This January, the Hastings Contemporary will hold the first major UK exhibition of work by Irish artist Anne Ryan. The show will be leading the gallery’s ambitious 2020 exhibitions programme, and feature alongside a retrospective of rarely seen work by Edward Burra, Graham Sutherland and Stanley Spencer, and a showcase of early career artists in the vanguard of art making.

Anne Ryan, 5 women in the woods and one swimming, 2019, acrylic on card cutout, 51×63 cm

For Anne Ryan: Earthly Delites, Ryan is creating a new installation occupying the entirety of Hastings Contemporary’s main ground floor gallery space. Taking inspiration from Hieronymous Bosch’s Garden Of Earthly Delights, Ryan has curated a ‘pleasure garden’ of work assembled from throughout her career that will invite visitors to wander around and get lost in her work, subtly insinuating ourselves directly into her paintings. 

Ryan is renowned for her ‘cutouts’ – highly coloured, constructed paintings made from card, collage, canvas, ceramic and metal. These focus on figures engaged in a variety of physical activities: dancing, posing, swimming, frolicking in the woods, even letting loose in a mosh pit. Ryan is inspired as much by nightclubs and cinema as by classical figurative painting and sculpture.

The Hastings Contemporary will also be displaying work from Drawing Life art classes attended by dementia suffers, which will be available to view in the gallery cafe until 22nd March. The Anne Ryan exhibition and other features will run from 18th January 2020 – 29th March 2020.


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