Edinburgh Art Festival 2016 Exhibition Programme

28 July—28 August 2016

Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) today announces its 2016 programme of partner exhibitions and pop-up events, combining ambitious solo and group presentations of international and Scottish contemporary artists alongside major art historical exhibitions and newly commissioned projects. The 13th edition of the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, taking place in more than 30 venues across the city, will include 43 exhibitions curated by Edinburgh’s leading museums, galleries and artist run spaces, as well as a selected programme of pop up exhibitions and events.

Highlights will include:

  • New work by leading international artists including Damián Ortega at The Fruitmarket Gallery; an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Inverleith House, featuring work by renowned contemporary artists including Louise Bourgeois, John McCracken, Joan Mitchell and Robert Ryman; an extraordinary showcase of over 110 drawings by the celebrated post-war German artist Joseph Beuys at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s ARTIST ROOMS, shown together for the first time; and the first permanent installation in the UK by Christian Boltanski at Jupiter Artland, alongside new work by French artist Caroline Mesquita.
  • Important presentations of key figures from the Scottish art scene, including the major solo shows of Barbara Rae at Open Eye Gallery and Jonathan Owen at Ingleby Gallery; an exhibition tracing the careers of William Gillies and John Maxwell at City Art Centre; a multi-layered thematic exhibition at Dovecot Gallery, tracing Scottish art from 1945 to the present; new work by Glasgow-based Hayley Tompkins at Jupiter Artland; sculptor Kenny Hunter to be showcased at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; and a solo show by Jennifer Bailey at Collective, in addition to a new sculptural viewing tower to look into the City Observatory by Birmingham-based Simon & Tom Bloor.
  • A strong focus on portraiture: a major exhibition which traces the history of self-portraits across six centuries at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, showcasing works by influential artists from Rembrandt and Gustave Courbet to Marina Abramović and Ai Weiwei; the first solo show in Scotland of one of the 20th century’s most important painters, Alice Neel at the University of Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery; self-portraits by the British photographer Jo Spence at Stills; and the major international photography award, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
  • Major art historical survey exhibitions including the first major international exhibition showcasing the work of Charles-François Daubigny, a key figure in the development of 19th century French landscape painting, and his relationship with Monet and Van Gogh, at the Scottish National Gallery; an exhibition combining Surrealist works of art from four legendary private collections at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art; a major exhibition of Celtic art at the National Museum of Scotland featuring over 300 objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled in Scotland for the first time; and an exhibition celebrating four centuries of ‘The Art of the Garden’ at The Queen’s Gallery Palace of Holyroodhouse
  • Multi-media collaborations, including new work by Canadian duo Donovan & Siegel at Edinburgh Printmakers; and new work commissioned by New Media Scotland’s Alt-w Fund for locations including The Travelling Gallery and City Art Centre.
  • The next generation of talent in Scotland and beyond including Siân Robinson Davies at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; a group presentation from the studios at The Number Shop; the annual degree show at Edinburgh College of Art; and a group exhibition bringing together new work by Tim Dodds, Emma Hart and Susan Mowatt at Rhubaba.

Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said:
“We are delighted today to announce details of the full exhibitions programme for the 13th edition of Edinburgh Art Festival. The richness and variety of our partner exhibition programme is second to none, and this year is no exception, bringing together work by artists from across the globe and through the ages – from the Celts to Leonardo da Vinci, and all the way through (by way of Impressionism and Surrealism) to today’s leading contemporary practitioners, as well as the undiscovered greats of tomorrow.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:
“This year’s programme offers an impressively vibrant and diverse selection of exhibitions and events, which is a testament to Edinburgh’s global reputation as the Festival City. The Scottish Government is proud to support the Edinburgh Art Festival in its 13th year through the Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. Through the annual, city-wide commissions programme which the fund supports, the festival plays a pivotal role in widening access to the arts by enabling new and emerging Scottish artists to create accessible publicly-sited works.”

Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland, said:
“The launch of the Edinburgh Art Festival programme is a very exciting moment and we are looking forward to a diverse and ambitious programme for 2016. As the largest annual visual arts festival in the UK, the Edinburgh Art Festival continues to make a significant contribution to Scotland’s cultural landscape, drawing national and international audiences to the city.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Festivals and Events Champion, said:
“Maintaining its title as the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, the Edinburgh Art Festival will deliver yet another staggering programme for its 13th year. The 2016 event will feature artworks from all corners of the world in public galleries, pop-up places and unusual spaces right across the capital. This year, I’m especially excited to see the Festival’s annual platform for early career artists. Turner Prize nominee Ciara Phillips’ commission in partnership with the Council will dazzle Leith Docks, while the City Art Centre will trace the careers of two of Scotland’s 20th Century landscape painters, William Gillies and John Maxwell.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:
“As the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, we are delighted to be supporting the Edinburgh Art Festival 2016. Taking place in some of the capital’s leading art spaces, it is with great excitement that we look forward to the presentation of new works by emerging artists, as well as the exhibition of significant historical pieces. With a strong free-to-attend element, and links to the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, we are confident this year’s festival is set to be one of the most popular among art-lovers yet.”

Significant Scottish and International Contemporary Artists

EAF’s 2016 programme will feature new work by leading international artists, including one of the most prominent artists of the new Mexican generation, Damián Ortega, whose exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery will look at ‘The Art of War’. The largest and most important collection of Joseph Beuys’ drawings from outside of Germany will be seen for the first time as part of the ARTIST ROOMS collection at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and an exhibition celebrating 30 years of Inverleith House will feature new commissions and existing works by key international and Scottish artists, including Louise Bourgeois, John McCracken, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly, Corin Sworn and Isa Genzken. Renowned French artist Christian Boltanski will create his first permanent installation in the UK, Animitas – a large-scale installation comprising of hundreds of small Japanese bells, alongside two exhibitions: a theatrical projection called Sombras and his celebrated ongoing project Les Archives du Coeur at Jupiter Artland. Alongside this, the sculpture park will also present Caroline Mesquita’s first solo institutional exhibition in the UK, with a congregation of figurines set around the duck pond. Further to this, Ingleby Gallery will present a major solo show of objects and images by the renowned Edinburgh-based artist Jonathan Owen, featuring his Eraser Drawings.

Collective will work with artists Simon & Tom Bloor to create a sculptural viewing tower to look into the City Observatory, as well as presenting a solo show by Jennifer Bailey. Eclectrc Panoptic will be presented at Talbot Rice Gallery, marking the New Zealander Jess Johnson’s first solo exhibition outside the Australasia region.

The 2016 programme will also see significant presentations by Scotland’s leading art practitioners including a show of the internationally-acclaimed painter and printmaker Barbara Rae at Open Eye Gallery. A multi-layered thematic exhibition at Dovecot Gallery titled The Scottish Endarkenment will feature rarely seen works by major Scottish artists such as Ian Hamilton Finlay, Douglas Gordon and David Shrigley, together with a younger generation of artists including Katie Paterson, Kevin Harman and Georgia Horgan. City Art Centre’s festival exhibition will trace the careers of the two distinctive Scottish 20th century artists William Gillies and John Maxwell, showcasing the Fletcher Collection, a group of 43 artworks not displayed together in over 20 years. Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will present new work by Scottish sculptor Kenny Hunter which will test the potential of digital technologies and their relationship to existing processes of production.

Strong Focus on Portraiture

Festival audiences will be able to enjoy a number of exhibitions focussing on portraiture, in a wide range of media including painting, film and photography. Significant shows include a major survey of self- portraiture at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, with works spanning six centuries, from self- portraits by Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei’s Instagram selfies, in collaboration with the Musée des Beaux- Arts de Lyon in France and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Germany. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 will offer visitors the chance to explore both traditional and innovative approaches to contemporary portrait photography, displaying portraits of famous faces including Benedict Cumberbatch, and Barack and Michelle Obama. Jo Spence’s solo show at Stills will bring together different aspects of her photographic practice from the 1970s and 1980s including her self- portraiture; and Talbot Rice Gallery will present the first solo exhibition of Alice Neel in Scotland, a testament to one of the most perceptive portrait painters of the last century and a unique subjective document of life in post-war America.

Art Historical and Survey Exhibitions

EAF’s programme is unique in its inclusion of historic work alongside the very best of contemporary art. The Scottish National Gallery will focus on the work of French landscape painter Daubigny, exploring how he anticipated and influenced many of the practices associated with Impressionism, juxtaposed with work by major Impressionist painters including Monet, Pissarro, and Van Gogh. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art will bring together an impressive survey of surrealist masterpieces, by artists such as Salvador Dalí, Leonora Carrington, René Magritte, Dorothea Tanning and Joan Miró, all of which have belonged to the four very different collections put together by Edward James, Roland Penrose, Gabrielle Keiller and Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch. The National Museum of Scotland presents Celts, a major exhibition organised together with the British Museum, featuring over 300 treasured objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled in Scotland for the first time. The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse will celebrate four centuries of ‘The Art of the Garden’, including work from the Royal Collection by Leonardo da Vinci, and some of the earliest and rarest surviving depictions of gardens and plants.

The Next Generation of Artists

EAF’s programme features work by a selection of the next generation of prominent artists. Canadian duo Donovan & Siegel will explore how the legacy of print continues to shape how we communicate by merging sculpture, graphic design and storytelling at Edinburgh Printmakers. Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop will present two further exhibitions: a solo show of Edinburgh-based Siân Robinson Davies, which will continue her ongoing series of short dialogues between objects and concepts; and Miraculous, an unusual text-and-architecture experiment between New York-based Raphael Rubinstein and local designers Maeve Redmond and Sophie Dyer. Rhubaba will present Still life with flying objects, a group show which brings together new and existing work by artists Tim Dodds, Emma Hart and Susan Mowatt; and The Number Shop will introduce new work from its studio residents, focussing on performance, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, painting, sound and photography. Additionally, 2016 will see a new floor-based installation by Hayley Tompkins at Jupiter Artland.

Edinburgh College of Art will present its annual degree show featuring new work and performances in art, design, architecture, landscape architecture, composition and sound design, and will also host a video installation accompanying Beverley Hood’s new project ‘Eidolon’, which will explore the relationship between the body and technology. New Media Scotland’s Alt-w Fund has commissioned a series of four new works to create two exhibitions with work by ~ in the fields, Nicky Bird, boredomresearch, Dennis & Debbie Club and more at The Travelling Gallery, City Art Centre and other locations.

Pop Up Exhibitions and Events

This year’s programme also includes a host of new multi-media installations and pop-up exhibitions including a multi-channel video installation by Helen McCrorie at the Glasite House, a special exhibition presented across 4 domestic settings curated by Chloe Reith, a solo show of work by Jennifer Lynn Morone, as well as an outdoor installation by artists Petter Yxell and Baha Görkem Yalim, curated by ANGL Collective and a transient architectural outdoor installation by Aeneas Wilder. In addition, The Telfer Gallery (alongside their artist in residence Kimberley O’Neill) will present a film screening and talk; Deveron Arts’ The Walking Institute will host a two day event; and the Scottish Poetry Library will host an exhibition about the influence of art on concrete poetry. Place + Platform will exhibit the results of ten flat pack 30 x 30 x 30 boxes sent to 10 international artists in the Pack and Send courier service; ATLAS Arts will present a new spoken word composition by Ruth Barker; and Oliver Braid will conduct studio visits to people in Edinburgh who took up art in their retirement as he explores the theory of ‘art as utility’. In addition, Steve Pettengell will present a site specific sound installation; BART WALTZ collective will stage a feast with musicians and members of the public at Gayfield Gallery; and guest editors at MAP online publication will present an event, and series of commissions with ECA.

Festival-led programme

In addition to the partner programme, each year EAF curates the annual Commissions Programme, realising new publicly sited works across the city and opening up hidden and expected places. In the past six years, the programme has supported artists, both Scottish and international, at all stages in their career to develop ambitious new temporary and permanent projects specifically conceived for the festival. In Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, the Commissions Programme – titled ‘More lasting than bronze’ – explores one of the most important points of intersection for art and architecture in cities: the Monument. The full programme will include seven new projects by leading and emerging Scottish and international artists, including a major new work by Turner Prize nominee, Ciara Phillips: a Dazzle Ship co-commissioned with 14-18 NOW, which will launch at the end of May. 2016 will also see the return of Platform, the festival’s dedicated opportunity for artists at the beginning of their careers. Full details of the Commissions Programme and Platform 2016 will be announced in May 2016.

supporting the Edinburgh Art Festival annual city-wide commissions, providing a platform for leading and emerging Scottish artists to make ambitious publicly-sited work. For more information, visit the Scottish Government website: news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Investing-in-Edinburgh-s-Festivals-16f0.aspx 

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com

The 2016 Edinburgh Art Festival is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2014 to 2020. The Scottish Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. Creative Scotland enables people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. Creative Scotland distributes funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit: www.creativescotland.com | www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland | @creativescots

The City of Edinburgh Council is a funding partner for Edinburgh Art Festival. The Council accommodates the organisation at City Art Centre and provides regular use of Trinity Apse and other Council-owned property for festival activities. The Council aims to maintain and build on Edinburgh’s reputation as the ideal location for major events and festivals. Working with the city’s cultural sector, the Council’s arts development team ensures that arts play a vital and lasting role in Edinburgh by developing strategic policy, offering advice on cultural projects and awarding cultural grants.

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It aims to engage as many people as possible with the First World War, exploring how the war has impacted on the society we live in now. 14-18 NOW commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms, inspired by the period 1914-1918. The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons – the first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), the second is March to November 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Somme) and the last in 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day). 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. 14-18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and by additional fundraising. Dazzle Ship Scotland (working title) is co-commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival and 14- 18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions with support from Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. 14-18 NOW has commissioned over 80 artworks to date that have been seen by over 20 million people. For details of the full programme please see: www.1418now.org.uk 

The Saltire Society seeks to encourage everything that might improve the quality of life in Scotland. It works to preserve all that is best in Scottish traditions and to encourage new developments which can strengthen and enrich the country’s cultural life. It acts as a catalyst, celebrant and commentator through an annual programme of awards, lectures, debates and projects. Founded in 1936, Saltire Society is a non-political independent charity with membership branches throughout Scotland. Membership of the Saltire Society is open to all individuals and organisations that support the aims of the Society.

Core Funders
City of Edinburgh Council
Creative Scotland 

Project Funders
Event Scotland
14-18 NOW

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