Edinburgh Art Festival reveals 2016 programme

Edinburgh will be taken over by more than 40 exhibitions and pop-up displays when the 13th annual art festival arrives on 28 July.

Jupiter artland
Jupiter Artland

The 2016 programme promises to combine ambitious solo and group works by international and Scottish contemporary artists, alongside major historical exhibitions and newly commissioned projects.

The Festival will take place in more than 30 venues including the City of Edinburgh Council's City Art Centre on Market Street. 

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh'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.”  

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.”

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 a major solo show of Barbara Rae’s work at Open Eye Gallery; an exhibition tracing the careers of William Gillies and John Maxwell atCity 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 ofCharles-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 combiningSurrealist 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.

Find out more at the Edinburgh International Festival website

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