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Scott Myles is a Scottish artist based in Glasgow, UK. His practice is strongly gestural and consists of sculpture, painting, printmaking, artist’s books, photography and performance-based projects: a kind of reactivation of ideas relating to the value of art and social reality by means of reusing already established codes. Early works explored circulation, exchange and value. For example, in an extended performance in 1999, Myles intervened into corporate culture by using a number of newspaper kiosks as lending libraries. He stole publications from a chain store, replacing them at different locations of the same retailer, without leading to any commercial loss for the respective chain. Since 2008, in the wake of the global recession, Myles has produced a number of projects and sculptures wherein he allegorizes symbols which have become ruins. These have ranged from large-scale sculptural works to dematerialized artworks within site-specific locations such as galleries, department stores and the outdoors. Additionally, Myles has appropriated and adapted works by other artists, exploring gift-exchange while continually deviating from the original reference point in a way that not only reflects the original idea but is also an authentic presentation of something else, something personal. As a whole, his artworks constitute a complex network of responses to social and physical infrastructures, and examine the subject in their own environment. Myles’s most recent body of work is a series of paintings thematising a pictorial device which is at once a partial reiteration of the canvas stretcher frame, an illusionistic suggestion of the picture as a perspectival window, and a sinister intimation of the gibbet or gallows.
Myles has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions and projects, including: ‘This Way Out’, The Modern Institute, Glasgow; ‘Heal Walls’, Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo; ‘Potlatch’, Lafayette Maison, Paris (in collaboration with Foundation Lafayette); ‘This Production’, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; and Kunsthalle Zurich.
Group exhibitions include: ‘White Trash’, Luhring Augustine, Bushwick, New York; ‘Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 till now’, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles & Menil Collection, Houston; ‘DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture’, Tate Liverpool; ‘Contemporary Scottish Art: New Acquisitions & Loans’, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; ‘Blasted Allegories’, Works from the Ringier Collection, Kunstmuseum Luzern; ‘On interchange/Interludes of a collection’, Museum Kurhaus Kleve; ‘Theorema’, Collection Lambert en Avignon; ‘Image/Text’, Tate Modern, London.
Myles’s artworks are held in private and public museum collections including Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; British Council Collection, UK; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh and Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. He has been awarded two Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship in 2016 and 2018, to support his research at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, USA. Myles has also been awarded a numbers of residencies, most recently at Cove Park in Scotland in 2017. Myles is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow, Meyer Riegger, Berlin/ Karlsruhe & The Breeder, Athens.
In conjunction with role as a Research Fellow (2013-2018), and lecturer (2018- ongoing) Myles lectures on both undergraduate and postgraduate level courses. Myles has designed and delivered a series of master classes, seminars and lectures, as well as conducting study trips, group research, recorded one-to-one tutorials, critiques and degree show assessment.
Myles has taught, delivered artists’ talks, conducted workshops, seminars and thematic lectures at the following venues:
The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford; St Andrews University; Kunsthalle Zurich; Art Center College of Design MFA Program, Los Angeles; Glasgow University Art History Department; Glasgow School of Art; Edinburgh College of Art, Limerick School of Art & Design, OTIS College of Art & Design, Los Angeles; USC Roski School of Fine Art Master’s Program, Los Angeles; The Common Guild, Glasgow; Cove Park, Argyle & Bute; CCA, Glasgow; Virginia Historical Society, Richmond; Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; Tramway, Glasgow; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Jerwood Space, London; Projects in Art & Theory, Cologne; BBC Scotland; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow; Tate Britain, London; Tate Modern, London; Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig; University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
He was external examiner for three-year cycle, B.A. Drawing & Painting, Limerick College of Art and Design, Limerick, Ireland, 2014 - 2017
This Way Out
‘This Way Out’ was Scott Myles’s solo exhibition at The Modern Institute Glasgow, 17th March – 6th May 2017. For this exhibition and ongoing project, Myles relocated his entire studio to the gallery situating usually private studio practice in a public gallery with the aim of testing boundaries around value, labour and context. Myles’s research leads him to create situations, displacements, in addition to artworks, building on conceptual frameworks established by post studio discourse such as Daniel Buren’s influential essay entitled “The Function of the Studio” (1971).
Myles’s methodology included designing a number of new tools for ‘This Way Out’ such as a bespoke exposure unit for screen-printing, and a shelving system designed to accumulate artefacts made over the course of the exhibition. Throughout the run of the exhibition, weekly electronic ‘image generating’ newsletters (the result of interdisciplinary collaboration between Myles, a designer and a programmer), were sent around the world illustrating what was occurring in the gallery inviting audiences to attend events, screenings, collaborations: https://studioscottmyles.com/this-way-out/ This led to Myles’s third artist book publication, launched at events in London and New York, that is now in private and institutional library collections including Stedelijk Library, Amsterdam.
Further dissemination includes: The Modern Institute extended reality exhibition with the Vortic Collect app (2020); ‘Reunion’, More Publishers, Brussels (2017); ‘Open House’, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco (2018); ‘And Then There Were None”, Meyer Riegger Galerie, Karlsruhe (2017); Art Basel in Miami (2017), Frieze London (2017). Public lectures: Kunst Academie, Karlsruhe (2020); Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow (2020), Upenn, Philadelphia (2019); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2017). Myles was awarded £30,000 from Creative Scotland in 2014 which supported and facilitated much of his creative research and outputs. In 2020 he was awarded a further £15,000 to continue developing the digital reach of his practice.
‘Spiral Bound’ is an ongoing interdisciplinary creative project exhibited at Meyer Riegger Galerie, Berlin (21 Nov – 19 Dec 2015), with published artist book. Since 2015 Myles has undertaken research trips to the USA exploring the legacies of Best Products, (1957 – 1997) and their collaboration with New York based SITE (‘Sculpture in the Environment’) architecture practice. Myles was awarded two Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowships to continue his research at The Virginia Museum of History and Culture; focussing on Best Product’s owners, Sydney and Frances Lewis, and their practice of bartering, enabling artists to receive merchandise in exchange for art works. He travelled to conduct several interviews with James Wines of SITE and pursue further research in America. Myles also secured a competitively awarded funded residency at Cove Park to develop his research.
Myles situated this work within contemporary debates around retail apocalypse and the thresholds between gift and sale where capitalism unravels. He produced a series of new artworks that depict basic goods placed on the shelves of a church’s in-house food bank overlaid with images screen-printed by hand onto ‘true-grain’ film from his research trips, juxtaposing differing yet coexistent systems of value and modes of existence for objects. The church building in Richmond Virginia used to be a Best Products catalogue showroom and is the only remaining SITE building that stands in anything like its original form.
Myles unique artistic response to the legacies of Best and SITE has led to a number of symposia including ‘DOING RUINS’ as part of ‘GSA, NVA: On ruins and Ruination’ at CCA, Glasgow (18 Sep 2015) and colloquiums at VMHC, Richmond (2017 & 2019); an artist’s book ‘Spiral Bound’ with essay by Dr Dominic Paterson; and review: Herbert, Martin, ‘Scott Myles, Spiral Bound’, Art Review, Vol 68, January 2016, p. 138). https://artreview.com/jan-feb-2016-review-scott-myles/
‘Potlatch’: a creative project of exhibitions and activities by Scott Myles that negotiates a response to Situationist Guy Debord's injunction in ‘The Society of the Spectacle’ (1967) that art should be both realised and destroyed. Myles makes an examination of gift exchange and value.
Myles’s research starts with Ralph Rumney, sole British founding member of the Situationist International, published in Tate etc Summer 2014. Myles secured a commission and residency from Lafayette Anticipations, researching the Guy Debord Archive, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, ‘Archives Galleries Lafayette’, with visits to Champot, Debord’s last home.
Myles’s methodology developed a trojan horse artwork, funded by a cultural institution, funded by a department store, (one of the type described by Debord as “temple of frenetic consumption”) for an artwork challenging consumption. ‘Potlatch’ references the eponymous Lettrist International bulletin (1954 – 1957), and the North American term describing the pre-commercial circulation of goods founded upon a reciprocity of gifts. Myles’s ‘Potlatch’ created a situation where his gift wrap sheets, printed with his images of Debord’s home, were given freely to shoppers as they participated in typical systems of commerce at Lafayette Maison, between 29th June- 5th July 2014. Myles brings together antagonistic entities in an unlikely setting with his intervention: images of the home of a dissident intellectual figure used to wrap items at till pay points throughout ‘Lafayette Maison’ department store.
Additional dissemination includes: ‘Venir Voir Venir’, Rem Koolhaas’s/ OMA foundation complex; 2014 solo exhibition ‘Mummies’, The Modern Institute Gallery, Glasgow, part of Scotland’s 2014 ‘Generation’ program; ‘Independent’ in New York in 2016; and ‘Potlatch’ artists book. Reviews include:
Paterson, D. (2015) Ruins recast: appropriated and fabricated ruins in the work of Scott Myles. Performance Research, 20(3), pp. 145-153; Possessions : Scott Myles et l’invocation-évocation artistique de l’Internationale situationniste (2019)
This Production was a solo exhibition of artworks across two main galleries at Dundee Contemporary Arts (07 April 2012 – 10 June 2012). The exhibition included new sculptures, an expansive site-specific installation and a new series of prints produced with DCA print studio. An associated 48 page hardback catalogue contained an essay ‘Houses in Motion’ by Dr Dominic Paterson (University of Glasgow). It was the first essay to take stock of important developments in Myles’s practice since the publication of Caiomhin Mac Giolla Leith's (University College Dublin) essay on the artist in a monograph published by Kunsthalle Zurich/ JRP Ringier in 2007. ‘Houses in Motion’ examines Myles's re-use of certain works and motifs and relates his practice to Walter Benjamin's allegory of the building site in 'One-Way Street', and looks in particular at Myles’ extrapolation of the idea of 'both-and' postmodernism as theorised by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
This Production and related events were funded by Dundee Contemporary Arts, The Henry Moore Foundation, Creative Scotland and Dundee City Council.
Myles, Scott, 2013, This Production. Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland. ISBN 978-0-9558769-6-7 Case bound: 215 x 250mm. Colour. Word Count 3,800. 48 Pages. Worldwide distribution Art Data.
A Full Stop
‘Full Stop (The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman)’ (2006) is an artwork that explores and manipulates the social nuances of language and established aesthetic codes. Myles borrowed a first edition copy of the novel ‘Tristram Shandy’ from Glasgow University’s special collections department and photographed the final full stop that closes the novel using a photomicroscope in the University’s geology department. The resulting image was blown up in scale and exhibited in a number of institutions and reproduced in the leading Sternean Academic Journal ‘The Shandean’ in 2009. Myles’s artwork was acquired for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s permanent collection the same year.
Transcript of an interview and two images of artworks ‘Reciprocity on Three Planes’ (2009) and ‘Full Stop (The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman)’ (2006) published in ‘The Shandean’ (Volume 20 November 2009). Pages 68, 159 – 160, 3pp ISSN 0956-3083
Myles, S (2008). ‘Das Ungleiche Paar (EVOL)’ ‘(The Unlike Pair (EVOL))’.
Group exhibition and exhibition catalogue: ‘On interchange/ Interludes of a collection’ at Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve, Germany, 2008. Co- Author(s): Barunke, Regina (Temporary Gallery, Cologne), Haberer, Lilian (University of Cologne) & Monig, Roland (Museum Kurhaus Kleve), (ed.)Myles’ role was as an artist invited by curators Barunke, and Haberer to research and directly engage with the permanent collection at Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany.
On interchange/ Interludes of a collection. Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve, Germany. ISBN: 978-3-934935, Publisher: Museum Kurhaus und Koekkoek-Haus Kleve, (ed.), Kleve, 2008, Pages: pp. 84- 91 & 97 - 99
SCOTT MYLES, monograph, Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich.
This volume offers a comprehensive look into Myles' artistic production from 1999 to 2006. The oeuvre of Myles is strongly gestural and consists of photographs, objects, serigraphs, paintings and performance-based projects-a kind of reactivation of ideas on the valuation of art and social reality by means of the re-use of already established aesthetic codes. Thus, along with known art-historical works and their themes, concepts such as generosity or communication play a large role, as well as the involvement of the subject in his/her own environment. Myles' work, however, also always deals with his experience as an artist, with the role of the viewer and a certain openly avowed romanticism. Along with all of this is a high degree of fictionalization, and, included in these fictions, the potential for producing art.
Ruf, Beatrix (ed), SCOTT MYLES, (monograph), Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Published by JRP Ringier, Zurich, 2007, ISBN: 978-3-905-701-63-0
Tate Triennial 2006: New British Art
Providing a snapshot of contemporary art practice in Britain, this book explores a significant theme emerging from the work of the artists selected: the appropriation and re-casting of cultural material. A short essay accompanies the work of each of the thirty artists featured in the exhibition at Tate Britain, London.
Stout, Katharine, SCOTT MYLES, in Tate Triennial 2006: New British Art, (exhibition catalogue), Tate Publishing, London, 2006, pp. 104 – 107 ISBN-13:978 185437 622 0 and ISBN-10:1 85437 6225
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review
Research output: Non-textual form › Exhibition
Myles, Scott (Recipient), 2017
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)