10 essential exhibitions and events at Edinburgh Art Festival
Faile & Bast

The UK’s largest annual celebration of visual arts will be marking its 10th anniversary this year, so we can expect a full schedule of great art.

With 250, 000 visitors expected it’s not always easy to know which exhibitions are truly essential to see over the month long festival, but we’ve scoured the upcoming programme to give you the ten exhibitions which are a ‘must see’ for all art enthusiasts.

Jim Lambie

Jim Lambie, The Kid with the Replaceable Head 1996 (Tinfoil head) © The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd
[Jim Lambie ‘The Kid with the Replaceable Head’ (1996) – Courtesy of The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd]

Described as one of the most internationally significant Scottish artists of our time, Lambie’s rise to fame came in 1999 with his multi-coloured vinyl taped floor installations in a series entitled Zobop.

The charm of Lambie’s work lies in its almost childlike approach to colour and the ability to turn the ordinary into the surreal shown poignantly in the Shaved Ice installation, a room full of brightly coloured mirrored ladders which climb all the way to the ceiling.

The installation at the Fruitmarket will feature a retrospective of his body of work, including early sculpture work such as The Kid With The Replacable Head as well as work made specifically for the exhibition itself.

27 June – 19 October, Fruitmarket Gallery; more info

John Byrne: Dead End

John Byrne, Big Selfie
[John Byrne ‘Big Selfie’ (2014) – Courtesy of the artist and Bourne Fine Art]

Byrne is an artist, playwright and theatre designer whose paintings use a dreamlike narrative to discuss themes such as mortality, Catholicism and Paisley(!). John’s work is held in major collections such as the Scottish National Gallery and this exhibition at the Bourne Fine Art Gallery will be a celebration of his idiosyncratic style and nature.

4 July – 30 August, Bourne Fine Art Gallery; more info

Katie Paterson: 100 Billion Suns

Ten performances marking key events on the Edinburgh Art Festival calendar, Katie Paterson will be firing 3,216 pieces of confetti from a hand-held cannon. The confetti pieces will match the colour and quantity of known gamma ray bursts which have occurred across the universe. This is sure to be a memorable moment from your Art Festival visit.

31 July – 31 August, Ingleby Gallery; more info

Calum Colvin: Magic Box

Calum Colvin

Described as an ‘archaeology of his creative practice over the past 28 years’, Colvin’s Magic Box is a combination of printmaking, ceramics and installations that create an experimental and immersive experience. The exhibition will include specially constructed light boxes that will be used to display transparent images.

Magic Box will be rotated throughout its tenure with other pieces from the Colvin archive. Meaning different experiences for visitors on different days.

1 August – 6 September, Edinburgh Printmakers; more info

FAILE & Båst: Deluxx Fluxx Arcade

Faile & Bast
[FAILE & BAST ‘Deluxx Fluxx Arcade’ (Miami, 2013) – Courtesy of FAILE]

Brooklyn based FAILE has worked with street artist Båst to create this exhibition of specially designed arcade games, pinball machines and psychedelic foosball tables. The artists look to blur the boundaries between what is considered high and low culture, creating an art space that is interactive and has the DIY punk sensibilities of the  graffiti scene in America.

A bright and entertaining exhibition that is sure to grab your attention.

1 August – 26 September, Summerhall; more info

Antonio O’Connell: Virus

Mexican artist O’Connell builds architectural installations on the side of other structures using recycled materials and bits of the buildings themselves.

The installations become intrusions that examine the conflict in society between pragmatism and the creativity. The artist’s work is a clever and ironic look at the structures of our society but it’s also visually stunning. O’Connell will be constructing a major installation at the front of Summerhall’s building.

1 August – 26 September, Summerhall; more info

Where do I end and you begin

Shilpa Gupta Where Do I End and You Begin 2012 Neon
[Shilpa Gupta ‘Where Do I End and You Begin’ (2012) – Neon]

Named after the title of an installation piece by Indian artist Shilpa Gupta, this exhibition is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme which looks at the relationship between the Commonwealth by featuring contemporary art selected by five curators from Commonwealth nations.

The major exhibition will feature work from over 20 international artists and will explore the problematic historical and contemporary problems that face these linked nations and also investigate what the idea of commonwealth means from these varying international perspectives.

Where do I end and you begin promises to be an insightful artwork accompaniment to the summer games.

1 August – 19 October, City Art Centre; more info

The King’s Peace: Realism and War

Owen Logan The National Anthem Band from the series Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in Nigeria, 2001-2005 Courtesy Owen Logan.
[Owen Logan ‘The National Anthem Band’ (2001-2005) – Courtesy of Owen Logan.]

An exhibition based on a photo-essay by Owen Logan and Uzor Maxim Uzoatu which followed a Michael Jackson costumed performer on his travels throughout Nigeria. The essay entitled Masquerade: Michael Jackson Alive in Nigeria used the King of Pop’s transition from a young black soul singer into a white man as a device to examine the conflict in a post-colonial Nigeria.

The series is used as the centerpiece of this exhibition, which looks at the wider meaning of the term ‘peace’ in modern society. Combining a mixture of satire, humour, wit and poignancy. The exhibition also includes works by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Fred Lonidier, Stuart Platt and Martha Rosler.

1 August – 26 October, Stills Gallery; more info


Belinda Gilbert Scott Slide to Open Courtesy the artist and GARAGE
[Belinda Gilbert Scott ‘Slide to Open’ – Courtesy of the artist and GARAGE]

A unique experience you will be unlikely to find anywhere else, Garage’s exhibition space consists of three garages and a garden. Artists are invited to use the space for specific exhibitions and interactive live events.

The guerrilla style exhibition will be a place for interaction and engagement with the resident artists and will surely offer an exhibition like no other.

This years guest artists include: Abe Locke, Ailie Rutherford, Aleatory Music Systems, Belinda Gilbert Scott, Cath Keay, Christine Hilditch, David MacDiarmid, Emma Bowen, Frank Mosley, Heidi Grandy, House of Traps, Jo Marsh, Kirsten Welsh, Malcy Duff, Rebecca Key, Sarah Kenchington, Sharon Quigley and Thomas MacGregor.

2-31 August, Northumberland Street North West Lane; more info

Vincent Gambini : This is not a magic show!

Vincent Gambini Photo by Augusto Corrieri
[Vincent Gambini – Courtesy of Augusto Corrieri]

A one-off show by an artist in residence at the Rhubaba exhibition. Despite being the creation of Vincent Gambini, a performer trained in sleight of hand who has appeared on Italian television as well as performing internationally, this is quite clearly not a magic show.

Instead what Gambini’s show is somewhere between a performance lecture and a stand-up routine which hopes to delve in to the inner workings of where a magician learns their routine and what explains their arrogant personas that irk so many.

30 August, 1B Pilrig Street; more info

What are you looking forward to at the Edinburgh Art Festival?

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