8 July 2021 — Announcement

Fruitmarket unveils with a retrospective of Karla Black

New warehouse space at Fruitmarket. Karla Black : sculptures (2001–2021) details for a retrospective 07.07.21–24.10.21 Photo: Tom Nolan

Congratulations to Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket which has reopened this week after a £4.3m redevelopment project to refresh its existing galleries and expand into the warehouse space next door. We are delighted that the Fruitmarket launches with a major retrospective exhibition of over 30 works, including some major new commissions, by renowned Scottish sculptor Karla Black.

The exhibition inaugurates the newly expanded Fruitmarket and spans the entire building comprising two gallery spaces, the new warehouse space and linking walkway. Access into and around the building has been improved, with an emphasis placed on equality of experience for everyone. The new spaces and redevelopment have been designed by Edinburgh-based Reiach and Hall Architects and prioritise re-use and sustainability. The resulting transformation doubles the footprint of the gallery and brings the next door building into active cultural use, as an expansive, inspirational space.

The Fruitmarket curated Black’s solo presentation for Scotland + Venice at the 54th International Biennale in 2011 across nine rooms at the Palazzo Pisani (S. Marina). It is wonderful to revisit memories of Venice in Karla Black sculptures (2001–2021) details for a retrospective which marks their first collaboration at home and is the result of an invitation to Black to play to her strengths and “force a raw creative moment” into the Fruitmarket’s pristine new gallery spaces. The renovation and expansion offers Karla Black inspirational, materially resonant spaces in which to make and site her work. Inspired by the interplay of the new, double height warehouse with its raw brick and rough wood, and the refurbished conventionality of the exhibition galleries, she has worked with the Fruitmarket to reimagine what a retrospective exhibition can be.

Karla Black, Installation view curated by Fruitmarket Gallery for Scotland + Venice 2011
Photograph by Gautier Deblonde

Fiona Bradley, the Fruitmarket’s Director, said “There is a defiant force to her work –it is demanding and disruptive as well as beautiful and inspiring. It is because of this that we invited her to be the first artist to work in the newly reopened Fruitmarket: we value artistic experimentation and we want her to really challenge the new space. We look forward to sharing her insights with our audience.”