Review: The Italian Connection at City Art Centre

Art is one of the most crucial phenomena that has ever happened to us. It accurately
resembles people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. It does not only give us a chance to keep track of the historical events that provide an insight into life in the past, but it also conveys the idea of aesthetics.

The Italian Connection is an art exhibition that draws the attention of a wide variety of
people. It includes a combination of numerous styles, mediums and subjects of visual arts. It covers everything starting from the dramatic etching by Sir Muirhead Bone to the colourful and bright work of Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell.

The exhibition itself is dedicated to the cultural correlation between Italy and Scotland and the influence of travel scholarships on the artistic development during the 18th and 19th centuries. The visitors get to know Scottish artists who went on their journeys to find inspiration and beauty in Italian cities. Promising art students often received travel scholarships that allowed them to explore the world and learn about new styles and techniques, which they attributed later to their artworks.

One of the Scottish artists who travelled to Italy was Stanley Curtiser, who appeared to be the first one to establish the artistic movement Italian Futurism which developed into a trend in Scotland. His painting, Synthesis of the Supper Room at an Arts Club Reception, presented at the exhibition creates a noisy atmosphere just like in a busy café. The figures are abstract and the perspective is distorted.

The highlight of The Italian Connection is a small water-colour and ink sketch that displays an incredible view of the island San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. Outlining the buildings and gondolas with the ink gives a sense of abstractedness to this artwork created by George Douglas Haig; as well as it creates a contrast between the harsh ink contours and soft watercolors. At first glance, San Giorgio and Gondolas seems to be a simplistic sketch that does not convey a deep meaning behind it. Instead of carrying a deep meaning, which every connoisseur is eager to find in every piece of art, it praises the beauty of the Italian sites and transfers the tranquil atmosphere to the viewer.

In the middle of the art exhibition there is a quiet space, where visitors have a chance to
experience the process of creating an art piece by themselves. So-called Art Space provides lots of tools like pencils, paints, coloured paper, etc. that enable visitors to originally express their thoughts. There are also such aesthetic objects as flowers in a vase, teapots, and candlesticks that create a comforting atmosphere and might become the main objects of your painting. It is a great place to relax and just set your mind free.82163ACE-B151-4D59-B791-B5C2C6C63D19

Dates: Sat 7 Sep 2019 to Sun 24 May 2020
Entry: Free
Location: City Art Centre, Edinburgh

By Oleksandra Gumeniuk

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