ART: PRIVATE VIEW

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The Independent Culture
Art at the Festival from Wed

Various venues in Edinburgh

Once a year, when the London art world shuts down for its August holiday, it seems fair to suggest a visit to Edinburgh, home to the greatest arts festivals in Europe.

Not that the visual arts are the Edinburgh Festival's priority. For many years they have been left out of the official programme and so there's a randomness to the exhibitions, with each gallery acting on its own without the guidance of a parent festival. Occasionally, however, a common theme emerges, and this year a number of exhibitions explore different aspects of a kind of elegant abstraction.

At the Dean Gallery on Belford Road (0131-624 6200), Gary Hume shows his not-quite-figurative paintings (left) - seemingly abstract, candy- coloured shapes that slowly reveal themselves as bits of this and that.

At Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Gardens (0131-552 7171) there's an exhibition devoted to veteran American Agnes Martin, one of the living legends of abstract painting, and both the Royal Museum on Chambers Street (0131-225 7534) and the Edinburgh Printmakers on Union Street (0131-557 2479) share the first British showing of the celebrated Japanese minimalist Hisashi Momose.

Lastly, if you'll forgive me, my own Ingleby Gallery in Carlton Terrace (0131-556 4441) presents two exhibitions: one of the late, great Patrick Heron's very last works, alongside the quiet, controlled beauty of Edinburgh's own Callum Innes. If abstract art is your thing, go to Edinburgh.

Richard Ingleby

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