A Magic Box: Calum Colvin

The Magic Box exhibition by Calum Colvin is aptly named, his vivid digital prints and transparencies are a treasure trove of visual puns and historical references applied to the portraiture genre. At first glance, the large scale surreal prints appear to be a Photoshopped maelstrom of images relating to masterworks from the likes of Rubens and traditional portraits of Scottish writers.

Colvin’s technique of creating digital prints using photography to flatten sculptural forms which refer to traditional art and historical narratives is innovative.

However, you would be wrong. As quoted in the exhibition catalogue (a bargain for a book of this quality!), his process is described as “figurative painting applied to large scale sculptural assemblages, fusing construction and carving with found objects; dazzling bricolages pulled together through the lens of his large format camera and then printed to the highest resolution.”

This information was found in the catalogue, rather than on display which is disappointing for visitors who do not know this artists work. It was also quite difficult to appreciate the largest works or 3D digital prints in such a small exhibition space as the pieces crowd each other. This must be a disappointment for the artist who has 25 years of work to share with the public.

Colvin’s technique of creating digital prints using photography to flatten sculptural forms which refer to traditional art and historical narratives is innovative. Interesting enough within the context of the printmaking but be prepared for an underwhelming curatorial hang. 

Reviews by Diana Scarborough

Woodland Creatures

Bark

★★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Deconstructing the Surrogate

★★
Edinburgh Printmakers

A Magic Box: Calum Colvin

★★★
The Danish Institute Gallery

Danish Diaspora - Scotland Seen Through Danish Eyes

★★★★

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The Blurb

An exhibition by the renowned Scottish artist Calum Colvin, which will be an archaeology of his creative practice. This exhibition will focus upon his archive of image transparencies that date back to the early 1980s and will also include new print editions commissioned and published by Edinburgh Printmakers.

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