The full title of the exhibition at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is DEATH TO DEATH AND OTHER SMALL TALES ( on now till 8th September) some how hardly does it justice.
For me nothing in this marvellous exhibition is small.
Taking up all of the galleries in Modern Two this exhibition is a complete delight. The galleries here are small almost domestic in size , none of the echoing spaces or moveable screens that sometimes make viewing at the Tates difficult. The layout of the exhibition is almost sparse , giving the viewer time to absorb each piece. Perhaps the best practical part is the labelling which is placed adjacent to the piece but far enough from it so that anyone reading the label is not standing in front of the work. This removes that uncomfortable jostling for space that often occurs when the labelling is placed up close to the work. It was a revelation how well this worked and how comfortable it helped to make the viewing of the exhibition. The work was well spaced and a number of pieces had a complete gallery to themselves.
All of that is about the practical arrangements but the work is amazing.
The chance to experience Ernesto Neto’s work , to walk around within it , to smell the smells, to get a close up look at how it was made , to feel the space – was almost worth the cost of the trip to Edinburgh itself. Chadwick’s PISS FLOWERS ( again in a room of their own) , Bourgeois ‘s FILLETTE, a triptych by Logothetis that I did not know at all blew me away. It is not possible to list all the artists in this exhibition, some well known and some new to me . Even when I knew the artist often the work was a piece I had not seen.
When I visited in January the accompanying book was not ready. I now have my copy – two essays around the theme of the exhibition one by Richard Flood ( former director at the Walker ?) and the other by Lucy Askew ( Senior Curator at the Museum) which are very relevant and the most amazing photographs.
I find myself struck dumb when I start to write about this exhibition . So much amazing work. The chance to see in actuality work that I have only read about. The amazing generosity of the Daskalopoulos Collection ( who lent many of the works and , I understand, covered the insurance costs) and the brilliance of the arrangement and the juxtaposition of the works.
I loved this exhibition ( Obviously) . If I lived in Edinburgh I would go every week. If you are in to sculpture do try to see this .