Landmark exhibition at City Art Centre opens this weekend

A summer of Scottish art spanning 350 years and over 150 works kicks off in the capital this weekend (Saturday 23 May).

JD fergusson - The blue hat - closerie des lilas 1909 - copyright of The Fergusson Gallery
JD fergusson - The blue hat - closerie des lilas 1909 - copyright of The Fergusson Gallery

The City Art Centre will launch one of its largest collection exhibitions to date this summer, with the opening of Scottish Art: People, Places, Ideas, being shown across four themes and four floors of the City of Edinburgh Council-owned and managed gallery.

Within each section, a variety of artistic styles and different media demonstrate the impressive breadth of creativity that has developed in Scotland over the centuries.

New acquisitions and artworks that haven’t been displayed for many years will be hung side by side with well-known classics and items from popular Scottish groups and movements, including the Colourists, Glasgow Boys and Edinburgh School.

The exhibition will show paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculpture selected from over 4,500 works in the City Art Centre’s nationally significant collection of Scottish art.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Sport Convener, said: “Visitors will be able to view old favourites and discover new treasures at this landmark free summer exhibition at the City Art Centre.

“All of the artworks on display are by Scottish artists or about Scotland, and many of the pieces are pivotal works that have influenced the direction of the nation’s artists and Scotland’s worldwide reputation for art.

“Such a collection is an absolute treasure and this exhibition allows the art to flood the building with some of the most popular and important works exploring Scottish people, places and ideas.

“We want this exhibition to welcome new visitors from home and all over the world and we hope past visitors will rediscover this local collection of nationally significant art by entering the doors of the City Art Centre this summer.”

Over the years, the City Art Centre has shown its permanent collection of Scottish art in various formats, enabling visitors to appreciate its range and depth. This exhibition follows 2011’s chronological exhibition, Scottish Art: 1650 – 2010. 2015’s Scottish Art: People, Places, Ideas presents a newly curated selection in a thematic framework across people, landscape, still life and abstraction.

Highlights include:

  • An exploration of Scottish portraiture and figuration through artworks by Allan Ramsay, Henry Raeburn, John Lavery [Glasgow Boys], Joan Eardley and John Bellany.
  • Scenes of Edinburgh and the wider Scottish landscape by Alexander Nasmyth, Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth, William McTaggart, William Gillies and Victoria Crowe - including views from the Scott Monument in the 1840s, which Richard Demarco revisited in a series of 1980s paintings [also in the exhibition].
  • Notable still life artworks from SJ Peploe, Anne Redpath, JD Fergusson and Elizabeth Blackadder.
  • Abstract works by Alan Davie, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and Callum Innes.

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