4 August – 4 September
Our eighth festival edition included major exhibitions in 42 museums, galleries and artist-run spaces throughout Edinburgh’s historic city centre and beyond. The festival included 2 newly commissioned public artworks; a permanent addition to Edinburgh’s artistic landscape in the form of Martin Creed’s Work 1059, and a temporary structure, designed by Karen Forbes, exploring a contemporary expression of the city’s long fascination with optics and optical devices for viewing.
“Serious, provocative viewing…an excellent festival”
The Financial Times
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Over the previous three years, Edinburgh Art Festival, with the generous support of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festival’s Expo Fund, began to facilitate the commissioning of new work specifically for the festival. In 2011 we announced two major new commissions for the programme.
Martin Creed’s Work No. 1059, commissioned by the Fruitmarket Gallery for the Scotsman Steps, formed part of a major restoration of this important pedestrian artery connecting Edinburgh’s Old and New Town. Creed’s intervention – cladding the steps in marble from around the world – was a permanent and majestic addition to the city which the poet Hugh MacDiarmid called ‘a mad god’s dream’.
2011 also saw the launch of the first artist designed festival pavilion for St. Andrew Square Gardens. Designed by Karen Forbes, it hosted a programme of events throughout the festival, placing visual art at the very heart of Edinburgh, and providing a central hub for the festival programme.
Five Centuries of Scottish Portraiture at Bourne Fine Art
David Mach: Precious Light King James Bible 1611-2011 at City Art Centre
Chris Drury: Land, Water and Language and Heirlooms at Dovecot Studios
Anish Kapoor: Flashback, Norman McBeath & Robert Crawford: Body Bags / Simonides, Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Degree Show, Somewhere in Time: Postliminal and Atsuo Hukuda: Colour and/or Monochrome at Edinburgh College of Art
Lineage: Prints by Michael Craig-Martin, Ian Davenport and Julian Opieat Edinburgh Printmakers
Ingrid Calame at The Fruitmarket Gallery
Mystics or Rationalists? at Ingleby Gallery
Robert Rauschenberg: Botanical Vaudeville and Thomas Houseago: The Beat of the Show at Inverleith House
Charles Jencks: Metaphysical Landscapes at Jupiter Artland
Elizabeth Blackadder and The Queen: Art and Image at Scottish National Gallery
Tony Cragg: Sculptures and Drawings and Hiroshi Sugimoto at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
A Passion for Glass at National Museum of Scotland
Left To My Own Devices at New Media Scotland
John Byrne RSA and European Masterprints 1890-1980 at Open Eye Gallery
The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein at The Queen’s Gallery
Carmen Sylva at Sierra Metro
Anton Henning and Ragamala at Talbot Rice Gallery
The Agent Ria, Spelling the Myth
Atticsalt,Boris Bittker: Passing Through Zero
Chris Moore: Body of Evidence
The indirect exchange of uncertain value and Hans Schabus: Remains of the Day at Collective
Hayashi Takeshi: Haku-u at Corn Exchange Gallery
Costume and Custom in Japanese art at Edinburgh City Libraries
Katri Walker: North West at Peacock Visual Art
In Japan: Highlights of Academicians’ projects in contemporary Japan at The Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture
Schop, A Scottish Land: an exhibition by Nick Sargent
My Never-Ending Friend: The Art of Alexander Voitsekhovsky at Scotland-Russia Institute
Elizabeth Blackadder: New Paintings, Jacqueline Mina: Touching Gold and Colin Reid: Glass at The Scottish Gallery
Stephen Sutcliffe: Runaway, Success at Stills
Tamsyn Challenger: 400 Women
In August 2011, the Edinburgh Art Festival commissioned Trigger to make Detours, a series of live interventions in visual art spaces across the city. Below are eight films made by Daniel Warren in response to the events.