A major new exhibition celebrating Glasgow’s iconic new Riverside Museum will go on display at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum next month.
Entitled, The River Runs Through It, the show opens on Friday, 12 November, and is the first ever major selling exhibition to be held at Kelvingrove. It will raise funds for the Riverside Museum Appeal, the public trust raising funds for the £74million museum currently taking shape on the banks of the Clyde.
The exhibition will occupy the ground floor gallery space recently vacated by the hugely successful Glasgow Boys exhibition and will feature work by around 30 invited artists ranging from recent graduates to some of Scotland’s most established painters.
Artists taking part include ‘New Glasgow Boys’, Peter Howson and Adrian Wiszniewski, whose work will be seen together for the first time in more than 20 years. Prices for the work range from £375 to £20,000, with each artist donating half their fee to the Riverside Museum Appeal, which aims to raise £5million toward the cost of the new museum. It is hoped that the exhibition will go some way to raising the remaining £1.2million required to reach the appeal target.
Earlier this year, all the artists were invited to visit the construction site of the iconic structure, which was designed by internationally-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Ms Hadid recently won the RIBA Stirling Prize for the MAXXI Museum in Rome. The Riverside Museum will be her first major public building in the UK.
Each artist was asked to respond to the building and Glasgow’s rich industrial heritage, which stems from the River Clyde. The range of completed work presents an intensely varied, yet inspired vision by 28 very different artists.
The original idea for the exhibition, River Runs Through It, came about through a chance comment on arts journalist Jan Patience’s blog made by Riverside Museum Appeal Director, Gavin McLellan about the work of Patricia Cain. Cain, a Glasgow-based lawyer turned artist, won The Aspect Prize, Scotland’s premier prize for painters, earlier this year for her forensically detailed studies of the Riverside Museum under construction.
This blog exchange led to Charles Jamieson, one of the driving forces behind The Aspect Prize, proposing an exhibition featuring the work of a group of Scottish artists who would all be asked to respond to the notion of Glasgow’s Riverside. Half the money raised from all sales would then raise money for the Riverside Museum Appeal.
Director of the Riverside Museum Appeal, Gavin McLellan said: "We are delighted that the creation of the Riverside Museum has inspired such an exciting range of work from eminent and rising stars in Scotland's art scene to support the fundraising appeal. These works were inspired by visits to the site to capture Zaha's concept of waveforms and cityscape as it took shape and was particularly inspired by Patricia Cain's work as she recorded the building's construction.
"We hope many visitors enjoy the breadth of work on show as a foretaste of the new Riverside Museum and are inspired to do their part to support its creation.”
The exhibition will make maximum use of social networking and the internet to boost sales, with an online gallery being available to the public. It can be accessed via the Riverside Museum Appeal website at www.riversideappeal.org or the Appeal’s Facebook page.
Award-winning artist, Colin Brown, has paid tribute to the late Jimmy Reid in a collage-style painting, called simply, Jimmy Reid, using material removed from the walls of the old Museum of Transport at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow.
In Clydeside Bright Sparks, Glasgow-based Annette Edgar has fused a bold portrayal of the distinctive lines of Hadid’s contemporary structure and the emerging waterfront landmarks with a reference to Glasgow’s past glories of shipbuilding in the shape of a small fleet of yachts.
Riverside Flock by Alasdair Wallace presents a version of the new Riverside over which a flock of birds and other objects hover mysteriously, while exhibition organiser, Charles Jamieson has created a range of work for the show, including My Toy Aeroplane, referring to the sense of nostalgia felt by generations of children towards the transport museum.
Peter Howson is on top form with an arresting painting entitled Machine Magician, portraying a snarling devil astride a car with the number plate AZ666 and Adrian Wiszniewski has produced a vast gouache painting on paper called The Source, which depicts two young men and a horse by the side of the riverbank.
The exhibition will also feature short texts from leading writers and musicians about The Riverside. Writers who have already contributed their responses include Rab C Nesbitt creator, Ian Pattison and Blue Nile musician, Paul Buchanan.