By Mia L

The newly revised gallery space, formerly known as The Jerwood, reopened its doors on Saturday 6th July 2019. I was eager to see how The Hastings Contemporary would respond to their newly assigned position within the local arts community. Once inside, the atmosphere bristled with anticipation, as staff members stood by, ready to answer any questions one might have about the gallery’s renewed, creative agenda.

Hastings Contemporary’s Director Liz Gilmour

The majority of the first floor explores the work of Israeli born, Danish artist Tal R (b.1967).The internationally renowned artist draws inspiration from his immediate surroundings, exploring the theme from a mixed media perspective. His bold and gregarious show ‘Eventually All Museums Will Be Ships(Running from 6th July-13th October 2019) cannilypays homage to the seaside locality of the Contemporary, whilst acknowledging his own agenda as an artist. Tal R’s work is predominantly abstract in nature, with distinct nods to popular culture, underpinned by an undeniable Picasso-esque sensibility.

Tal R’s work on show in the downstairs gallery space

Running alongside the gallery’s seminal exhibition, is a comprehensive collection of works, by British artist Roy Oxlade (1929-2014).‘Shine Out Fair Sun’ (Running from 6th July-6th October 2019) showcases the first major presentation of his work, which includes, notable pieces from a career spanning more than 50 years. Considered to be highly influential, not just as an artist, but also as a writer and teacher, Oxlade championed art for all – free from the constraints of academic pretense. His work reflects a simple, yet considered appreciation of the everyday, which is in turn re-imagined within the creative sphere.

Roy Oxlaide paintings on display

Also on show are a number of select works by David Bomberg (1890-1957). Once the tutor of Roy Oxlade, Bomberg’s work is characterised, by a direct and unpretentious approach, centered around two key themes; portraiture and landscape (Running from 6th July-6th October 2019).

David Bomberg, The Old City and Cathedral, Ronda, 1935

The Hastings Contemporary’s Summer 2019 programme concludes with a show by Sir Quentin Blake (b.1932) perhaps best known for his illustrative contributions to the children’s literary genre. ‘The New Dress’ (Running from 6th July-6th October 2019) is Blake’s response to his revised role as Artist Patron at The Contemporary. Blake invites visitors to explore notions of metamorphosis and regeneration, via a series of specially curated drawings and sketches.

A selection of Quentin Blake illustrations from the new exhibition

The Hastings Contemporary has undoubtedly positioned itself at the heart of the local arts scene, demonstrating a clear creative intent to present shows, which promote all forms of modern art, whilst celebrating the considered contribution of artists within a relative and international context.

Please refer to the gallery website for all visitor information

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