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Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 launches work from 300 artists presented in over 50 exhibitions

Published: 24 Jul 2019

Hanna Tuulikki

The 16th edition of Edinburgh Art Festival is officially underway, running from 25 July – 25 August 2019. The major platform for the visual arts as part of Edinburgh’s world-famous summer festival season, Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 features the work of over 300 artists from Scotland and across the world, presenting over 50 exhibitions and more than 140 events across a hugely diverse range of galleries, venues and historic and unexpected spaces throughout the city, proudly demonstrating and celebrating the strength and vitality of visual arts in Edinburgh.

Featuring premieres of ambitious new work from internationally renowned artists, major survey shows and retrospectives, world-class contemporary art, exciting emerging talent, pop up exhibitions and a wide-ranging series of talks and events. Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 is programmed in partnership with galleries, museums and artist-run spaces across the city, and the majority is free to attend.

Edinburgh Art Festival 2019 Highlights

World premieres of ambitious new work including: Real Music by Samson Young at Talbot Rice Gallery; Gateway by Joana Vasconcelos at Jupiter Artland; Night Walk for Edinburgh by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller from The Fruitmarket Gallery; Caroline Achaintre at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; and as part of the annual festival Commissions Programme, new projects by Nathan Coley, Alfredo Jaar, Rosalind Nashashibi, Corin Sworn and Sriwhana Spong at sites across the city, exploring Stories for an Uncertain World.

ECA Festival Exhibition

Two exciting new contemporary art venues host their first festival exhibitions in their renovated historic spaces, with Deer Dancer by Hanna Tuulikki and group show A Machine for Making Authenticity at Edinburgh Printmakers’ new home on the site of an old rubber factory; and Migratory Motor Complex by James Richards at Collective’s reimagined city observatory.

Edinburgh Printmakers

Major presentations of leading contemporary artists including: My Own Private Bauhaus by David Batchelor at Ingleby; Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour presented by Dovecot; and Anya Gallaccio in Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s NOW series.

Presentations of some of the most influential 20th century photographers, including Cindy Sherman: Early Works, 1975-80 at Stills: Centre for Photography; ARTIST ROOMS: Self Evidence – Photographs by Woodman, Arbus and Mapplethorpe at Scottish National Portrait Gallery; alongside new film work from Yulia Kovanova at Edinburgh College of Art and Helen McCrorie at Collective.

Yulia Kovanova

Major international surveys and retrospectives on Bridget Riley, and Cut and Paste: 400 Years of Collage, both presented by National Galleries of Scotland; Trisha Brown: Time, Space, Gravity at Jupiter Artland; Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs at The Queen’s Gallery; Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland at National Museum of Scotland; and John Busby: Silent Landscape at The Open Eye Gallery.

The next generation of talent including Lucy Wayman, and Adam Benmakhlouf at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop; Mary Hurrell at Jupiter Artland; Double Disaster (Closing Down) by Yokollection at Edinburgh College of Art; group show All That the Rain Promises and More… at Arusha Gallery; and the festival’s annual showcase of early career artists, Platform: 2019, selected by artists Monster Chetwynd and Toby Paterson, and featuring Anna Danielewicz, Joanne Dawson, Harry Maberly and Suds McKenna.

In portraiture, the first major retrospective of work by Victoria Crowe at City Art Centre; group exhibition Intimate, and Writing Heads from sculptor Nicole Farhi at The Fine Art Society; Ever After by Derrick Guild at The Scottish Gallery, and The Long Look from Audrey Grant and Norman McBeath at Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Pop up exhibitions across the city including Alec Finlay in the Travelling Gallery, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson at St Mary’s Cathedral and Amanda Baron at Wilhelmina Barns Graham Trust.

A lively events programme runs throughout the 5 weeks of the Art Festival, with talks from internationally acclaimed artists including the Keynote Lecture on the 26 July from Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller; weekly curated evening culture crawls of the festival programme within the Art Late series; tours exploring the connections and inspirations linking unique city locations and work showing there; a fascinating range of hands-on workshops for all ages and abilities, taking in collage, printmaking and much more; one-off performances by leading artists; and storytelling sessions led by artists, writers, poets and communities from across the city.

Edinburgh Art Festival runs from 25 July – 25 August 2019.

Edinburgh Art Festival is supported by: Creative Scotland; City of Edinburgh Council; Scottish Government; EventScotland as part of VisitScotland.
The Commissions Programme is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Scottish Government’s Festival Expo Fund, EventScotland and the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland.

Platform is made possible thanks to the PLACE Programme, a partnership between the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council, and the Edinburgh Festivals, and supported and administered by Creative Scotland. With additional support from Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh. Mentoring programming supported by the Saltire Inspiring Scotland Programme.

For more information, please visit www.edinburghartfestival.com or follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @EdArtFest #EdArtFest

Notes to Editors

Edinburgh Art Festival: Founded in 2004 and now in its 16th edition, Edinburgh Art Festival is the platform for the visual arts at the heart of Edinburgh’s August festivals, bringing together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces in a city-wide celebration of the very best in visual art. Each year, the festival features leading international and UK artists alongside the best emerging talent, major survey exhibitions of historic figures, and a special programme of newly commissioned artworks that respond to public and historic sites in the city. Edinburgh Art Festival is a registered charity supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

For more information, please visit www.edinburghartfestival.com or follow the Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @EdArtFest #EdArtFest.

Creative Scotland: Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

The City of Edinburgh Council: The City of Edinburgh Council is a funding partner for Edinburgh Art Festival. The Council aims to maintain and build on Edinburgh's reputation as the ideal location for major events and festivals. Working with the city’s cultural sector, the Council’s arts development team ensures that arts play a vital and lasting role in Edinburgh by developing strategic policy, offering advice on cultural projects and awarding cultural grants.

EventScotland: EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors.

For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.

Scottish Government: The Scottish Government is the devolved government for Scotland and has a range of responsibilities that include: the economy, education, health, justice, rural affairs, housing, environment, equal opportunities, consumer advocacy and advice, transport and taxation.

Images: Hanna Tuulikki by Lydia Honeybone; Edinburgh Printmakers by Alastair Clark; Jessica Crisp, Anupa Gardener, Catherine Hiley, Jodi Le Bigre; Yulia Kovanova by Alexandra Person; ECA Festival Exhibition by Neil Hanna.