AUTUMN PREVIEW Featuring Calum Colvin; Charles Sandison; Ken Currie; Jon Schueler; Princess SuSu; Leena Nammari; Öyvind Fahlström

September 2002

Publication: The Sunday Herald

Autumn Preview

You Must Not Miss : Calum Colvin

When James Macpherson published ‘Temora’ in 1763 and, a year earlier ‘Fingal, an ancient epic poem in six books’ he claimed they were translations from the work of a Gaelic poet called Ossian.  These, along with ‘Fragments of Ancient Poetry’ from 1760, had taken the literary world by storm and Macpherson’s ‘translations’ were much admired byeminentfigures, including Goethe.  Although there is no doubting Macpherson’s literary abilities (he was the son of a Kingussie farmer) his claims for the authenticity of the poems were challenged,principallyby Dr Johnson.  When called upon to produce the original works Macpherson could only fabricate them, and when after his death a committee investigated the works, they found that he had edited (with great artisticlicense) traditional Gaelic poetry, adding his own verses where appropriate.

Thus, one of the great literary forgeries was exposed.  Here, in a body of new work the artist Calum Colvin plays with notions of authenticity and illusion and re-explores the Macpherson/Ossian controversy.  Colvin, who works in a variety of media including photography, painting and sculpture, is an innovative, playful and complex artist.  He creates assemblages which employ  trompel’oeiltechniques;  he then photographs the results and exhibits his large prints as the finished works, teasing and cajoling the viewer into deconstructing the meaning of the work and means employed to create it.

The exhibition,organisedjointly with Highland Regional Council will travel to various venues including,Thurso, Wick and Kingussie

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
4 October – 9 February

FACE OF THE SEASON : Charles Sandison

Few people here will be familiar with the name of Charles Sandison, although in other parts of Europe he is a well-known and celebrated artist.  Born in 1969 and educated in Wick and later at Glasgow School of Art, Sandison is based in Tampere, Finland where he has taught and is now a full-time artist.  Sandison, who admits that he “spends too much time playing with computers” works in digital media and electronic imaging. 

His works ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ and ‘Good and Evil’ were shown earlier this year,  respectively, in Rennes and Paris; and last year, at the Venice Biennale,  he created ‘Living Rooms’ described as a “perpetuum mobile psychoanalysis”.  In a darkened space, words such as ‘female’  ‘child’ and ‘mother’ were projected on the walls, surrounding and engulfing the audience like water, creating random narratives.

For another work entitled ‘2.0’ (from 1993), which was shown at the Lisson Gallery in London, Sandison wrote his own ‘artificial life’ software to simulate ‘human’ nature and behaviour. The installation used data projectors and computers “to fill a space with moving, living, and reproducing words”.

This year Sandison will be on home turf with a ground-breaking show at the up-market restaurant /gallery, Momo’s, in London.  Sandison also has plans to show work in Scotland in the near future.


Ken Currie – Recent Work

Noted for his dark yet deeply spiritual images of urban life, Currie shows a significant body of recent work in his first solo exhibition in Scotland for ten years.  Curated by his former tutor at Glasgow School of Art, Sandy Moffat, the exhibition shows how Currie’s work has developed and evolved, stylistically and in terms of subject matter.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a monograph on Currie by Tom Normand and is accompanied by a programme of related events including readings by Liz Lochhead and Donny O’Rourke.

GlasgowSchoolof Art,
28 September – 16 November

Jon Schueler

Schueler, who was born in Milwaukee in 1916 and studied painting in California, moved to New York in 1951 where was a member of the ‘New York school’.  In 1957 he visited Scotland and later abandoned the city and moved to Mallaig where he was based, on and off, until his death in 1992.  Schueler was essentially an abstract painter although his later work is rooted in the landscape of the West Coast.  This show, which forms part of a series of exhibitions in New York and elsewhere, is accompanied by a new book on Schueler by the critics Richard Ingleby and Gerald Nordland.

Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh
28 September – 2 November

Princess  SuSu

Princess SuSu lives in a castle and hides in the wallpaper when people are around!  However, she leaves tell-tale signs of her presence: her fantastic jewellery and improbable footwear and clothing.  This touring show by Suzanne Langston-Jones, Nora Fok, Freddie Robbins and a number of others is a must for anyone who likes modern fairy-tales and beautiful and exciting craftwork.

Park Gallery, Falkirk
Until 2 November

Belonging : Leena Nammari

This show is the result of a seven-month residency by Palestinian artist, Leena Nammari, who has been living in the UK for the past 13 years.  The exhibition, which combines printmaking, photography and installation work considers the idea of ‘belonging’ and takes as its starting point the artist’s experience of living in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. 

Brander Building, Huntly
Until 20 October

Öyvind Fahlström

The work of the Swedish artist Öyvind Fahlström has been described as the last unexplored continent of the art of the 1960s and 1970s.  Fahlström, who died in 1976, provided an impassioned commentary on global events and movements, in particular the Vietnam war.  This international touring show demonstrates the artist’s prolific and eclectic output.

Baltic, Gateshead
28 September to 20 November