Glasgow Prepares For International Festival of Visual Art

Everyone knows that quality visual art happens all year round in Glasgow just look at the last few years of Turner Prize nominees. For two weeks every two years, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art puts it firmly in the spotlight. From artists’ studios through to major museums, by way of a vast range of venues new and old, the Festival is the perfect moment to get to know more about contemporary art and how and where it takes place in Glasgow.

Packed with events, talks and tours as well as major world-class exhibitions, some by artists living in the city and others by leading international figures, the GI Festival offers a unique moment in the British cultural calendar and presents Glasgow’s art scene at its liveliest and best, including significant commissions of new work such as the the major public art project Lowlands by Susan Philipsz (for which the artist was nominated and went on to win The Turner Prize 2010.

For a full, event-packed 18 days during 2012, the Festival will again present some of the best in contemporary art in an array of spaces and locations, including key venues such as the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and Tramway, through to artist-run collectives and newly discovered spaces in the city.

Conceived and created in collaboration with the visual arts sector in Glasgow,  GI 2012 builds on the successes of 2010 in supporting new projects from more than 30 Glasgow-based arts organisations and artist groups, alongside a programme of local and international artists commissions, curated by the Festival’s Director, Katrina Brown (The Common Guild). Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art is funded by Glasgow City Council, Glasgow: Scotland with style, Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland, EventScotland and Scottish Enterprise.

One of the UK’s boldest visual arts events, the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art returns in April 2012, bringing together exhibitions by the best international and local artists, from Turner Prize winners to the most exciting, emerging talent. The Festival builds on the successes of previous years, showcasing work by more than 130 artists in over 50 of Glasgow’s best permanent and temporary exhibition venues across the length and breadth of the city. The 18-day Festival programme includes many newly-commissioned works, including several that draw on a range of other disciplines, including dance, film, music, performance and theatre.

Under the continued Directorship of Katrina Brown, this year GI focuses more on the real, the physical and the very tangible, rather than the digital or virtual, with an emphasis on the live experience. From strong sculptural presentations by Karla Black and Nairy Baghramian, who each deploy distinctive materials to potent effect,  to two ambitious ‘performed installations’ by Graham Fagen & Graham Eatough and Kelly Nipper at Tramway, and  ‘handleable’ new works by artists Corin Sworn, Mary Redmond, Camilla Løw and Chris Johanson for ‘Dialogue of Hands’, many of the exhibitions and projects offer direct and very immediate encounters.

Time spent in and with this work is real, not edited or accelerated. This sense of real time is reflected back at us through the very tangible sense of the time and labour involved in the remarkable works of Richard Wright, shown in the grand surroundings of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. While the focus on our actual experience of an artwork is amplified in Transmission’s exhibition ‘Six Works of Art For your Interpretation’, in which the participating artists remain anonymous.There are dozens of exhibitions and events, as well as a distinct strand of public or outdoor works, with new commissions including a permanent work by Alex Frost for Platform, Easterhouse. Jeremy Deller will also be exhibiting new works at the festival.

As ever, GI is only possible with the commitment of the many organisations and artists based in the city year-round with whom we collaborate to make this programme:
GI will take place across the city from Friday 20th April 2012 – Monday 7th May 2012.

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