Art exhibition: NOW, second instalment
Installations, photographs and paintings by young artists are on show in NOW, a controversial new exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and will once again divide opinion over its ‘artistic’ merits.
Work by the Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist Susan Philipsz is the centrepiece of the second instalment of NOW, a dynamic programme of contemporary art exhibitions which has taken over the entire ground floor of the Gallery’s Modern One building.
Another Glasgow-based artist Sarah Rose has been commissioned to make a new body of work.
Primarily known for her innovative sculptural and sound work, the New Zealander has researched various forms of communication and the capabilities and limits of materials to create an installation that includes a range of hand-blown glass forms, a specially conceived voice audio piece, and hanging foam and fibre-based sculptures.
But Philipsz’ work is likely to provoke most debate. Her exhibit Seven Tears (2016) comprises seven synchronised record decks, each playing a single note taken from the melancholic Baroque lament Lachrimae, or Seaven Teares Figured in Seaven Passionate Pavans (1604), by English composer John Dowland (1563-1626).
According to some critics this creates an installation “infused with haunting beauty”. Others will just see seven record decks on plinths and wonder at the point of it all.
She won the Turner Prize in 2010, which was the first time a sound work was nominated. Her work often features rearrangements of popular folk songs and melodies, which are played in both gallery and public spaces and frequently explore the themes of loss, longing, hope, and mourning.
You Are Not Alone (2009/2017) will be presented in Scotland for the first time. It takes the form of an FM radio signal transmitted from within Modern One, and made audible within the stairwell of our adjacent sister building Modern Two, situated across Belford Road.
By separating and isolating individual tones from the original song, Philipsz makes it less recognisable. Each note was produced on a series of glasses filled with water, played with a moistened finger. This will be the work’s first showing in the UK.
Other work is by Kenyan-British artist Michael Armitage, photographs by French artist Yto Barrada, a video installation by Iraqi-Kurdish artist Hiwa K, and a display pairing nineteenth century dolls with drawings by Glasgow-based artist Kate Davis.
NOW reflects the Gallery’s ambition to share contemporary art with a wide audience, highlighting the range of work being made by artists associated with Scotland, as well as those from across the globe.
Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, said: “NOW is the most ambitious programme of contemporary art to be staged at the National Galleries of Scotland, and we are confident this autumn exhibition will build on the great success of the first.
“NOW showcases the work of some of the most influential and compelling artists working now, in Scotland and abroad.”
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
28 October 2017 – 18 February 2018