New exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art begins in November

A new exhibition of modern and contemporary art will start at the end of November and run until spring 2023 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One).

There will be over 100 works on display in the ground floor exhibition with a wide range of art spanning 110 years.

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “The acquisitions breathe new life into our collections. They allow us to reflect the latest developments in Scotland and beyond, building on the strength of our existing collections and research. Through donations, bequests and support from charitable funds and private donors, the national collection continues to grow in exciting new directions. We are very happy to be able to share these works with our visitors and encourage everyone to come and be inspired by the discovery of our novelties.

Alongside an early 20th century Picasso, there will be recent works by contemporary artists. The exhibition will also change during the year with pieces presented at intervals. The works represent five years of acquisitions made possible by supporters of the National Galleries Scotland (NGS) through donations and bequests. The Art Council also accepts artwork as a tax, which enabled the gallery to acquire the life-size bronze sculpture by Damien Hirst Wretched War (2004), the first portrait Oskar Kokoschka painted. in Britain after arriving as a refugee in 1939, and a remarkable set of twenty-one monotypes by the great Russian constructivist artist Naum Gabo.

More recently, NGS acquired a major line of work from Fred Sandback; Untitled (1971) is the artist’s first sculpture to enter a British public collection.

Untitled Fred Sandback

Art Fund was instrumental in strengthening the surrealist collection of NGS, which is now one of the best in the world. This includes the iconic Salvador Dalí Lobster Phone (1938), by Leonora Carrington Portrait of Max Ernst (c. 1939) and Dorothea Tanning’s Living picture [Living Picture] (1954). Tanning’s painting will be accompanied by a second acquisition of a work by the artist, a sculpture titled Primitive seats (1982) consisting of a re-upholstered chair with a long cat’s tail: it was acquired with the generous support of Alison Jacques.

The exhibit is a testament to the many people who have donated or helped NGS buy works over the past five years. These include Iain Paul, a resident of Edinburgh, who left his estate to purchase Scottish contemporary art, and several other generous private donors. NGS also thanks the late Drue Heinz and his estate, Denise Coates CBE, Brian and Lesley Knox and the patrons of NGS, among others.

Highlights of the exhibition will include striking and vibrant woodcuts by Alberta Whittle, who will represent Scotland at the 59th International Venice Biennale; a large-scale diptych by France-Lise McGurn, the Glasgow-based artist renowned for her works of intuitive brushstrokes, and a painting by the famous Scottish painter and printmaker Barbara Rae CBE RA RSA RE.

Many works of art will be on display to the public for the very first time since arriving in the galleries. They understand:

  • The first work by much sought-after artist Marc Chagall to enter the Scottish National Collection. The Squire [The Horse Rider] (1949 – 1953) is a striking example of Chagall’s fixation on the representation of circus riders.
  • Bows (circa 1910), a painting by Frances Macdonald MacNair, a member of the famous “Glasgow Four”, which explores the theme of female sexuality in her distinctive Spook School style.
  • Wangechi Mutu Histology of the different classes of uterine tumors (2004 – 2005), a series of twelve politically resonant collages that question the cultural objectification of women of color. These were purchased with the help of the Heinz Fund and the Art Fund.
  • Intervals 2 (2019), a generous donation from influential British painter Bridget Riley, which marked a new direction in her 70-year career.
  • Seven unique prints by Ciara Phillips, an artist concerned with how printmaking can spark discussion of current social and political concerns, purchased through the Iain Paul Fund.
  • Jenny Saville’s first work to enter a UK public collection; Nude (study for ‘Branded’) (1992) presents a female figure in an uncompromising way, confronting notions of idealized beauty from a feminist perspective. It was acquired through the Henry and Sula Walton Fund, an independent charity established to help NGS purchase major works of modern art.
  • Two exciting film and sound installations offered by Outset Contemporary Art Fund: The slave’s lament (2015) by Graham Fagen, an evocative interpretation of Robert Burns’ 200-year-old poem; and Hanna Tuulikki SING-SIGN: a close duo (2015), which responds to the history and geography of the narrow fences that extend from Edinburgh’s most famous street, the Royal Mile.

New Arrivalswill also present works by Natalia Goncharova, Glen Onwin, Frances Walker, John Bellany, Marie Harnett and Stephen Campbell.

News: From Salvador Dalí to Jenny Saville

November 27, 2021 – spring 2023
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
0131 624 6200 /
Free entry, but advance reservation recommended
# OurNew Arrivals

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