'Impressionist Gardens' is a glorious multicoloured cele- bration of this non-urban aspect of their art. Monet at Giverny created his “most beautiful work of art”, while the rest of the Impressionists and many other like-minded painters – such as Van Gogh, Gauguin and Klimt were equally drawn by such botanical attra- ctions. If the world-weary Impres- sionists longed to return to an Edenic paradise the Surrealists were forever lured to 'Another World' – the title of NGS Festival exhibition at the Dean Gallery . This fascinating survey of the major movement of mid-20th cen- tury art draws from the rich resources of their collection, but also includes important borrowed works like Man Ray’s coat hanger piece and the iconic Fountain by Duchamp. At the heart of city social life is the home and much of Surrealist art – most exemp- lified by Magritte – dealt with the mysterious links and uncanny relationships between our mun- dane domestic world and the nightly flight into our private un- iverse of dreams. Interestingly that Surrealist fascination with the bizarre realm of homely objects still enthrals many contemporary artists including Martin Creed who is showing new work at The Fruitmarket Gallery . For his ex- hibition Down Over Up the former Turner Prize winner will be an- imating everyday pieces of fur- niture through a series of stacking and progression processes. Fur- niture will also feature in the Dove- cot Studios’ design exhibition 'Sitting and Looking' where ten selected artists, working within a range of different media – from fine art photography and sculp- tural ceramics to body enhancing jewellery and computer designed textiles – will display their very attractive and intriguing wares. Neo-classical art would have had little truck with the Surrealists’ city as mindscape. For a latter day representative of that Enlight- enment movement, Alexander Stoddart, who is exhibiting 'Cabinet Works and Studies' at Bourne Fine Art , the city is an arena for ethical debates where public monuments to noble fig- ures of the past are raised to instruct citizens on their civic duties. (Bourne's hire space is taken this month by Chelsea's continued on page 55 TheButterworthGallery . com ....images of Scotland Tel 013398 86104 11. GALLERIES AUGUST 10 ad to follow