As part of the Glasgow International Festival, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum hosts the first posthumous display of the work of Edinburgh-born artist Carol Rhodes (1959-2018) in its See the World exhibition. Rhodes, who was a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art and internationally renowned for her paintings and drawings, sadly passed away in December 2018 after a long-term battle with Motor Neurone Disease.
Landscapes marked by human intervention are Rhodes’ primary subject – these include airports and motorways. In many of her works, such as her oil on board painting Roads, buildings (Evening) (2013-14), Rhodes offers an aerial viewpoint, creating a feeling of distancing and surveillance. Combined with an eerie absence of people, her works have a sense of the uncanny. They are strangely familiar yet unfamiliar. In keeping with Glasgow International’s theme of Attention, Rhodes invites a shifted focus on these partially fictive modern landscapes that she carefully planned and depicted with intense detail.
On display are the photographs and other sources of inspiration alongside the artist’s preparatory drawings and finished paintings. The visitor is thus able to see the various edits and revisions made by the artist, unveiling the methodical yet instinctual nature of Rhodes’ practice.
Also on display in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (until 1st June 2022) is the newly commissioned installation Aloud (2020-2021) by France-Lise McGurn.
Inspired by her many visits to Kelvingrove growing up, and particularly by Albert Moore’s painting Reading Aloud (1884), this mixed-media work constructed of paint, neon lights, canvases and Perspex offers a three-dimensional immersive experience for visitors.
McGurn’s depiction of fictional figures in a state of undress explores the themes of intimacy and the exposure of private lives. The use of Perspex promotes the notion of transparency and voyeurism. Her application of paint is unrestrained, with paint dripping from the Perspex onto the wooden frame, connoting the crossing of boundaries.
Both exhibits demonstrate the power of art to change our perception of the world and the people and things around us.
Note: closed Wednesday 30th June and Thursday 1st July, open 2nd – 4th July. Tickets via Glasgow International website – see panel left.
With grateful thanks to Artmag Contributor Amy Miles for this review.