Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach Reopens Hastings Contemporary




Hastings Contemporary has announced their reopening exhibition for the 27th May with a spectacular summer show ‘Seaside Modern’ which celebrates and explores the relationship between artists and the beach from the 1920s to 1970s.

Seaside Modern explores the relationship between artists and the beach

Marking the beginning of summer and the hopeful and happy return to a better way of life, this exciting exhibition of more than sixty artists and designers will look at the broader social and cultural phenomenon of the British heading to the beach in ever more significant numbers.

 The Seaside by William Roberts Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Estate of John David Roberts courtesy of the William Roberts Society. By permission of the Treasury Solicitor

Seaside Modern: The Seaside by William Roberts Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Estate of John David Roberts courtesy of the William Roberts Society.

Seaside Modern is a cornucopia of visual mastery awaiting our audiences in Hastings, including paintings, sculptures and drawings produced by many of the most revered artists of the 20th century, such as L.S. Lowry, Richard Eurich, Paul Nash, Laura Knight, William Roberts, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. These exceptional talents are drawn together by special guest British curator James Russell to create a spectacular new show in the historic shoreline gallery.

Seaside Modern exhibition draws together an extensive group of artists, reflecting the ‘Genuine Artistic Moment’ of fifty years in the 20th century. Artists were drawn to the beach, but for varying reasons and with very different results. The beach and coast views are produced in various styles and convey different moods and psychological states of mind. Works of traditional subjects including fishermen, boats and the harbour are presented by Eric Ravilious, John Minton and Prunella Clough. There are experimental works, which draw inspiration from the strangeness of the shore, with works produced by John Nash, Edith Rimmington, Eileen Agar and Bill Brandt.

Hastings Contemporary has also announced that gallery’s Artist Patron Sir Quentin Blake’s topical and much-lauded exhibition We Live in Worrying Times is set to reopen with new works included, marking a brighter and more optimistic period in the country’s turbulent times. Audiences viewed Sir Quentin’s exhibition during the lockdown from around the world via the gallery’s robot, which was a unique partnership with Bristol Robotics Lab and continues to make headlines worldwide and delight visitors unable to visit due to COVID restrictions or isolation and disability.

The gallery continues to present an exceptional contemporary art programme because of the support it generously receives from Arts Council England, Hastings Borough Council and more recently, by Garfield Weston Foundation. The trustees and the entire team are thrilled at the announcement that Hastings Contemporary has been awarded a major arts grant from the UK Government’s ‘Cultural Recovery Fund’, which will enable it to reopen and provide unique visitor experiences for all generations.

Top Photograph: Beached Tree. Taken in Perros-Guirec, France. ,1936 All images are copyrighted to Tate, London and must be credited © Photo ©Tate.

Hastings Contemporary will reopen on Thursday 27th May. Seaside Modern Booking information will be available on their website and via social media soon. 

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