Star Boys, Academicians, and The Drouth: This Week in Scottish Art

There are new exhibitions across Dundee and Glasgow this week, featuring artist both local and from further afield, and exciting opportunities to see work from influential 20th century artists Rose English and Jack Smith

Feature by Adam Benmakhlouf | 20 Jan 2015

Kicking off this week in Glasgow’s Virginia Gallery, Dundee-based artist Kirsty McKeown is showing work under the excellent exhibition title Star Boys. McKeown graduated in 2012, and we found her degree show punctuated by 'a visual language all of her own.' McKeown is showing a new body of mixed media works (sculpture, prints, collage) looking at stereotypes, and 'how these clichés have the potential to be positive and often humorous when they are intentionally embraced and actively stepped into.' The exhibition kicked off last weekend, and continues until 8 Feb.

From Dundonian artists to art in Dundee itself, it's the opening for Men Gather, in Speech… at the Cooper Gallery at the city's Duncan of Jordanstone art college. Beginning from the notion of political dialogue, this broad idea is addressed in three film works by Emma Charles, Rose English and Abri de Swardt, and will touch “upon the theatrical, the fictional and the digital.” While Rose English may not be a name that’s recognisable, her work is renowned internationally for its contribution to performance art since the 1970s. Charles and De Swardt are recent graduates based in London, whose work is brought into a critical proximity with English’s video, Plato’s Chair – a video documentation of what some regard as one of the definitive performance works of the 1980s. As a preview of the exhibition, our video of the week is Abri de Swardt’s I’ll Never Wear Sunglasses Again, which stages a fictional meeting of Paul Thek, Derek Jarman and Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The preview takes place on Thu 22 Jan, 5.30-7.30pm.

Video of the Week

Coming to Glasgow this Saturday, Transmission’s 2015 schedule kicks off with Life Like, a group exhibition that brings together local artists with some from further afield. The show features three Glasgow artists – Lauren Hall, Jamie Kane, and Sally Webber – who are joined by Greece-based Dora Economou, Welshman Sean Edwards and G Küng, who is based in Brussels. Generally, the exhibiting artists work with sculpture, with a loose trend cutting across their practices of an interest with everyday objects. Sat 24 Jan, 7-9pm.

Make a visit next door to the Glasgow Print Studio's first floor space for a very different exhibition. Academicians III, a show that brings together the work of Royal and Royal Scottish Academicians, mainly working with painted and drawn landscapes, comes to an end this Sunday. Staying in the Print Studio, Fiona Wilson is also featured on the ground floor. Wilson is known primarily for her 'bird lady series,' which are rendered primarily in monochrome and depict women with birds or with bird-like features.

It’s also worth a reminder (though these events were already covered in our monthly overview) that Alex Dordoy, who features in the Generation show in Edinburgh, has a solo show opening this Saturday in the Modern Institute’s Aird’s Lane space. In the main Osborne Street space, also from Saturday, there will be the work of underground cinema artist Jack Smith. In the corridor space of the Reid Building of the Glasgow School of Art, there is an exhibition that centres on the fiftieth issue of The Drouth, a Glasgow quarterly founded in 2001 'to stimulate debate on literature, film politics, reportage, visual culture, music and architecture.' Works published for the cover or inside the magazine are on display, and include pieces by Roddy Buchanan, Ross Sinclair and David Shrigley. Also on show is Turner nominee Ciara Philips’ cover for the fiftieth issue.

Finally, in Edinburgh this Thursday, there is a final evening of events for the huge Generation show in Modern One in Edinburgh’s Scottish Gallery of Modern Art. At 6pm, exhibited artists Ciara Philips, Claire Barclay and Kate Davis will discuss their own and one another’s artwork. This will be followed at 7pm by a performance by Wolf, the project of experimental musician Kim Moore. Full details can be found here

More from The Skinny:

Get set for 2015 in Scottish art with our look at the year ahead

A hymn to teen movies – a look at 'beyond clueless'

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