Our Pick of 2020 Art Exhibitions in Glasgow
Glasgow may be better known for its ties to science and trade, but Scotland’s biggest city is also a hub of artistic activity. This makes it the perfect place for art lovers to indulge in a spot of gallery hopping. In particular, the city plays host to some of the most exciting contemporary artists in Scotland and the UK. The city has many art museums and galleries, with temporary exhibits also popping up throughout the year. Let’s take a look at what we can expect in 2020.
Alex Impey - GNOSTIC CAUTERY – 16th Nov 2019 - 23rd Feb 2020
Alex Impey is a Glasgow-based artist whose work ranges from writing to sculpture. Gnostic Cautery was specially created for the Huntington Gallery, and explores the twin themes of biology and technology through sculpture and film. He marries contemporary looks on ancient practices and modern scientific experiments.
The exhibition is in the striking Huntington Museum and Art Gallery. The main museum is the oldest in Scotland and includes the Hunterian Art Gallery and the Mackintosh House, as well as a Zoology Museum and an Anatomy Museum. In the Gallery, you can also see an impressive collection of the watercolours of Charlies Rennie Mackintosh.
Where is it? University of Glasgow, 82 Hillhead St, Glasgow G12 8QQ
How to get there? Take the 4 or 4a bus from Bothwell Street
Hal Fischer – 15th Nov 2019 - 30th May 2020
If you’ve yet to see Hal Fischer’s seminal work displayed in Scotland for the first time, we recommend heading to the Gallery of Modern Art before the end of May. This free exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see this pioneering work in person. Fischer uses critical theory, text and a tongue-in-cheek approach to reflect on the period between the Stonewall uprising in 1969 and the advent of the AIDs crisis in the early 1980s. This exhibition is a celebration of identity and community.
Take a note of the traffic cone atop the Duke of Wellington statue outside of the museum. For many years, the authorities removed the cone, only for it to be replaced. Today it’s a much-loved symbol of the city and a tourist attraction.
Of course, there’s lots more to explore at the Gallery of Modern Art. The permanent collection includes works by Hockney, Salgado and Warhol, plus Scottish artists like John Bellany and Ken Currie.
Where is it? Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH
How to get there? It’s just a 5-minute walk from Glasgow Central Station.
Stephen Ratomski – 5th Feb - 14th Apr
Fife-based artist and printmaker Stephen Ratomski is one of the most exciting contemporary artists in Scotland at the moment. His bold use of colour and marks led to his success at the Paisley Art Institute’s Annual Exhibition in 2019. He builds on that this year, with his exhibition at the Art Lover’s Café in the House for an Art Lover.
While you’re there, visit the Mackintosh Exhibition, but also be sure to check out the offering at the Art Lover’s Shop. If you have time, stick around for the truly scrumptious afternoon tea at the café.
Where is it? Bellahouston Park Dumbreck Road, Glasgow South Side G41 5BW
How to get there? Take the 9, 9a or 10 bus from Union Street
Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair – 17th- 19th May
Housed in a marquee at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair is an amazing opportunity to see original art selected by a range of galleries and organisations from across Scotland and the UK. It showcases the best of contemporary art – think photography, traditional media, printmaking and more. Not only this, but the fair also offers you the chance to purchase work to take home with you. Prices start from as little as £50, making this a unique opportunity to add to your collection or to start one!
While you’re at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, why not visit the permanent exhibitions? The museum is one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions with good reason – since it reopened in 2006, its refurbished interior is a great place to see some amazing art, including perennial favourites such as Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt, Dali and more.
Where is it? Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG
How to get there? Take the 2 or 3 bus from Bothwell Street
Glasgow School of Art Degree Show – June
The Glasgow School of Art has a strong history of producing forward thinking artists. Their strong studio culture creates a focus on interdisciplinary creation, which means that ground-breaking art is produced every day. The annual Degree Show is a unique opportunity to see some of the most promising artistic talent in Europe. The show typically takes part in the first week of June and shouldn’t be missed!
The show is spread between buildings on the Renfrew Street campus; however, we also recommend that you check out the Fine Art + Innovation Exhibition in the Stow Building. While you’re in the area, pop into the Centre for Contemporary Arts, where there are often interesting and unusual exhibitions.
Where is it? Renfrew Street, Glasgow G3 6RQ
How to get there? It’s less than a 15-minute walk from the station.
CrossCountry runs services to Glasgow from across the country. For more inspiration on activities while you’re there, check out our guide to the best things to do in Glasgow. Whether you’re visiting the city for a day, or a long weekend, our Glasgow Guide can give you more information on where to stay and what to do! Plus, remember to buy an Advance ticket to Birmingham using our Train Tickets app.
Written by Julia