Menthol Refreshment, Hasty Hanging, IKEA: This Month in Scottish Art

Across Edinburgh and Glasgow, there are blockbuster art shows ending soon and showcases of emerging artists – as well as a performance about the importance of oral hygiene

Feature by Adam Benmakhlouf | 06 Jan 2015

First off, let’s start with Kathryn Ashill’s window installation and performance at the CCA. Glasgow-based Ashill will present work that takes as a loose starting point George Orwell’s novel Coming Up for Air, whose character is fat, middle-aged and struggles to come to terms with his new false teeth. Regarding the performance on Saturday 10 January 6-8pm, 'Menthol and teeth related refreshment' will be provided.

Open since June, but now into the last month of its run, Lucy Skaer’s exhibition in the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow will end on 25 January. One of the last remaining shows of 2014’s GENERATION festival, the emphasis is on key works by this Turner Prize-nominated artist. Amongst the work on display are two wooden sculptures that emerged from Skaer’s encounter with Leonara Carrington in 2006, and have previously been displayed in Basel under the title Leonara and in 2007 as part of the Scotland+Venice programme in the Venice Biennale.

Also on until 25 January is the blockbuster GENERATION show in Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh. The show has taken over the entirety of Modern One with 21 of the most important artists of the last 25 years of Scottish contemporary art. There’s a rapid-fire style of showing the work that feels like a scaled-up degree show, with each of the artists being given roughly similar spaces and being shown cheek-to-cheek. Nevertheless, it’s an opportunity to see all at once the big names bandied around in conversation about the recent history of Scottish art.

In Edinburgh again, it’s the Embassy members’ group show, Salontology. There will be a rapid turnaround from 15-18 January when work is to be handed in, and the 23rd when the show will open. All members, current and new, are welcome to submit work as Embassy promise a salon style show curated by the Embassy Committee.

Back in Glasgow, also on 23 January, the Modern Institute will open two new exhibitions across its Osborne Street and Aird’s Lane spaces. In the main Osborne Street space, Jack Smith’s theatre and performance works are given attention. From the 1950s until 1989, Smith worked in New York where he created experimental and transgressive work, and has become known for his important role in underground cinema.

In Aird’s Lane, again on the 23 January, there will be the opening of Alex Dordoy’s Model T. In previous exhibitions, Dordoy has worked across two and three dimensional media. Incorporating plaster freestanding objects amongst wall-based paintings, Dordoy takes a fluid approach to media. He also subtly incorporates digital media into his painting practice as he uses Photoshop as a means of working out compositions.

Tramway at the very end of the month will unveil two new exhibitons by artists Laura Aldridge and James Rigler. Rigler will present in Tramway 5 At Every Fading of the Stars. In this new body of work, he explores “ruins, architectural salvage and IKEA.” Generally, Rigler works with ceramics that in their inspiration bound between architecture and domestic objects.

Also from 30 January, but in Tramway 2, Laura Aldrige will present an installation that will present opportunities for viewers to become participants. In doing so, Aldrige’s work is forecasted to become a site of discussion and exchange. Materially, the exhibition will draw together sculpture, textile, print and ceramics, in order to establish “a vivid and tactile environment … [that] will operate as a backdrop for dialogue about craft and contemporary art, creative processes, connections and collaborations.”