25 years of contemporary art in Scotland to be celebrated in landmark nationwide exhibition

Creative Scotland,
11 May 2013, Scotland

GENERATION will see new and existing work shown at more than 50 venues across the country from June to October 2014. This nationwide programme will be one of the most ambitious celebrations of contemporary art ever held by a single country.

GENERATION has been developed as a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland.


It will include major exhibitions of work at all of the National Galleries of Scotland sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow Life run venues Tramway and Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) in Glasgow. An Associates programme will see a diverse and exciting range of work shown in a wide array of venues, from Orkney to the Western Isles to the Borders.


Coinciding with Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2014, GENERATION aims to reinforce Scotland’s position as an international centre for the visual arts, and to make contemporary art more accessible and relevant to as wide a range of people as possible.


In addition to the exhibitions of artists’ work, GENERATION will include an ambitious public engagement and events programme taking place across the country. There will be a particular focus on involving young people to inspire them to become the artists and audiences of the future.


GENERATION will feature world class works by artists whose practice has been shaped and developed in Scotland over the past 25 years and who have received international recognition within that time including artists David Shrigley, Ross Sinclair, Lorna MacIntyre, Toby Paterson and Cathy Wilkes. Details of the full exhibition programme and featured artists are being confirmed and will be announced later in the year.


GENERATION will trace the remarkable development of contemporary art in Scotland over the last 25 years, act as a spring-board for new work to be created, and offer unique opportunities to enjoy work by some of Scotland’s most engaging and imaginative artists.


Ben Thomson, Chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland said "Scotland has produced some great internationally acclaimed contemporary art, not only from Scottish artists but also from artists working and training here from all over the world.
"GENERATION is a celebration of this Scottish success story where some of our best art over the last 25 years will be displayed in some 50 galleries across the Nation during the summer of 2014.  It will enable visitors to enjoy for free this generation of artists in depth at a time when there will be considerable international focus on Scotland.
"GENERATION joins the forces of Glasgow Life, Creative Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland to highlight our cultural success and provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our artists as well as to inspire audiences for years to come."

Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “This is a unique partnership which will bring together, for the first time, the unique talents and works which have propelled both Glasgow and Scotland’s contemporary art onto a global stage.

“The city enjoys international recognition as a thriving centre for the production and hosting of contemporary visual arts and has been home to a significant number of Turner Prize nominees and winners in recent years.

“Now is the time to tell the story of how Glasgow and Scotland has nurtured such incredible talent and to ensure that communities from Orkney to the Borders can share in what promises to be an amazing show.”

Iain Munro, Acting CEO, Creative Scotland said: “GENERATION is a significant opportunity for people across Scotland to experience the imagination and excitement of some of the best contemporary art to have been produced here over the last twenty-five years.
“If you think contemporary art is not for you, I’d urge you to give GENERATION a try. It’s home grown work which is admired and enjoyed across the world.
“GENERATION is also about the future, about inspiring young people to want to play their part in the next twenty-five years of contemporary art in Scotland.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “Scotland has an excellent record for producing visual art that is inspiring, thought-provoking and which prompts international acclaim. GENERATION will be an ambitious, national celebration which will see museums and galleries all over the country come together to showcase the very best of Scottish contemporary art; making it accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

“At a time when the world’s spotlight will be firmly on Scotland as we host major international events like the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, GENERATION will celebrate Scotland’s visual art and artists and promote our rich culture and cutting edge creativity to audiences at home and from around the globe.”

The full exhibition programme and featured artists for GENERATION will be announced in Autumn 2013.