The building’s exterior is visually beautiful; twelve huge stone pillars line the entrance and the statue of Wellington resides proudly in-front.
Built in 1778, the building, now wildly recognised as the Gallery of Modern Art, is located in Glasgow’s City Centre. GOMA is Scotland’s most visited art gallery and is free of charge with a total of four galleries to explore.
Arriving at gallery two there was one particularly attention-demanding piece – the artwork is Edward Paolozzi’s ‘Hamlet in a Japanese Manner’. It is made up of three large pieces which are odd in appearance and feature bright colours of red, yellow, blue and green.
Consisting of complex shapes resting amongst one another, it looks almost like some sort of puzzle. The colours which would stereotypically clash strangely work well together and compliment this piece. That being said, this clunky artwork will certainly not be to everyone’s taste, but it is an interesting piece overall.
“Andy Warhol tapped into the idea that artwork – like food, automobiles or film stars – could be produced to specific consumer tastes” and this rings very true with his 1969 piece ‘Oyster Stew Soup’.
The print is almost un-impressionable in its simplicity, however many people rave about this painting and his other works:
“For a painting apparently about “nothing”, Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans sent shockwaves through the art community and altered the direction of art history. To some, the paintings were obnoxious and deserving of derision. A neighboring gallery, in protest against Warhol’s presumed gall, offered real Campbell’s Soup Cans for sale at 60 cents apiece.
His appropriation of the Soup Can image crystallized an American vision of prosperity and industrial fabrication, while at the same time using this familiar brand to reveal its excessive overabundance. Of all Warhol’s works, Campbell’s Soup Cans were among the most radical and groundbreaking and Oyster Stew, with its machinelike production, speaks confidently in its own deadpan way of life in 20th century America.” – Fine Art Multiple
You can read a review of Andy Warhol’s work with a varying opinion here.
Next in gallery two is a 1995 piece by David Hockney: Photography Is Dead Long Live Painting.
The image itself contains a painting within a photograph which, somewhat funnily, contradicts its title. The title itself is quite angst and, arguably, controversial which makes this artwork that bit more interesting. That being said, this work is likeable with or without its thought-provoking title; the flowers with their burst of sunny yellow and the homemade ‘get well soon card’ is rather heart-warming.
The next piece that catches my attention is a 2007 untitled drawing by David Shringley.
With this piece it is nice to see that a scribble-like drawing can find its way into an art gallery which is encouraging in the sense that anyone could achieve the same artistic success. Mostly though, this piece has some strong truth to it as photography isn’t always taking pretty pictures and the best photography usually never is. For instance, take the work of Diane Arbus who is well-known for her photographs of those who were considered ‘weird’ or ‘not normal’ by society at the time.
In gallery four a precarious piece called ‘Kerb Study with Metal Edge’ is a 1985 artwork by The Boyle Family. There is no other way to describe this work other than a huge piece of pavement mounted onto the wall, because that is exactly what it is. What is great about this piece is how such a bland and mundane part of everyone’s everyday life has been transformed into a work of art; we are able to see details that are presented to us everyday but that we often overlook. Even more interesting is how such a heavy slab can stay upright on a wall like that.
Its easy to see why people may scoff at this type of art, but ultimately the beauty of art is that there are zero limitations. And, because of that making art and being creative can prove to be a very liberating experience.
Overall, the Gallery of Modern Art is a nice way to relish in unique artwork that comes in varying forms from sculptures, to short films, to drawings and paintings. Granted, some of the work can be hit and miss for some, but the good thing about that is you can both appreciate and scoff at all the weird and wonderful art that the Gallery has to offer.
Visit GOMA’s website here