Last chance to see: Beholder - an exhibition on beauty at the Talbot Rice gallery in Edinburgh

By Jenni Davidson | 08 February 2012
A picture of a black background with nine multicoloured circles
Andy Law and Mil Stricevic, Spinning Bits (2010). Projected image
© New Media Scotland
Exhibition: Beholder, Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, until February 18 2012

Like a postmodern feast, Beholder at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh University examines the subjective perception of what is beautiful.

The gallery asked high profile artists and curators to nominate a work that embodies their idea of beauty. The result is an eclectic exhibition of works which bear no relation to each other in terms of style or period.

The 40 works in the exhibition include pieces by Yoko Ono, Turner prize nominees  Karla Black and Nathan Cooley, modernist architect Sir Basil Spence and painter LS Lowry.

The idea is to provoke debate, with the gallery encouraging the public to share their views on the pieces.

"Democratic participation was central to the idea behind this project," says Pat Fisher, Talbot Rice's principal curator.

"If beauty proves to have no fixed or stable form, its integrity may be based upon the fact that it brings people together to openly discuss values and ideas."

The exhibition forms part of the university’s celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Edinburgh philosopher David Hume and is inspired by his theory of beauty:

"Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty."

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission free.

More pictures from the exhibition:

A photograph of the Talbot Rice Gallery from above
Beholder exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery
© Talbot Rice Gallery and Chris Park
A photgraph of a white piece of card with a hole in it
Yoko Ono, A Hole to See the Sky Through (1961/71). Offset printing on card
© Yoko Ono
A photograph of a woman floating
Jo Spence, Floating
© Jo Spence
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