Glasgow’s GoMA receives Jackson Tang Ceramics Award 2020/21

Glasgow’s GoMA receives Jackson Tang Ceramics Award 2020/21

Glasgow’s GoMA receives Jackson Tang Ceramics Award 2020/21

Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) has been awarded the prestigious Jackson Tang Ceramic Award 2020/21 by the Contemporary Art Society.

GoMA is the popular city-centre gallery operated by Glasgow Life, the charity which delivers culture and sport in the city.

GoMA has received the award, which is designed to support a major acquisition of ceramic work,  for the new commission ‘Old Money’ (2020) by Glasgow-based artist James Rigler, which has now been installed in the exhibition ‘Domestic Bliss’ in GoMA’s Gallery 4.

The title ‘Old Money’ refers both to the history of the building and the entrenched privilege it represents, and serves as a reminder that the meaning and value of coins is - like architectural styles - socially constructed, and can evaporate with changing times.

This year is the 25th anniversary of GoMA, which first opened to the public in 1996. When the museum opened, commissions were permanently installed across the building, including significant new craft interventions, and Rigler’s work allows GoMA to reprise the intentions behind these with a bold and ambitious new site-specific ceramic work.

GoMA is housed in Glasgows former Royal Exchange building, which was once the economic heart of merchant trade, and the new commission responds to its decorative features   and encourages a renewed interrogation of its history.

Taking the form of a new frieze for the interior of the Royal Exchange, ‘Old Money’ is formed of two elements: a plain shelf structure, carefully tailored to the simple circulation space of the 1996 redevelopment; and an informally-arranged collection of metal-leafed ceramic forms.

The building retains its original ornament (columns, carving, extravagant plasterwork and vast spaces) but also displays the crisp minimalism of the 1996 redevelopment. Referring to elegant pediments above the grand doors in GoMA ‘Old Money’ appears as an echo of these details, with a sense of informality reminiscent of household vessels on kitchen shelves, or tools leaning against a shed.

Councillor David McDonald, Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The generous support of the Jackson Tang Award to acquire a striking new work by James Rigler presents an excellent opportunity to celebrate both Glasgow Museums’ significant civic collection, and GoMA’s achievements over the last 25 years in a city renowned for its artists.”

“The new commission ‘Old Money’ joins ceramics currently on display in GoMA by Grayson Perry, Emmanuel Cooper, Jesse M King and Chris Bramble and enhances the significant holdings in Glasgow Museums’ collection that represent the ceramic traditions of the city.”

“Our exhibitions and public programmes reflects the diverse interests of the audiences that visit GoMA, recognising the value of the gallery as a social space to gather and share ideas. This acquisition presents opportunities for audiences to engage with the ideas in this work through visits to the gallery and engaging in our programme of online talks and workshops as we celebrate GoMA’s 25th anniversary in 2021”.

Director of the Contemporary Art Society, Caroline Douglas, said: “This is the third major ceramic acquisition through the Jackson Tang Ceramic Award and fulfils our ambition to support work that sits in relationship to both fine art and craft traditions. We are pleased to support such a prominent member of Glasgow’s artist community and James Rigler’s permanent installation speaks to the architecture and history of this iconic building in the centre of the city.”

James Rigler studied at the University of Brighton and Royal College of Art, but his formative years were spent as a model-maker and mould-maker in the architectural terracotta industry. He has exhibited widely, including At Every Fading of the Stars (2015) at Tramway, Glasgow and is represented in a growing number of public and private collections.

‘Old Money’ is now on show in GoMA’s Gallery 4 space, as part of the exhibition Domestic Bliss.