Devils in the Making
18 September 2015–28 February 2016
In 1996 Douglas Gordon became the first Scottish artist to win the prestigious Turner Prize. He was one of an already successful group of graduates from The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), who were exhibiting around the world to critical acclaim.That same year GoMA opened to the public with a collection that did not represent the work of these influential artists. Much criticism was leveled at the city by the artistic community as a result. Twenty years on GoMA regularly exhibits, commissions and collects works by artists based in Glasgow, many of whom trained at GSA. This exhibition showcases some of the works that have been made in the city during the intervening decades.
Devils in the Making will run in parallel with the Turner Prize opening 1st October at Tramway. This is the first time the Turner Prize, arguably the UK’s most prestigious contemporary art prize, will be held in Scotland.
“The wealth of artistic talent in Glasgow is astounding and I am very proud that Glasgow Museums plays its part in supporting contemporary artists. One of the ways we do this is by bringing contemporary artworks into our collection and displaying these works in our magnificent galleries and museums.
The Glasgow School of Art plays a significant role in establishing and maintaining Glasgow’s standing as an internationally recognised centre for contemporary art. One of Europe’s foremost art schools, GSA has nurtured and produced many of Scotland’s leading artists and, over the years, Glasgow Museums has had the fortune to add works by some of these artists to its collection, a selection of these works can be seen in this exhibition.
I hope that fellow Glaswegians will support our home-grown talent by visiting this exhibition and that visitors to the city will include GoMA in their itinerary.” Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life
On display outside GoMA, and lighting up Royal Exchange Square, will be Ross Sinclair’s imposing light installation ‘We Love Real Life Scotland’. Last seen 10 years ago on Glasgow’s City Chambers, ‘We Love Real Life Scotland’ is a collection of neon works displaying Sinclair’s trademark Real Life logo. The works are both celebratory and critical, asking just what it is to be Scottish – a question as pertinent now as it has ever been.
Sinclair, who trained at GSA and now teaches there, said about seeing the work again: “Things have changed immeasurably in this country since I made ‘We Love Real Life Scotland’ and it was shown for the first time round at the back of the City Chambers in 2005. It sometimes feels that politically, Scotland has moved forward a hundred years since then, not just ten. And, while it was important to set the work in a context of politics at that time, I feel it is now time to address a cultural context and I’m therefore delighted that it should be hanging on the front of Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art.”
Inside GoMA the exhibition will include a number of works by Glasgow trained artists who have won or who have been shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
Since the inception of the Turner Prize in 1984 Scotland has been strongly represented among the shortlisted artists. When Glasgow-based artist Douglas Gordon was awarded the prize in 1996 he was the first of five artists trained at The Glasgow School of Art to win. GSA has also produced and 30% of shortlisted artists since 2006.
Devils in the Making will include Douglas Gordon’s ‘A moment’s silence (for someone close to you)’, a work bought by Glasgow Museums in 2005. Gordon’s video and installation work is often based on a disruption of perception; by making his audience aware of their own fugitive subjectivity he questions how we give meaning to our experience of things.
In 2005, Glasgow-trained artist Simon Starling was awarded the Turner Prize for an exhibition featuring the work ‘Tabernas Desert Run’. Purchased by Glasgow Museums in 2005, the work consists of a modified bicycle used by Starling to cross the Tabernas Desert in Spain. During the journey the unusual powering method created a small amount of water that was collected in a bottle attached to the bike. It was then used to produce a watercolour of a prickly pear cactus, a plant this is not native to Spain but survives because of its sparing use of water.
Also on display, and bought by Glasgow Museums in 2006, ‘Our Love is Like the Earth, the Sun, the Trees and the Birth’(2006) by 2011 Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce is a fictional environment inspired by modernist design and urban landscape.
Devils in the Making will also feature works by Glasgow-trained artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize including Christine Borland, Karla Black, Jim Lambie, Nathan Coley and David Shrigley.
Devils in the Making artists: Claire Barclay, Beagles & Ramsay, Karla Black, Christine Borland, Martin Boyce, Roderick Buchanan, Nathan Coley, Nick Evans, Alex Frost, Douglas Gordon, Kenny Hunter, Torsten Lauschmann , James McLardy, Victoria Morton, Craig Mulholland, Toby Paterson , Jim Lambie, David Sherry, David Shrigley and Ross Sinclair