Galleries - August 2018

6 GALLERIES AUGUST 2018 The exhibitions at this year’s Edinburgh Festival showing at the public art galleries are very attractive indeed. The Scottish National Gallery is presenting a blockbuster with ‘Rembrandt: Britain’s Discovery of the Master’ exploring the impact of Rembrandt’s art on collectors, artists and writers in this country. Another artist who was also greatly admired by the British art world was Canaletto. ‘Canaletto and the Art of Venice’ at The Queen’s Gallery comprises a fine selection of his paintings, drawings and prints. At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art there are two very contrasting shows. ‘Emil Nolde: Colour is Life’ is a large retrospective of the entire career of the great German Expressionist, while artist Raqib Shaw shows eight works which reinterpret famous paintings by Old Masters such as Durer and Cranach. At the Talbot Rice Gallery there is ‘The Green Man’, a major solo exhibition of new work by Lucy Skaer, which draws inspiration from the Edinburgh University collection. Fascinating portraits by Victoria Crowe (also at The Scottish Gallery) of figures from the worlds of art and science are brought together for her exhibition ‘Beyond Likeness’ at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Barbara Rae has an exhibition at the RSA of new work entitled ‘The North West Passage’ which relates to her recent visits to the Arctic, in the footsteps of her namesake the explorer, John Rae. Finally Edinburgh’s City Art Centre is mounting a major reappraisal of an unusual and enigmatic, but previously over- looked painter, ‘Edwin G Lucas: An Individual Eye’. (BH) The hot pace that Edinburgh's public galleries set over the Festival period seems to put the city's commercial and private foundations on their mettle too, and 2018 is no exception with two terrific shows standing out in particular – one at Dovecot Gallery 'Liberty: Art, Fabrics and Fashion’ and a second showing at The Scottish Gallery 'Victoria Crowe: A Certain Light'. There really is nothing remotely comparable to the Dovecot Studios complex south of the border. Its establishment 106 years ago by the 4th Marquess of Bute, who bought the Studio's two founding weavers, John Glassbrook and Gordon Berry up from William Morris' Merton Abbey workshops to produce tapestries of historical interest for his Mount Stuart home in Rothesay, has meant that it has become, in effect the last continuous surviving link with his arts and crafts ideals, their skills and traditions having been passed down through generations of apprentices that carries on into the present day. But, if that all sounds a bit fusty- musty, the Dovecot's huge current international reputation for undertaking some of the most vibrant and contemporary tapestry and weaving projects couldn't be much higher, above all their collaborations with some pretty celebrated names in the visual arts – Chris Ofili, Peter Blake, Tom Phillips, Ron Arad and Garry Fabian Miller among them. Meanwhile their survival into the present day and the future has been assured by the establishment of a Dovecot Foundation in 2010 by the philanthropists Alastair and Elizabeth Salvesen and now, in another typically adventurous move, the Dovecot has initiated a programme of major, ticketed loan exhibitions, starting with the aforementioned 'Liberty' show, which also marks the first time the full range of Liberty's remarkable 140 year history of innovative textile design has been shown in Scotland. Liberty's history could not offer a more apt comparison, its collaborations with leading artists, fashion houses and designers through Aestheticism, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Pop and Psychedelia offering a kind of parallel history to the Dovecot itself. Indeed it is interesting in this context that, alongside the Liberty exhibition, Dovecot is showing the very funky 'Dazzle Jewellery' – some 70 contemporary jewellers ‘the Edinburgh Festival sets the seasonal tone. . .’ r Scotland