Wednesday 28 July 2010

Robert Barry at The Common Guild / Media Release

Robert Barry
‘Words and Music’
4 September - 6 November 2010 (Preview 4 September 3 - 5pm)
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF

The Common Guild is delighted to present a new solo exhibition by the seminal American artist, Robert Barry - his first solo presentation in Scotland.
Barry was a pioneer of Conceptual Art, abandoning painting in 1967 to produce site-specific installations, many of which were almost invisible to the viewer. These installations and actions relied on language to locate and document their existence, fundamentally shifting the presentation and reception of his work.
From the early 1970s language, or perhaps more correctly, words, have been central to Barry’s practice, which has since included typewriter drawings, wall pieces, slide projections and films as well as his often cited gas releases and telepathic pieces. Barry is now perhaps best known for his large-scale text installations known as ‘word spaces’, which utilise a selection of words from an ongoing and ever-changing collection. Applied directly to the walls, windows and floors of the gallery, the words surround the viewer, reasserting the importance of the individual who completes the work by bringing his or her own personal associations and understandings to it. As Barry explains, “Instead of trying to use text to convey an idea or meaning, I became interested in the individual power of the word to convey emotions or feelings.”
Although conceptual in origin, Barry’s work is essentially experiential. This rare opportunity to see the work of such an important and influential artist is all the more apt in the context of Scotland where the use of words in art has been so important for some of our leading artists: from Ian Hamilton Finlay to Douglas Gordon and Sue Tompkins.
For ‘Words and Music’ Barry will present a word space produced specifically for The Common Guild’s current home, selecting words in response to the context and architecture of the building. The installation will be accompanied by a new video work, incorporating music played by another legendary figure: the American artist William Anatasi.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks and events - full details will be available on the website in August <> .

Exhibition open
Thursday - Friday 12 noon – 7 pm, Saturday 12 noon – 5 pm and by appointment

For more information and images, please contact Kitty Anderson:
T: +44 (0)141 428 3022

1. Robert Barry was born in New York in 1936 and lives and works in New Jersey. Barry has exhibited widely over the last 40 years, including solo exhibitions at Galerie Sfier Semler, Hamburg, Germany (2010), Yvon Lambert, New York and Paris (2009), Ritter/Zamet, London (2008) and Kunsthalle Nurnberg, Germany (2003). Group exhibitions include ‘Voids, A Retrospective of Empty Exhibitions’, Centre George Pompidou, Paris and ‘The Quick and the Dead’, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (both 2009) ‘Imaginary Thing’ curated by Peter Eleey, Aspen Art Museum (2008), ‘Learn to Read’, Tate Modern, London (2007) ‘Slide Show’, Baltimore Museum of Art and ‘Before the End (The Last Painting Show)’, Le Consertium, Dijon, France (both 2005).
2. The Common Guild is a visual arts organisation based in Glasgow. It was established in 2006 and presents a dynamic, international programme of contemporary visual art projects, exhibitions, and events. These include gallery-based exhibitions at our current premises as well non-gallery, one-off projects, talks and collaborations. We are committed to presenting artists’ work in interesting and engaging ways and aim to offer access to world-class contemporary art experiences and discussions. The Common Guild is a not-for-profit visual arts organisation, receiving Flexible Funding from Creative Scotland.
3. The Common Guild’s temporary home at 21 Woodlands Terrace is a grand, Victorian townhouse to the west of the city centre next to Kelvingrove Park. Exhibitions take place over two floors, including a unique library, designed by artist Andrew Miller, which includes a selection of Robert Barry’s books and catalogues.
4. The Common Guild’s next exhibition by Tacita Dean opens on 14 November 2010.

Kitty Anderson - Communications Manager
Visual arts: Projects / Events / Exhibitions
Next exhibition:
'Words and Music'
4th September - 6th November 2010
21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow G3 6DF
Tel. +44 (0)141 428 3022
Mobile +44 (0)7866616522
Email <>  
Supported by the Scottish Arts Council
and Glasgow City Council.
Scottish Charity Reg. No. SCO21428

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Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201