Picture this: Edinburgh Art Festival programme unveiled

The only major annual festival dedicated to the visual arts within the UK has announced the first details of its 15th edition, bringing together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces in a city-wide celebration of art!

This year, the programme will present over 36 exhibitions across more than 25 venues, combining Scottish and international contemporary art with survey shows and newly commissioned work.

Founded in 2004 and now in its 15th edition, the event is the platform for the visual arts at the heart of Edinburgh’s August festivals. Each year, the Festival features leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. The 2017 Festival attracted over 315,000 visits. Edinburgh Art Festival is a registered charity supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.Edwin G. Lucas, Organic Abstract, 1986. Lucas Family Collection. © the artist's
estate. (Photo: John McKenzie)

Commenting on this year's programme announcement, Councillor Donald Wilson, Edinburgh’s Culture and Communities Convener, said: “The City of Edinburgh Council has championed the Edinburgh Art Festival since it was established and is delighted to continue its support this summer. The 2018 programme will feature artworks from all corners of the globe, spanning the city’s many galleries, museums, unique and unusual spaces.

“This year, I’m especially excited to see newly commissioned work from rising stars and a significant display of work by solo female artists. The Edinburgh Art Festival remains a key platform for early career artists, helping to promote the vital and lasting role the arts play in Edinburgh and Scotland. We are proud to be home to one of the biggest celebrations of visual arts in the UK, which welcomes people of all nationalities and backgrounds, and this year’s theme looking at our place in the world and belonging feels particularly pertinent.”

Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said: Our Festival’s origins lie in the strength of Edinburgh’s year-round visual arts scene. As we enter our 15th edition, this year’s partner exhibitions continue to demonstrate the ambitious and inspiring programming that has shaped our Festival from its inception.”

This year’s exhibition programme will feature major presentations by esteemed contemporary artists such as Tacita Dean, Jenny Saville, Joana Vasconcelos, Lucy Skaer and Victoria Crowe. Landmark surveys of major figures in the history of art will include the largest display of work by Canaletto ever to be shown in Scotland, an exploration of the extraordinary impact of Rembrandt’s work in Britain, only to be seen in Edinburgh, and a retrospective of the great German Expressionist painter, Emil Nolde. 2018’s Festival will offer the opportunity to see newly commissioned sculptural work by rising stars of contemporary sculpture as well as leading established artists, including Phyllida Barlow, one of the most lauded British sculptors working today.

Group exhibitions across the Festival will feature work by some of the most respected Scottish and international contemporary artists, with themes of the natural world, our relationship to space, landscape and environment, and the power of place and belonging recurring throughout the Festival’s programme. Major reappraisals of rarely-seen work by Scotland’s historic artists, such as Edwin G. Lucas and John Bellany, will also feature, while survey shows celebrating the bountiful collections of fine art photography to be found in Scotland will run alongside.

Discover the programme online now at https://edinburghartfestival.com/

Image credit relates to Edwin G Lucas, An Individual Eye. Opens 4 August at the City Art Centre: Edwin G. Lucas, Organic Abstract, 1986. Lucas Family Collection. © the artist's
estate. (Photo: John McKenzie)

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