Best places to see contemporary art in Scotland

Updated 20 February 2020

Scotland contains some prime destinations for contemporary art. Here are five of our favourites.


City Art Centre

This nine-storey former warehouse is the place to come if you want to see rolling displays of Edinburgh's collection of Scottish modern and contemporary art as well as loan exhibitions of art from all over the world. Contemporary artists represented include Christine Borland, Rosalind Nashashibi and Toby Paterson.

The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh

The Fruitmarket Gallery

Housed on the site of a former fruit and vegetable market, the gallery opened its doors in 1974 to bring contemporary visual arts to the city of Edinburgh. It hosts a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring work by both Scottish and international artists.


Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA)

GoMA prides itself on being a centre for people to gather, discuss and learn, inspired by the art it collects and shows. Work on display has been selected on the basis that it highlights the interests, influences and working methods of artists in Glasgow.


Pier Arts Centre

  • Highlands And Islands
  • Free to all

The gallery was established in 1979 to provide a home for a collection of modern British art that was donated by the author, peace activist and philanthropist Margaret Gardiner. Since then the gallery has expanded on its 20th-century holdings with an impressive array of contemporary art, including works by Sean Scully, Eva Rothschild and Olafur Eliasson. Local artists such as Sylvia Wishart and Stanley Cursiter are also represented.


Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

With a collection encompassing both modern and contemporary art, the gallery is an amazing archive of 20th- and 21st-century practice. Featured artists include Bacon, Hockney, Warhol and Freud, as well as Whiteread, Gormley and Hirst. Among the highlights is Tracey Emin's Family Suite, 20 drawings that deal with the artist's archetypal themes of sex, family, abortions and Margate. The series was acquired with Art Fund support in 1994.

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