Over the summer I have been able to dip in to a number of galleries and exhibition spaces, though now back in Edinburgh there are many I plan on catching up with.
I went to the Pittenweem Arts Festival and prioritised the invited artists: John Byrne, Jake Harvey, David Mackie Cook and The Association of Danish Printmaking Artists.
I found the Byrne collection quirky and quite sad. Byrne is obviously counting the years and nostalgia plays a large part. So does the threat of imminent violence as dark closes and silhouetted knife wielding characters lurk in the background. The one portrait of a woman is beautifully executed and acts as a foil for the other work.
Jake Harvey's sculpture was impressive and cast a monumental presence. I enjoyed the weight of them and the polished execution of the pieces. I have just read that he is a former Head of the School of Sculpture at ECA.
David Mackie Cook - tutored by Alberto Morocco at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art - his work was incredibly vibrant - his use of yellow was quite overwhelming. Van Gogh gone mad.
As for the prints - very varied and an impressive showcase of what can be achieved by print.
Of the other artists, the ones that really stood out for me were Morag Muir and Margaret L Smyth. Both were theatrical by nature in terms of references and I thought they were quite similar to Victoria Crowe.
Whilst in Milan for a day or two, I visited the Pinacoteca in Brera and also the 900 Gallery. The first was fairly amazing - the most striking paintings for me being Hayez 'Il bacio' and Pellizza da Volpedo 'Fiumana'. I also saw work by Modigliani and Morandi. The structure was amazing and worth visiting again. The 900 Gallery was more modern and contemporary. Again so much to see. We had a coffee in a wonderfully cool air-conditioned restaurant overlooking the Duomo.
Carol E Duff