Cavernous contemporary art gallery split over two sites. The majority of exhibitions are free, and regularly feature A-list contributors
A perfect example of Glasgow’s internationally renowned contribution to contemporary art, The Modern Institute was once described by Art Review magazine as ‘a model for galleries around the world’.
Founded by Will Bradley, Toby Webster and Charles Esche in 1998 at its old location on Robertson Street, it today occupies two architecturally impressive sites in the Merchant City. The barn-like main gallery is situated in a cleverly converted nineteenthcentury bathhouse on Osbourne Street – one of the oldest surviving examples of its type in the city, which had previously been vacant for 30 years. The Modern Institute’s second, more recently appropriated space, situated five-minutes’ walk away on Aird’s Lane was once a glass factory. Bright, white, neutralised interiors in each lend themselves well to the many innovative and often unusual installations they host, by artists from the local scene and all over the world. In recent years, these have included everything from bold large-scale paintings by Sue Tompkins to colourfully reconditioned furniture by Martino Gamper.
The Modern Institute has hosted and helped nurture some impressively hip names across more than 25 years in the business. They include several Turner Prize nominees from the Glasgow scene (including Jim Lambie, Cathy Wilkes and Luke Fowler) and several Turner Prize winners too (including Richard Wright, Simon Starling and Martin Boyce). Don’t be put off by the gallery’s hipper-than-thou reputation, however – the vibe is welcoming, and all are encouraged to come in and browse the free exhibitions. An external glass door at the Osbourne Street even allows curious passers-by to peer in.
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14-20 Osborne Street
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