Art Fund helps bridge gap in Scottish art collection

  • 4 September 2007

Thanks to The Art Fund, the National Galleries of Scotland have purchased a photographic artwork by German artist Dieter Appelt, which will form the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this autumn.

Forth Bridge – Cinema.Metric Space (2002) is the artist’s latest major creation. It was purchased for £57,436, with a £25,000 contribution from The Art Fund.

Forth Bridge – Cinema.Metric Space consists of 312 separate gelatine silver prints which make up a montage reconstruction of the iconic Forth Rail Bridge near Edinburgh. Rather than making a direct representation of the bridge Appelt reorders it, painstakingly cutting and rejoining segments to create a mesmerising series of horizontal and vertical readings of the structure.

Dieter Appelt first set eyes on the Forth Bridge in the 1970s and was immediately fascinated by its appearance. When the artist received a commission from the CCA in Montréal in 2002, he chose to make Scotland’s iconic steel bridge the subject of his work.

Appelt began by making a 35mm film of the bridge, running the camera along a track dolly on the parallel Forth Road Bridge half a mile away. Each of the 312 prints in the final work were crafted laboriously from separate stills from the film.         

The work will be the centrepiece of an exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in October. Dieter Appelt, Forth Bridge – Cinema.Metric Space, will run from 9 October 2007 to 6 January 2008.

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National Galleries of Scotland