RSA New Contemporaries

Article by Emma Fyvie | 28 Mar 2011

Now in its third year, RSA New Contemporaries brings Scotland’s latest art graduates to the attention of the gallery-going public. Evolving from their annual student show, this exhibition of almost sixty artists serves to reinforce the Royal Scottish Academy’s commitment to supporting the best and brightest of contemporary art and design. It’s also a good opportunity for visitors to invest in the future of British art, as most of the pieces on display are available to buy.

In an exhibition dominated by painting, the installation pieces more than hold their own, and the most successful of these have a distinct ecological theme. Kim W. Wilson’s peat, ash and gelatine composition easily steals the room with its interesting contrasts of colour and texture, while Shaun Fagan’s trembling Perspex hemispheres and Colin Bury’s bustling mix of flora and scaffolding also hint at an exciting future for installation art.

In the main hall the more monumental works are invited to battle it out among themselves. Ruth A. Nicol’s exciting landscapes merge romanticism and urbanism to captivating effect. Across the room, Gordon Simpson’s steel constructivist elevation is almost overwhelming in its scale, geometry and exploration of light and shadow through glossy surfaces and jostling plains. Equally arresting is the work of The Skinny Award winner Stephen Thorpe, whose beautifully vibrant oil on canvas works evidence great accomplishment. Thorpe seamlessly guides the eye around a large-scale work and displays a style evoking Robert Rauschenberg in his use of cultural comment and zeitgeist merging.

This exhibition of exciting new artists provides an opportunity to see the next generation of art graduates under one roof, and maybe even invest in the art market. A must see exhibition for the curious and collectors alike.

£2 (£1)