Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

As August 3rd was a Bank Holiday my other half decided we would hide from the inevitable rain in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

All galleries should have this lovely view

The promise of a M.C Escher exhibition was what lured us in. A print of M.C Escher’s ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’ used to hang in our high school so we both wanted to see the real thing. Stupidly we almost forgot about the exhibition until we were in the gift shop.

As we made our way into the first gallery I became a little too excited about the writing on the building. I’m still confused as to whether it’s a Jenny Holzer original or if it was inspired by her but either way, I absolutely love it. I probably babbled a little bit too much about Jenny Holzer to my other half but she was one of the artists I studied at college and I cannot get enough of her work.

It just so happened that there was a Roy Lichtenstein exhibition on and, while I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with pop art, I’’ve always admired his work in passing. Admittedly I’ve never taken the opportunity to properly look at Roy Lichtenstein’s art so it was nice to finally be able to view a lot of his pieces in the one place. Of course not all of his work was displayed but we did get to see things like Reflections: Art and Reflections on Conversation so I was happy.

We also made sure to view all of the other artwork on display. The issue with modern art is it often brings up the “how is this art?” question and I’m afraid to say this question came out of our mouths on a regular basis. I’m still trying to figure out how a wall with what appears to be multiple paint samples on it can count as art but hey, these people are being paid to create these things so I guess I shouldn’t question it.

My art knowledge isn’t what it used to be but I did manage to give my other half some useless facts about a John Bellany painting. I had to write multiple essays about many John Bellany paintings while in high school and it’s nice to know everything I wrote is still with me. I wonder if these newfound memories of mine will help me in a pub quiz.

After we filled up on our art in the first gallery we made our way into the gift shop where, as previously mentioned, we were reminded about the M.C Escher exhibition. I also got a paintbrush that has a pencil on the end so clearly this gift shop is awesome!

We slowly wandered across the road to the second gallery where we were greeted with another Jenny Holzer. I’m fairly certain this one is the real deal but please correct me if I’m wrong. There is also a rather adorable maze outside the second gallery which we were rather tempted by; if only it wasn’t just for kids!

After paying the £9.00 entry fee we made our way upstairs to find 4 rooms full of original M.C Escher work. Being the idiots that we are we started the art viewing in room 2 rather than room 1. Doing this though meant we got to see ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’ first and everything else second.

I’m still in awe of M.C Escher’s work and I can’t even fathom how much time went into creating each piece. I’m also little confused by the methods he used to create his artwork (especially when math randomly gets involved towards the end of his life) but I’m still trying to figure out how to not colour outside the lines.

Every time I go to an art gallery I always feel inspired to pick up a pencil and this visit has filled me with that inspiration again. Usually I refrain from drawing as I get really frustrated at myself but now that I have a paintbrush with a pencil on the end I have no excuse to not draw. I bet I’ll pick up a pencil, draw one line and immediately give up. Damn all those talented people who have pieces in art galleries!

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