Published: 25 Mar 2014
The Scotland + Venice partnership is delighted to announce that Graham Fagen has been selected to represent Scotland at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, running from 9 May to 22 November 2015, in a solo presentation commissioned and curated by Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath.
L - R: Natural Anarchy by Graham Fagen, 2013 | The Making of Us, Graham Fagen & Graham Eatough, 2012 (Photo: Graeme Hunter)
Graham Fagen is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. His work mixes media and crosses continents; combining video, performance, photography, and sculpture with text, live music and even, plants. His recurring artistic themes, which include flowers, journeys and popular song, are used as attempts to understand and talk clear-sightedly about the powerful forces that shape our lives.
Hospitalfield Arts is based in the early arts and crafts house and grounds of the 19th century artist and collector, Patrick Allan-Fraser. Located just to the south of Arbroath, the house, collections and estate were left in trust on Allan-Fraser’s death and in 1901 Hospitalfield was established as a place of work and learning for artists and students, making a significant contribution to 20th century Scottish art. Today a series of nationally and internationally significant residency programmes for artists, curators and writers, continue to be accommodated within the house and purpose built studios.
The selection Panel included: Amanda Catto, Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland and Chair of the Scotland + Venice partnership; Francis McKee, Director of the CCA and co-curator of Zenomap for Scotland + Venice in 2003; Richard Riley, Head of Exhibitions, Visual Arts Department, British Council; Dana MacLeod, Head of Arts, British Council Scotland; David Watt, Director of Arts and Business Scotland and Board member of SCAN – the Scottish Contemporary Art Network.
The Venice Biennale is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world. This will be the seventh presentation from Scotland + Venice, a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland. For the partners, Venice is an important project that helps to build Scotland’s profile and reputation as an international centre for the visual arts.
Amanda Catto, Chair of the Scotland + Venice Partnership and Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said:
‘We are very excited to be working with the artist Graham Fagen and Hospitalfield Arts to stage a new commission for Scotland and Venice 2015. The project provides Graham with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new work in an exceptional context. We look forward to welcoming people to the exhibition when Biennale opens in May next year.’
Graham Fagen said:
‘It is a fantastic honour to have been invited to represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2015. The Biennale is one of the most important events in the international calendar for the visual arts and I hope that I can do justice to its history and Scotland’s participation in it.’
Lucy Byatt, Director, Hospitalfield Arts said:
‘We could not be more delighted to be offered this opportunity to commission Scotland’s contribution to the Venice Biennale in 2015. It is an outstanding opportunity for Hospitalfield Arts to work closely with an artist such as Graham Fagen and to bring to Venice a project that emerges from our work in Arbroath in the beautiful region of Angus. We will enjoy too, the chance to work with Robin Klassnik and Matt’s Gallery who have supported Graham’s work for many years.’
For the artist/s selected Venice provides a significant opportunity for the development and presentation of new work. For the partners Venice is an important project that helps to build Scotland’s profile and reputation as an international centre for the visual arts
Previous Scotland + Venice presentations have included Duncan Campbell, Hayley Tompkins and Corin Sworn (curated by The Common Guild in 2013), Karla Black (curated by the Fruitmarket Gallery in 2011), and Martin Boyce (curated by Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2009).
In 1999 Fagen was invited by the Imperial War Museum, London to work as the Official War Artist for Kosovo, and since then has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad, and exhibitions include Golden Age, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1999), The British Art Show (2000), part of Zenomap, Scotland and Venice at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), Bloodshed at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Art of the Garden, Tate Britain (2004), Busan Biennale, South Korea, Still Life, Art and Industry Biennial, New Zealand (2004). In 2011 Fagen was the International Artist in Residence at Artpace, San Antonio, concluding with a solo exhibition, Under Heavy Manners, and with theatre director Graham Eatough he created The Making of Us, a performance, installation and film, for Glasgow International 2012.
Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Cabbages in an Orchard at the Glasgow School of Art and Peek-A-Jobby at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art as part of GENERATION: 25 Years of Contemporary Art from Scotland; In Camera, with Graham Eatough at the Panorama, Le Friche, Marseille from September 2014. He is represented by Matts Gallery, London and Galerie Micky Schubert, Berlin. For further information please visit: www.grahamfagen.com
Hospitalfield is currently working on an £11.5m fundraising campaign with the aim of restoring the house and rejuvenating the facilities for audiences and for our arts programme. For further information please visit http://hospitalfield.org.uk