Lucy Skaer

Lucy Skaer


Lucy Skaer, Cell #1 (with rules and exceptions), 2005
Watercolour on paper, 150 x 140cm
Courtesy the artist and collection of UBS, UK

May 16, 2008

Lucy Skaer
17 May – 9 July

45 Market Street
P +44 (0) 131 225 2383
F +44 (0) 131 220 3130
info [​at​]

The first opportunity to see a major solo exhibition of work by Lucy Skaer, one of Scotland’s most promising young artists, whose large-scale drawings, sculpture and films are beginning to bring her international acclaim. This exhibition features work newly commissioned by The Fruitmarket Gallery, shown in the context of Skaer’s practice as it has developed since 2001.

Skaer makes drawings, sculptures and films, often combining them in installations of all three. Her work has its origin in found images – photographs from newspapers and books, pictures sourced from the internet, paintings and sculptures by other artists – which Skaer works and reworks, transforming them while retaining a sense of their original meaning and physical form.

This exhibition is the most substantial presentation of Skaer’s work to date, and offers a chance to assess the development of her practice. Drawings dating from 2001 to 2008 are shown alongside the film Flash in the Metropolitan, 2006 (made in collaboration with Rosalind Nashashibi) and the installation Leonora, made for an exhibition in Zurich and not yet seen in this country. Two major new installations complete the exhibition. One takes the form of a cluster of three huge drawings, dominating the space of the upper gallery. The other is a new sculptural work, which takes inspiration from the medieval imagery of the Danse Macabre or Dance
of Death.

Lucy Skaer has spoken about wanting her work to operate as ‘a portal into a space beyond comprehension’, about ‘playing around with what can and can’t be represented, making a seemingly easy jumping-off point into something beyond the system being used to represent it’. Often beautiful, always formally and conceptually intriguing, her work makes its meaning with a compelling force.

New Commission supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

Notes to editors

1. Lucy Skaer was born in Cambridge in 1975 and trained in the Environmental Art Department of the Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1997. She was one of the six artists who represented Scotland at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

2. This exhibition is accompanied by a substantial publication, the first major book on Skaer’s work. It features essays by Fiona Bradley, (The Fruitmarket Gallery), Lizzie Carey-Thomas (Tate), Isla Leaver-Yap (ICA) and Stacy Baldrick (The Fruitmarket Gallery).

3. The Fruitmarket Gallery is a not-for-profit organisation and a Scottish Charity (registration number SC005576), programming national, international and touring exhibitions by leading artists and emerging talent. The Gallery is ‘Foundation Funded’ by the Scottish Arts Council for up to 70 percent of its running costs and must fundraise to support its world-class exhibitions, education and publishing programmes.

The Fruitmarket Gallery is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. 87888 and registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC 005576. VAT No. 398 2504 21. Registered Office: 45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF

Talks and Events

All talks and events are free, but numbers are limited.
To book phone + 44 (0)131 226 8181 or email

Before Pollock: Abstraction as Meaning in Celtic and Pictish art
Wednesday 28 May 2008, 6.30pm. Free
Heather Pulliam, Lecturer in History of Art, University of Edinburgh, examines aesthetic links between artworks such as the Book of Kells and the abstract expressionist work of Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and
Barnett Newman.

The Corpse in Contemporary Art
Wednesday 11 June 2008, 6.30pm. Free
Tiffany Jenkins from the Institute of Ideas will explore the role of the corpse and body parts in the work of Lucy Skaer, Christine Borland, and Teresa Margolis.

Artist’s Talk: Lucy Skaer
Wednesday 18 June 2008, 6.30pm. Free
Lucy Skaer in conversation with Fiona Bradley, Director, The Fruitmarket Gallery.

Louise Welsh
The Tyrant’s Reach

Wednesday 25 June 2008, 6.30pm. Free
Louise Welsh, bestselling author of The Cutting Room and Tamburlaine Must Die, explores Nosferatu, Bluebeard, Byronic heroes and trapped women in relation to Lucy Skaer’s work.

RSVP for Lucy Skaer
May 16, 2008

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