The 16th edition of Edinburgh Art Festival launches with work from 300 artists presented in over 50 exhibitions across the city

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.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “The Edinburgh Art Festival has become an integral part of the city’s world-famous August festival season, showcasing Edinburgh and Scotland as a leading destination for the very best in visual art. EventScotland is delighted to be continuing its support of the Commissions Programme, particularly Alfredo Jaar’s I Can’t Go on, I’ll Go On. Alongside the other commissions and the wider Festival programme, it provides an ideal opportunity for new audiences to engage with visual art.”

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 ColeyAlfredo JaarRosalind NashashibiCorin Sworn and Sriwhana Spong at sites across the city, exploring Stories for an Uncertain World.

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.

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.

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.

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