Gallery of Modern Art
The place to see works by Hockney, Warhol and plenty more modern art masters. Entry to both the galleries and library is free
Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) occupies a stately looking neoclassical building in Royal Exchange Square in the heart of the city centre just off Buchanan Street, which since being built as a townhouse by a wealthy tobacco lord in 1778 has served several purposes, from a home to a bank to a library.
It was in 1996 that it became Glasgow’s foremost centre for contemporary art, housing not just extensive gallery space but also educational facilities, including a studio and a library, and public spaces such as a hideaway café in the basement. GoMA exists to showcase not just the work of the city’s greatest artistic talents (including several Turner Prize success stories), but also to highlight what those artists share in common with others around the world in terms of influences and practices. Exhibits include works by David Hockney, Andy Warhol and John Bellany, and there is a regular programme of temporary exhibitions.
If you’re ever in any doubt as to how to find the GoMA, just ask for directions to the traffic cone statue. The grand carving of the Duke of Wellington that sits outside the front door of the gallery is probably even more famous than GoMA itself among ordinary Glaswegians – mainly because he invariably wears a plastic traffic cone on his head. Placed there by unidentified mischievous locals, it’s quickly and mysteriously replaced if it ever gets removed. The authorities used to do so regularly, but they eventually gave up when they realised how symbolic it had become of the city’s light-hearted attitude to authority – not to mention how popular it is with amused tourists.
Royal Exchange Square
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