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Highlights from Edinburgh Art Festival 2015

RA Recommends

Published 31 July 2015

This week we guide you through some of the highlights from the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art.

  • Kwang Young Chun: Aggregations

    Dovecot Gallery, 31 July – 26 September 2015
    The work of internationally renowned artist Kwang Young Chun illustrates how eastern philosophy and traditional craft making skills continue to inspire innovation in contemporary art. Blended with his fascination of American Abstract Expressionism, Chun’s Aggregations express a unique visual language that lies between the personal and the mass-produced, the organic and the man-made, and the soft and the rigid. Meticulously hand-wrapped packages have multiplied and materialised as other-worldy craters and undulating surfaces that are rich in both texture and colour.

  • Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 13-NV045 RED (detail)

    Kwang Young Chun, Aggregation 13-NV045 RED (detail), 2015.

    Dovecot Gallery, photo credit Stuart Armitt.

  • Tara Donovan

    Jupiter Artland, 1 August– 27 September 2015
    As part of the extensive programme at Jupiter Artland this summer, New York-based artist Tara Donovan will be filling three unique gallery spaces with her monumental sculptural installations. Using everyday items such as Scotch Tape, toothpicks and paper plates, Donovan transforms mundane materials into cell-like structures that seem to grow organically and take on their own life forms. A particular highlight is a rolling landscape comprising 50,000 plastic cups that has taken over Bonnington House’s Ballroom (below), an enchanting space in its own right and never before opened to the public.

  • Tara Donovan, Untitled

    Tara Donovan, Untitled, 2006.

    Plastic cups. site specific, dimensions variable. Photo Keith Hunter, courtesy of the artist and Jupiter Artland.

  • John Bellany RA: The Capercaillie’s Song

    Open Eye Gallery, 3 August – 2 September 2015
    The late John Bellany RA dealt with a life of personal tragedy and triumph through the cathartic practice of painting. His latest retrospective at Open Eye Gallery highlights a number of large-scale oils, drawings and watercolours from a career spanning over fifty years, which was heavily influenced by the artist’s life-long muse and inspiration, Helen Bellany. Works such as the Celtic Sacrifice (1972) vividly express the tumultuous nature of the couple’s marriage, while Capercaillie Sings (1984) conjures up more rarely painted moments of pure joie de vivre.

  • Joan Eardley RSA: In Context

    The Scottish Gallery, 6 August – 5 September 2015
    A host of artists will be exhibiting at The Scottish Gallery this summer, including one of Scotland’s most notable female artists, Joan Eardley. Her heartfelt, honest depictions of street life and the many curious children that entered her studio in Townhead, Glasgow, demonstrate her ability to express emotion and empathise with her subjects. Along with landscapes made in Catterline, Kincardineshire, the show will celebrate photography by both Eardley and Audrey Walker, the artist’s friend and muse.

  • Joan Eardley, Joan and toddler in her Townhead studio

    Joan Eardley, Joan and toddler in her Townhead studio, c.1959.

    Photograph by Audrey Walker.

  • John Chamberlain

    Inverleith House, Until 4 October 2015
    American artist John Chamberlain gained international recognition in the 1960s for his sculptures made from disused car metal. Often crumpled in an industrial crusher and spray-painted in bright colours before being welded together into their final shape, his abstract sculptures are now being placed within the gallery and gardens of Inverleith House, the outdoor location drawing out an unexpected organic quality in the artist’s heavy metal works.

  • John Chamberlain, Rainier Falls; Chickmeat

    John Chamberlain, Rainier Falls; Chickmeat, 1977; 1979.

    Inverleith House, Installation view.

    © 2015 Fairweather & Fairweather Ltd/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Michael Wolchover. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York.

  • Hanne Darboven: accepting anything among everything

    Talbot Rice Gallery, 31 July – 3 October 2015
    Hanne Darboven is perhaps best known for her series of minimalist installations that involved painstakingly transcribing dates in what the artist called “mathematical prose”. Continuing her idiosyncratic systems, Darboven began archiving her personal collection of cultural artifacts. The ‘everything’ in the title of her exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery relates to her non-preferential treatment of high or low culture or particular moments in art history.

  • Hanne Darboven, accepting anything among everything. Installation shot

    Hanne Darboven, accepting anything among everything. Installation shot.

    Photograph Chris Park © Talbot Rice Gallery.

  • Edinburgh Art Festival was founded in 2004 and brings together the city’s galleries and art spaces, alongside public art commissions, into a unique programme of events. It will run until 30 August 2015. Find out more.