Gallery to reopen with show charting eight decades of art

Lucinda Cameron, PA Scotland

01 March, 2023 12:37

A gallery which closed for the winter and spring amid funding challenges will reopen next month with a “fascinating” exhibition exploring 80 years of 20th century art.

Decades: The Art of Change 1900-1980, will open at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) in Edinburgh on April 29, more than six months after the venue shut.

The free exhibition of 100 works will take visitors through six rooms at Modern Two and will feature artists ranging from the likes of Henri Matisse, Andre Derain and Piet Mondrian to Ben Nicholson, Fernand Leger and Eduardo Paolozzi.

Modern Two closed last October following the Barbara Hepworth exhibition amid the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy costs, as part of its ongoing recovery from the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: “National Galleries of Scotland is delighted to reopen Modern Two with an exhibition that celebrates the strength of the national collection.

“Featuring a fascinating range of works by many of Scotland and the world’s greatest artists, Decades: The Art of Change 1900-1980 encourages visitors to think about how art can both reflect and change the way we see the world around us.

“We welcome you to join us on a voyage of discovery through 80 years of bold artistic achievement.”

The gallery said that each chapter of the exhibition speaks of a particular moment from across the 20th century, when artists rebelled against the previous generation, creating works which came to characterise a period.

Two new acquisitions, by Scottish Colourists FCB Cadell and JD Fergusson, which have been donated by private owners, will feature in the show.

Work by Francis Bacon, Joan Eardley and Bet Low, created both during and immediately after the Second World War, will also be on display, while from the 1960s there will be pieces by the likes of Bridget Riley and Duane Hanson whose “Tourists” sculpture will be on show.

Meanwhile, the Keiller Library in the gallery will focus on the motif of the hand in Surrealist art and writing, drawing on works by artists like Man Ray, Edith Rimmington and Salvador Dali, from the national collection’s world-class holding of Surrealist books and archive material.

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