Glasgow Museums displays one of the richest civic collections in Europe across nine world-class venues, visited by in excess of 3.5 million people in 2016. They are open seven days a week, free for everyone to enjoy and learn from the rich heritage in our care.
Glasgow Museums has announced a programme of exhibitions for early 2017, exhibitions from July 2017 on to be announced shortly.
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “Glasgow Museums collection offers an incredibly varied range of objects, from challenging contemporary works of art like Hito Steyerl’s Abstract, to nostalgic funhouse mirrors that will take many Glaswegians back to time spent at the shows in the Kelvin Hall.
“This depth and breadth of works puts Glasgow in the privileged position of being able to work with a range of artists, community groups and large organisations to host an exciting range of diverse exhibitions in 2017. We very much look forward to welcoming regular visitors and new audiences to all our museums over the coming months, when they can enjoy and at times question, the different themes explored in the forthcoming exhibitions.”
GALLERY OR MODERN ART (GoMA)
Polygraphs; 17 February – 17 September 2017, free
Polygraphs is a group show with Berlin based filmmaker and writer, Hito Steyerl’s, work Abstract (2012) central to the narrative it is exploring.
Abstract was gifted to Glasgow Museums by the Contemporary Art Society through the Collections Fund 2015. Through Abstract, Steyerl questions our connectivity to the arms trade, global economics and a seemingly distant battlefield. Artists are often witness to a changing global environment and their role within that culture is to document, pose questions and create new layers of meaning that audiences can engage with and begin to question the mythic historical narratives that we are presented with.
Other works from Glasgow Museums’ collection reveal how artists create alternative discourses to question dominant narratives in identity, politics and history. The works in Polygraphs look at the testimonial research and object evidence which has informed our historical identity and re-present this to address alternative questions about our relationships to the slave trade, colonialism, feminism and sectarianism.
Polygraphs includes some of the most compelling artists working today, seminal figures in 20th century Scottish art and younger artists whose work entered a UK collection for the first time. The exhibition, by creating a further fictitious layer through the grouping of works by these artists, poses questions about museums’ relationship to the histories, identities and politics that institutions collect and how the re-display of older works alongside more recent pieces reactivates truths and fictions still relevant today.
Artists include: Muirhead Bone, Gerard Byrne, Jane Evelyn Atwood, Graham Fagen, Barbara Kruger, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Beth Forde, Ian Hamilton Finlay and kennardphillips.
Balconies; May 2017, free
Prior to 1776, the site on which the GoMA now stands was rural land on the western fringes of the city of Glasgow. This historic building, which hosts Scotland’s most popular modern art gallery, has a rich and illustrious past which is explored in this new 2D display, spread over Balcony 1 and 2.
A curated timeline begins when the building was commissioned as a mansion house for one of Glasgow’s richest tobacco Lords, William Cunninghame. Balconies offers visitors a visual walkthrough of the building’s varied history. It has been a bank and an exchange that traded in sugar, rum and tobacco and in later year’s pig-iron, coal and shipping, from which the name Royal Exchange Square came and remains today. Later it was Glasgow’s first telephone exchange and in the early 20th Century it became a restaurant.
After the Second World War, the City of Glasgow bought The Royal Exchange for £105,000 and in 1949 the Stirling Library moved into the building. In 1990, Glasgow celebrated the year as European City of Culture. Eager to establish a lasting legacy for the city, Glasgow District Council gifted £3 million to set up a fund for the purchase of contemporary art. In 1992 the Royal Exchange building was identified as a suitable location for a gallery to house the city’s growing collection of contemporary art. Renovation work began in 1994 and on 31st March 1996 Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) was opened to the public.
Balconies will answer many of the questions regularly posed by visitors, while acknowledging many elements of the building’s unusual history from its early slave economy connections to its current role in assisting the city collect and display contemporary artworks, which reflect artists living and working in Glasgow since 1945 and those artists they influence, or are influenced by, nationally and internationally.
A Fair Life; 13 February 2017 – ongoing, free
Scottish Showmen and women have played a significant role in the cultural history of Scotland and its people. For hundreds of years showpeople have travelled the country, providing entertainment with their rides and attractions. Their history is unique.
A Fair Life, co-curated with a small group of Scottish Showpeople, charts the unique traditions and histories of this tight-knit community. While this group have had a tangible influence on Scottish culture the majority of Scottish people know very little about them and the part they have played in shaping our city.
Scotland has between 3 to 5,000 ‘Travelling Showpeople’, distinct from ‘Travellers’, who operate rides, games and food stalls in its funfairs, markets and more recently even in shopping centres. An estimated 80% of Scottish Showpeople are Glaswegian, living in around 50 privately owned ‘yards’ located across the city. This is the largest concentration of Showpeople in Europe. The reasons for this date back to the 8 week winter carnival that ran at Kelvin Hall from the 1930s to the 1980s, enabling showpeople to continue working throughout the winter.
Starting with horse-drawn homes and equipment, then traction engines and lorries A Fair Life considers how the travelling lifestyle of showmen has evolved with technology. Showpeople have historically been early adopters of entertainment technologies, introducing electricity and moving cinemas as part of their shows. Today, the travelling fairs that have entertained generations of Scottish families are under increasing pressure as new technologies offer alternative diversions.
A Fair Life seeks to capture this rich hidden history, while addressing many of the misconceptions that have resulted in Showpeople experiencing many different forms of discrimination. The display contains objects on loan from the showpeople community, including a waltzer car, alongside items from Glasgow Museums collection relating to Fairground History, such as funhouse mirrors and bespoke objects made specifically for the display, including two carousel horses. Moving image archive footage and oral history commentary complete A Fair Life, on display in Riverside Museum’s North Window from 23 January 2017.
KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM
Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics; 1st April – 1st October 2017
£7 adult, £5 concession £3 child
Responding to the recent global fascination with the comic book and superhero genre, Kelvingrove will host Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics. The exhibition will focus on Glaswegian and Scottish writers and artists such as Frank Quietly, Mark Miller (of KickAss fame) and Grant Morrison (DC Comics Batman and All Star Superman), revealing the amazing influence and contribution Scotland has had on the global industry of comics.
Frank Quitely is the alter ego to Glasgow born artist Vincent Deighan. Deighan took on the mantle of Frank Quitely in his early career to hide his identity, now it is synonymous with iconic characters such as Superman, Batman and the X-Men. A world renowned artist in hot demand he is currently finishing off the epic story Jupiter’s Legacy with fellow Scottish comic book legend, writer Mark Millar.
Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics will appeal to the ongoing public interest in the comic book genre. It will be the largest collection of his work ever displayed. Audiences come face to face with original artwork, with time and space to admire the painstaking detail in every incredible frame. It is bolstered by unique art work from titans of the comic book industry such as Frank Millar and Neil Adams and showcases an original Batman comic strip by the superhero’s creator Bob Kane. Frank Quietly also reflects on the comic strip that inspired it all, from one of Scotland’s most legendary families, the Broons.
Comic book aficionados of all ages will revel in the digital interactives that allow visitors to design their own comic page. There is an opportunity to create your own super hero costume and pose for a special-effects snap of you soaring through the air. Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics is certain to inspire a new generation to take up the mantle.