Picks from The Fruitmarket Gallery

Edinburgh is home to some of the UK’s most pioneering contemporary art galleries. 

Among the city’s leading art spaces is The Fruitmarket Gallery, whose mission is to make cutting-edge contemporary art accessible and comprehensible without blunting its quality or incisiveness. 

Originally built as a fruit and veg market in the 1930s, the building has been a gallery since 1974. Since its foundation, the gallery has championed new artists from Scotland and internationally. In recent years, the gallery has become so important to Scotland’s art scene that it was selected to curate the Scottish pavilion for the 2011 Venice Biennale. 

Fruitmarket Films

Alongside their exhibitions, The Fruitmarket Gallery produces films with their artists and curators to give an insider’s take on the work. We hand-picked a few highlights from their recent exhibition programme, and you can hear the creatives discuss them in the films below. 

Jim Lambie is one of Scotland’s most successful contemporary artists of recent years, having been shortlisted for the Turner Prize, Britain’s most prestigious award for contemporary art. His show at The Fruitmarket Gallery saw him turn the gallery’s ground floor into a giant hall of mirrors and turn another floor into a vertiginous pattern of bright colours. You can see more of Lambie’s process in the video below. 

Louise Bourgeois is best known as a titan of modern sculpture and installation art. However, she was also a prolific draughtsperson, and The Fruitmarket Gallery presented some of her most intimate works on paper, featuring a remarkable display of her 220 Insomnia Drawings. In the video below, Frances Morris—recently appointed the director of the Tate Modern—discusses the exhibition. 

This summer, The Fruitmarket Gallery is showing the work of Damián Ortega, one of Mexico’s most important contemporary artists. His sculptures pull apart the things of everyday life — cars, buildings, tools and nature—and use a variety of materials and techniques to expose their inner poetry. 

For his show at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Ortega has made new sculptures, mostly from clay, that explore the most elemental aspects of the natural landscape and question humankind’s impact on our surroundings. You can watch an interview with him talking about his process.