Alex Hartley @ Fruitmarket Gallery

Hartley, whose work also features as the backdrop to Tim Crouch's new play, <i>England</i>, presents us with an entirely new appreciation for architectural sculptures.

★★★
archive review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 03 Aug 2007
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39658 original
At The Fruitmarket Gallery's festival exhibition, Alex Hartley illuminates the interior and exterior space of the gallery and other built environments, presenting the audience with an intriguing new approach to one of Scotland's key contemporary art venues.

Hartley is an urban climber, exploring the surface of a structure in the most intimate way. Approaching the Fruitmarket we are confronted with an exactly scaled image of the gallery plastered across the façade, with eight climbs marked and graded by Hartley that rise up over the tactile surface of stone ledges and exposed I-beams.

Inside, the photographic series Tour documents a journey over Scotland's architecture, from monotonous bungalows in the shadow of the Forth Rail Bridge, dilapidated cottages in deserted countryside to contemporary structures like St Peter's Seminary in Cardross. Upstairs, sculptural glass framed images and installations of idealised and invented modernist interiors seem almost to be actual extensions of the gallery space. This sleek body of photographic and 3-D work offers a glimpse of Hartley's enthusiasm and understanding of architectural structures and leaving the gallery I can't help but imagine my alternative routes home.

Hartley's work will also be heavily featured in Tim Crouch's new Fringe play, England, which will be showing at the Fruitmarket Gallery this August.