ED2013 5/5 Reviews ED2013 Art Reviews

Witches & Wicked Bodies (National Galleries Of Scotland)

By | Published on Wednesday 14 August 2013

Images of witches are universally recognisable, even if only as uninspired Halloween costumes. Taking in six centuries of occult artworks by Goya, Blake and many lesser known names, this exhibition provides a more complex view, revealing the allegorical and starkly sexual subtext to these familiar motifs. With numerous etchings and black and white prints on display there’s a suitably macabre mood. Dramatic depictions of light, shadow and smoke fill the works with unsettling motion, while a select few paintings stand out in bold and breathtakingly vivid colour. Careful curation tracks differing portrayals of witches through Europe’s complex history, convincingly casting them as reflections on cultural struggles between science, sex and spirituality. Beautiful, grotesque and fascinating, this is a spellbinding exhibition.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, until 1 Sept, 10.00am.
tw rating 5/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]