Hastings Contemporary, a new, independent art gallery will open to the public this Saturday.

Hastings Contemporary, a new, independent art gallery will open to the public this Saturday 6 July 2019.
Set on the historic Stade on the seafront in Hastings, the gallery will bring a dynamic programme of modern and contemporary art to the South East, exploring and interrogating works by national, international and local artists.

Hastings Contemporary opens with two major exhibitions which champion the medium of painting: Tal R: eventually, all museums will be ships and Roy Oxlade: Shine Out Fair Sun.

Major exhibitions of Tal R and Roy Oxlade will launch Hastings Contemporary 6 July 2019_160519

Tal R, Babylon, oil on canvas, 2017 © Paradis/Tal R – Copenhagen, and Victoria Miro – London/Venice
Tal R, Babylon, oil on canvas, 2017 © Paradis/Tal R Copenhagen, and Victoria Miro London/Venice

Tal R: eventually all museums will be ships explores the work of international contemporary artist Tal R and reveal new works. Tal R works with a wide range of media from painting to textile design, sculpture to video art, and he constantly renews and enriches his artistic practice and way of working. Known for his unique ability to experiment, reinterpret and create afresh, Tal R is a versatile artist whose work explores and takes inspiration from his surroundings. The exhibition title, which both befits the iconic, ancient fishing beach flanking Hastings Contemporary and recent evolution of the gallery to its new independent status, is a nod to the content of the exhibition and also a poetic reference to the artist’s creative process.


Roy Oxlade,Fireplace and Orange Log , 1984, oil on canvas ©Estate of Roy Oxlade, courtesy Alison Jacques Gallery

Roy Oxlade: Shine Out Fair Sun is the first major public gallery exhibition of British artist Roy Oxlade (1924-2014). Described in the Guardian as ‘one of the most impressive British painters of the past 50 years’, Roy Oxlade was an artist, art writer and highly influential teacher. Oxlade’s approach to painting was instinctual, energetic and bold and he was well known for his powerful use of colour.

Roy Oxlade: Shine Out Fair Sun features work from over 50 years of Oxlade’s artistic output, including some of his earliest paintings produced in the 1950s while studying under David Bomberg, alongside Frank Auerbach and Leon Kossoff. This exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to encounter a prolific and previously overlooked artist’s vision that impressed many of his students and contemporaries. Oxlade believed that art should be rooted in nature and the artist’s immediate surroundings, taking inspiration from the objects of daily life, ‘things, trees, houses, cats, people’. In keeping with this belief, Oxlade’s work reflects his everyday life living and working alongside his wife and fellow artist Rose Wylie RA on the South East coast of England not far from Hastings.

Both Tal R and Roy Oxlade are credited with invigorating the rich painterly tradition through their creativity and teaching and influencing the next generation of artists. Hastings Contemporary’s inaugural exhibition in turn brings together two artists who knew of each other and admired the other’s work from afar. Speaking in 2008, Oxlade remarked that Tal R “continues to be one of the best and most promising of today’s artists.”

On the choice of Hastings Contemporary’s inaugural artists, Director Liz Gilmore stated:

“We are excited to launch Hastings Contemporary with major exhibitions of Tal R and Roy Oxlade alongside one-room display of David Bomberg and our Artist Patron Sir Quentin Blake. The extraordinary talents, abundant creativity and intuitive approach of each artist, fly the flag for painting. We’re excited to be launching this new chapter in Hastings history and to continue to bring world-class exhibitions to our cherished sea-side town.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England has said:

“The opening of Hastings Contemporary marks a new chapter for a gallery that has already made a big impact in the life of the town and has won a reputation for presenting exciting shows in its award-winning building.”

Alongside these two major presentations, Hastings Contemporary also presents Roy Oxlade & David Bomberg a display exploring the relationship between teacher and student through the works of David Bomberg (1890-1957) and his student Roy Oxlade. The display, made possible by a partnership with the prestigious, private collection of Daniel Katz, showcases a number of key works by David Bomberg that explore two of his main artistic themes: portraiture and landscape alongside early works by Roy Oxlade that illustrate Bomberg’s influence on the young artist. Both artists with their own distinct practice, Bomberg and Oxlade shared a number of ideas: they both believed that objects and places should be central to an artist’s approach and rejected traditional academic teaching.

www.hastingscontemporary.org?

About The Artist

Tal R Born in Tel Aviv in 1967, Tal R lives and works in Copenhagen. The major solo exhibition Academy of Tal R toured to Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam in Autumn 2017 having first opened at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark earlier in the year. Previous solo exhibitions have recently been staged at institutional venues including ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus, Denmark (2013 – 2014); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2013); Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria, travelling to Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (both 2013); Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, São Paulo (2012); Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf (2012); Kunstverein Augsburg-Holbeinhaus, Augsburg, Germany (2011); Der Kunstverein, Hamburg (2011); Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm (2009); Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen (2009); Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2008); Camden Arts Centre, London (2008); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2007); and Kunsthalle Mannheim (2007). Tal held a Guest Professorship at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 2005 – 2014.

Roy Oxlade (b. 1929; London, UK; d. 2014; Kent, UK) studied under David Bomberg at Borough Polytechnic, London (1951 – 53). Oxlade completed his MA at the Royal College of Art, London (1974–76) returning in 1981 to complete his PhD. Oxlade’s first major solo exhibition was at the Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada in 1963 and his work has been exhibited in various group exhibitions including the John Moores exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (1962), the Hayward Annual (1982) and EAST International at Norwich University (1991). In 2000 Oxlade was included in British Painting: A Selected Exhibition at the Velan Centro di Ate Contemporanea, Turin and most recently Towards Night at the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2016).

David Bomberg (b. 1890; Birmingham, UK; d. 1957; London, UK) studied at the Slade School of Art. He went on to become a member of the Whitechapel Boys, a group of London-based Jewish artists and writers and was a founding member of the London Group. Between 1945-53 he taught at the Borough Polytechnic and became the President of The Borough Group. His work has been recognised posthumously with exhibitions including Arts Council in 1958, Arts Council retrospective exhibition at Tate in 1967, Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1979 and Tate in 1988. His works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate Gallery, London and the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, among others.

Sir Quentin Blake (b.1932; London) is a celebrated illustrator known for his collaborations with writers Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen and most famously Roald Dahl. He studied English at Downing College, Cambridge and went on to do a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School. He taught at the Royal College of Art from 1978 to 1986 where he was head of the Illustration department. His books have won numerous prizes and awards and in 2002 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children’s books. In 2004 Quentin Blake was awarded the ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Government for services to literature and in 2007 he was made Officier in the same order. In 2014 he was admitted to the Legion d’Honneur, an honour accorded to few people who are not French nationals. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children’s Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children’s literature. His book Laureate’s Progress (2002) recorded many of his activities and the illustrations he produced during his two-year tenure. Quentin Blake was created CBE in 2005 and received a knighthood for ‘services to illustration’ in the New Year’s Honours for 2013.

Daniel Katz is a celebrated collector and art dealer who has been dealing in European sculpture for over fifty years and is widely acknowledged as an authority in the field. He has sold works to numerous American and European museums including The British Museum, The Louvre, The J. Paul Getty Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was awarded an MBE for charitable services in 2002 and has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2014 he was made a Fellow of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Since 2008, he has financed the Daniel Katz Curator of Twentieth-Century Art at the Courtauld Institute and previously funded a research role at the National Gallery. He has also financed and produced a number of films promoting British artists that were aired on the BBC, centred around the impact of the World Wars on British art.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018