As the art market continues to grow despite a generally unsettled economic forecast, Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh, set up ten years ago by Richard and Florence Ingleby and now one of Scotland’s leading contemporary art galleries, is moving from its beautiful Georgian ‘gallery within a house’ premises next year. Re-location plans are now underway, with the result that the city centre will have a new, spacious international contemporary art gallery by mid-2008.
As a consequence, the gallery, which currently represents the estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay as well as Sean Scully, Callum Innes and Alison Watt among others, have eschewed the practice of their regular six to seven shows a year, to undertake an ambitious project of specially commissioned collaborative exhibitions, 26 in all. Each lasts only two weeks. Each shows work by two artists sharing an intimate back room space. This experiment, with its fast turnover and open brief, has allowed the gallery to flex a curatorial ingeniousness in preparation for widening its remit when establishing the new space. Unusual partnerships such as Marine Hugonnier and Matthias Fayos, Richard Wright and Samuel Beckett, have been forged.
And in a fortuitous collision of commissions, Richard Forster, who chose to show alongside Richard Artschwager at this Ingleby initiative in September, is Map’s commissioned artist this issue.
Another organisation in the city, the Dovecot Tapestry Studios, renowned internationally since the 1960s, are moving next year from temporary accommodation into a grand renovation designed by Edinburgh architect Malcolm Fraser. The spacious and elegant Victorian Infirmary Street Baths is a building at the heart of the city’s university area and a stone’s throw from Edinburgh College of Art. While the main dramatic, vaulted and roof lit space, once the swimming pool and changing room area, will now accommodate looms, designers and all projects connected to this contemporary art weaving business, there will also be room in the complex for two large gallery spaces.
London’s Riflemaker specialises in unusual haunts. While Tot Taylor and Virginia Damtsa continue to trade from the ex-gunshop in Soho (represented artists include Gavin Turk, and Francesca Low, who recently collaborated in the gallery with Glasgow based artist Alasdair Gray), they are expanding in December into St Barnabas House. On Soho Square, it opened as a refuge for the homeless in 1746, and more recently acting as a a concert venue, this stylish building, complete with its own chapel, has a new role as palace for contemporary art. Riflemaker responds to the building’s former use with an inaugural exhibition of work by Marta Marcé, an artist who explores ideas of destiny, chance and games, as metaphors for life. www.inglebygallery.comwww.riflemakergallery.orgwww.dovecotstudios.com