The Art Guide to Glasgow

You might think it's all chip shops and sectarian football nonsense, here's why you're wrong...
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You might think it's all chip shops and sectarian football nonsense, here's why you're wrong...

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Glasgow has shaken off its false reputation as an industrial no-go area to become a vibrant hotbed of visual art – with more Turner Prize winners per square mile than chip shops. With the Glasgow School of Art at its heart, the creative scene is thriving, with derelict buildings and stores regularly transformed into galleries and studios. Here’s where you can see work by Glasgow’s artists, and what you should buy.

The Modern Institute, 14-20 Osborne Street, Tel: 0141 248 3711 

Founded by Toby Webster, The Modern Institute’s artists read like a roll call of celebrity artists, from Jim Lambie and Simon Starling to Martin Boyce. If you have £2,000, but can’t quite fit an installation in your suitcase, here you can snap up a lovely screenprint by Richard Wright, who (guess what?) won the 2009 Turner Prize.

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The Duchy, 23/25 Duke Street, Tel: 07731453666 

But there’s more to Glasgow art than the Turner. This perfectly formed shop front gallery shows art school graduates like Amelia Bywater, and more established Glasgow artists such as Tony Swain, who uses newspaper to create his strong yet delicate paintings.

Transmission, 28 King Street, Tel, 0141 552 7141 

The Glasgow art scene as we know it started here, in 1983, in an unprepossessing shop in the city centre. Damien Hirst showed here way back in 1989, and now it’s part of arts centre Trongate 103. The block also houses the Street Level Photoworks gallery and Glasgow Print Studio – where you can find beautiful botanical etchings by Christine Borland.

The Briggait, Wasps Artists’ Studios 141 Bridgegate, Tel: 0141 553 5890 

By the Clyde River is a glorious Victorian building called the Briggait, which lay empty for over 20 years, and is now home to the WASPs artist’s studios. Workspaces are opened to the public on the last Friday of every month, so you can see where the magic happens.

SWG3, 100 Eastvale Place, Tel +44 141 357 7246, 

This multi-discipline space is a gallery, warehouse, studio and general hub of artistic endeavour. It’s the best place to see work by emerging artists, from the painterly landscapes of Marianne Greated and Mary Wintour to the frankly bonkers taxidermy of Jamie Fitzpatrick. And if you hang around long enough, there will probably be a party, a poetry evening or a gig.