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Karla Black, installation view, Inverleith House, Edinburgh, 2009

“It is extremely exciting that the Fruitmarket Gallery has been selected to curate Scotland and Venice 2011. The gallery has an international reputation for the high quality of its programme, and for its development of an international platform on which to show the work of Scottish and international artists both in Edinburgh and at home. Our proposal to the Scotland and Venice Partnership was to curate the Scottish representation in Venice as part of the Fruitmarket Gallery’s on-going programme, and it is fantastic now to begin to make Venice part of ourplans for 2011.

We have invited Karla Black to make a solo presentation in Venice. It is early days to talk about her plans, but she responded to the invitation enthusiastically, and we are going on a first site visit at the end of June. Venice is a very particular challenge for an artist and curator, and I am really looking forward to the conversations that unfold as we all begin to get to grips with what working there really means.

Karla makes intelligent, beautiful work, and is an artist we have wanted to work with for some time. She has just completed a major series of exhibitions at Inverleith House, Edinburgh, Modern Art Oxford, Kunstverein Hamburg and the Migros Museum in Zurich, and the substantial publication celebrating these exhibitions was launched as part of Glasgow International in April. Her future plans include a group exhibition at Andrea Rosen in New York, a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Nürnberg and In the Days of the Comet at the 7th British Art Show.

Karla is articulate both in her work and in discussion about it, and perhaps her own words best sum up an indication of her possible approach: ‘I want to make abstract not figurative art. I want to prioritise material experience over language; I want formal aesthetics rather than narrative, autobiographical detail; I want the lived life to be primary, not the looked-at image.”

54th Venice Biennale, June-November 2011