Surreal Encounters at the Festival

Surreal Encounters.

The Edinburgh Festival is over for another year; amongst all the comedy acts and fringe madness, there was also a couple of art exhibitions, one at the Scottish National Gallery, on Princess Street and another one at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, just over the Deans bridge. I have been to both but this post will be about the second one, I may write about the first one, Inspiring Impressionism: Daubigny, Monet and Van Gogh, if I find the time. It is a fantastic exhibition and if you are going to Edinburgh, soon! I highly recommend it.

When the Festival comes around I always look for Shakespeare in the mix. In the past I have been lucky to see Kenneth Branagh and his Renaissance company productions of King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, staged in the Kings Theater back in the late eighties. That was amazing and, pretty much led to my total love of Shakespeare. I have managed to see one or two fantastic, independent plays on the Festival Fringe, my favourite being a post-apocalyptic: A Midsummer Night’s Dream but, this year I didn’t spot any.

The Surreal Encounters exhibition is spread out over nine or ten spaces; right at the start in the first part, the corridor actually, there to my delight, are some small pieces by Picasso, we are in for a treat here. The Encounters part of the exhibition refers to four collectors, five if you count the husband and wife, Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch. The other three are Edward James, Roland Penrose and Gabrielle Keiller. I knew of Penrose, he was married to the photographer Lee Miller and was a great friend of Picasso. He was a major promoter and collector of modern art; he was also an artist in his own right, with some of his work on display in this exhibition. The other individuals, collectors of surreal artwork, I was not so familiar with, Gabrielle Keiller who bequeathed her art collection to The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was a top ladies golfer, who fell in love with surreal art later in life. I hope l will get around to reading about them more extensively later, I will probably invest in the accompanying book for the exhibition, it is twenty-two pounds and is a bit of a door step, I didn’t fancy carrying it around Edinburgh with me all day.

The work on display are fantastic, there is a big section on Dali, some wonderful pieces including his: The May West Lips Sofa. I have been to see Dali’s: Christ of Saint John of the Cross, at the Kelvingrove gallery in Glasgow, many times, it is stunning. Seeing these works on display in Edinburgh has more than helped reinforced my enthusiasm for Salvador Dali. With paintings by Picasso, Joan Miro, photographs by Man Ray, great paintings by Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Alberto Giacometti. This was a very impressive Exhibition, from a wonderful and, very conveniently close Gallery.

Post Script: This exhibition finishes today Sunday 11th of September 2016.

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