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Our Top Picks for 2020

By Rachael Cloughton, 01.01.2020
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Iman Tajik, Can You Hear Me I, 2015 Ⓒ Iman Tajik

Glasgow International

Various Venues, 24 April – 10 May

Taking the theme of ‘Attention’, some of the highlights of 2020’s Glasgow International include new solo commissions by Ana Mazzei, France-Lise McGurn, Yuko Mohri, Nep Sidhu, Duncan Campbell, Martine Syms and Jenkin van Zyl. We are also looking forward to a major new commission by Iman Tajik, who has been selected for GI Bursary Award for a 42km performance walk between Glasgow City Centre and Dungavel removal centre. Click here for more information.

Marine: Ian Hamilton Finlay

City Art Centre, Edinburgh, 23 May - 4 October

Drawn from the artist’s estate and the City Art Centre’s collection, and including loans from the National Galleries of Scotland, this exhibition will showcase artworks from across several decades, ranging from stone, wood and neon sculptures to tapestry. The show will also feature prints, postcards and booklets from Finlay’s Wild Hawthorn Press.

Ian Hamilton Finlay (with Patrick Caulfield) 'Marine' 1968. The Estate of Ian Hamilton Finlay

The Galloway Hoard: Viking-age Treasure

National Museum of Scotland, 29 May – 18 October

The Galloway Hoard brings together the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland. Buried at the beginning of the tenth century, it comprises in excess of 100 gold, silver and other items, some of which are unique. The exhibition will display the key elements of the hoard, place it in a wider historical context and showcase the conservation and research work which is being undertaken to understand the hoard and its secrets.

Following on from its display in Edinburgh, it will tour to Kirkcudbright Galleries, The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum and Aberdeen Art Gallery. Click here for more information.

Titian (1488-1576), Diana and Actaeon, 1556 - 1559, oil on canvas, 184.5 x 202.2 cm, Collection: National Galleries of Scotland

Titian: Love, Desire, Death

Royal Scottish Academy, 11 July – 27 September

Five paintings from Titian’s epic series of large-scale mythological paintings known as the ‘poesie’, will be brought together for the first time in over 300 years in an exhibition jointly organised by the National Gallery in London, the NGS, the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition will first be shown in London, then travelling to the Royal Scottish Academy for the summer, before leaving for Spain in late 2020. The worldwide tour will culminate in Boston in February 2021. Click here for more information.

Titian (1488-1576), Diana and Callisto, 1556 - 1559, oil on canvas, 187 x 204.5 cm, Collection: National Galleries of Scotland

Edinburgh Art Festival

Various Venues, 30 July – 30 August

The official Edinburgh Art Festival programme has not been announced, but from what we know so far, the 2020 festival is set to be a highlight on the visual art calendar: The Fruitmarket Gallery will open their newly renovated space, showing a major exhibition by Karla Black; Stills are presenting the first Scottish presentation of work by Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako and Jupiter Artland will unveil a new commission by Rachel Maclean. Click here for more information. 

James Giles Portraits

Aberdeen Art Gallery, 12 September – 10 January 2021

This 150 year anniversary exhibition will celebrate the life and work of Aberdeen artist James Giles RSA (1801-1870). Giles was a versatile artist; although he specialised in portraiture and landscape painting, he was also a successful landscape architect, designing a number of public gardens and monuments in Aberdeen. His patrons included the Aberdeenshire aristocracy and Queen Victoria. The story of Giles’ rich and illustrious career will be told through a selection of portraits of the artist at various periods of his life.