Graham Fagen has been selected to represent Scotland at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale, in a solo presentation commissioned and curated by Hospitalfield Arts, Arbroath.
Graham Fagen is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. His work mixes media and crosses continents; combining video, performance, photography, and sculpture with text, live music and even, plants. His recurring artistic themes, which include flowers, journeys and popular song, are used as attempts to understand and talk clear-sightedly about the powerful forces that shape our lives. He creates works, which explore how identity is both created by, and a response, to its cultural context.
Fagen studied at the Glasgow School of Art (1984-1988, BA) and the Kent Institute of Art and Design (1989-1990, MA). In 1999 Fagen was invited by the Imperial War Museum, London to work as the Official War Artist for Kosovo, and since then has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad, and exhibitions include Golden Age, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1999), The British Art Show (2000), part of Zenomap, Scotland and Venice at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), Bloodshed at the Victoria & Albert Museum and Art of the Garden, Tate Britain (2004), Busan Biennale, South Korea, Still Life, Art and Industry Biennial, New Zealand (2004). In 2011 Fagenwas the International Artist in Residence at Artpace, San Antonio, concluding with a solo exhibition, Under Heavy Manners, and created a video work entitled Missing, commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which toured with the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Andrew O’Hagan’s play, The Missing. With theatre director Graham Eatough he created The Making of Us, a performance, installation and film, for Glasgow International 2012.
Hospitalfield Arts is based in the early arts and crafts house and grounds of the 19th century artist and collector, Patrick Allan-Fraser. Located just to the south of Arbroath, the house, collections and estate were left in trust on Allan-Fraser’s death and in 1901 Hospitalfield was established as a place of work and learning for artists and students, making a significant contribution to 20th century Scottish art. Today a series of nationally and internationally significant residency programmes for artists, curators and writers, continue to be accommodated within the house and purpose built studios.
Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, British Council Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland and representatives of these organisations sit on the Steering Group that oversees the successful delivery of the project.
Palazzo Fontana, Palazzo Fontana, Strada Nova, Cannaregio 3829