Modern Art #1 Edinburgh

In the line of chasing up some family relations living in Edinburgh, there was time to call in at one of the sites of modern art in the city  – Modern Art #1.  Driving by car, I seemed to navigate with ease, perhaps emboldened by Google Maps to check progress.

The gallery is essentially on two floors. A great deal of the ground floor was given over to the work of a certain Do Ho Suh with various sites of creative residence identified as New York and Seoul.  A wide range of themes was presented. A noted feature was a display of surprisingly large cyanotype prints – possibly etched by sunlight rather than a lamp of some description.  Subjects included  a string of lights and a fire extinguisher.

Cyanotype print of a fire extinguisher.

Those who have investigated the art of cyanotype printing will understand that it is deceptively difficult to achieve a ‘professional’ print quality.

Cyanotype image of string of lights.

Given the ability of the South Koreans to seamlessly provide all manner of our high tech needs, it was perhaps no surprise to observe a rather significant  ‘how its done’ technical explanation of a highway across the Pacific ocean linking Seoul with the west coast of the USA.  A novel concept was that a specific species of seaweed would  by its propagation create the necessary buoyancy to support the massive highway  structures. It was never clear, however, how ships would navigate round  the obstacle. This is perhaps a sign that we do live in a world of ideas where  some are more practical than others. The images of the ‘thought experiment’ are, however, intriguing.

Imagined support system for ocean highway.

While we all carry in our visual landscape an image of Edvard Munch’s the scream, perhaps we are less familiar with his artistic representations of the female form, which he would variously create on limestone tablets for printmaking in Berlin. Apparently he would also mount heavy slabs of limestone on his easel for personal convenience. It would seem there is a little bit of a scream in most of his work.

Edvard Munch: Lithograph – Madonna: 1985

We all perhaps think of collages as something new, but Picasso was using  this style in 1912. It is perhaps not clear what prompted him to choose this form, though his modus operandi was always  experimental. I am tempted to make a 2024 tribute copy.

Pablo Picasso : Bottle and glass on a table 1912

There is an excerpt from a 5 minute video (You 2003) created by a certain Katy Dove who was a pivotal figure within Scottish visual art. The dynamic images convey skillful transitions of form and colour made from Katy’s work with watercolours. Sadly, she left our sight at an all to early age of 44. Katy also worked creatively with sound.

This video ‘You 2003’ was part of the works presented by Scottish artists at the Venice Biennale in 2003

Eye catching for its colour, the painting of Red Roofs (Dieppe) by Margaret Morris, is profound in its associations for Margaret was the partner of the renowned Scottish Colourist J.D. Ferguson.  Ferguson assisted her with the dance school she established and other artistic endeavours.  It is all the same a skillful painting – reminding me of the red roofs of Kirkubright as painted by that other famous Scottish Colourist Samuel Peploe.

Red Roofs (Dieppe) by Margaret Morris

In the cafe, I came across a canvas print of Samuel Peploe’s Tulips, which was captured by standing over people’s lunches and was too good to  miss. 

Tulips by Samuel Peploe

By northernlight1

I have interests is a wide range of topics and have written on these and more formal subjects for quite some time. The written word still retains the power to inform and motivate - hopefully constructively and certainly has to be used responsibly in an age of false information trails.

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