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Monday 10 May 2021

New Exhibitions @ Towner Eastbourne From John Nash, John Akomfrah & Lothar Götz

In a career spanning more than seven decades, John Nash produced work across a range of mediums, from iconic oil paintings to accomplished wood engravings, line-drawings, lithographs and watercolours.  
Credit Imperial War Museum

Combining acute observation and a strong individual vision Nash's legacy includes many of the finest depictions of the British landscape created in the 20th century. 

Often overshadowed by his brother and fellow artist Paul, John Nash has not been the subject of a major exhibition since the Royal Academy's retrospective exhibition of his work in 1967, which at this time was also an unprecedented honour for a living Royal Academician. 

Nash was one of a small number of artists who were Official War Artists in both the First and Second World Wars. 

An artist who did not have formal art school training, he was greatly respected by his contemporaries, particularly for his production of one of the most highly regarded paintings of the Great War, Over the Top, 1918, now in the Imperial War Museum Collection. 

He is also now renowned for his 'thanksgiving to survival' of the Great War, The Corn Field, 1918, which features in this exhibition along with a range of other first and second world war-era works.

Nash was also a notable comic illustrator and keen plantsman, creating gardens from the 1920s onwards, developing into arguably one of the 20th century"s greatest botanical artists. 

Renowned in the horticultural world as a judge at Chelsea Flower Show, he also passed on these skills through his teaching at the Royal College of Art and Flatford Mill in Suffolk. 

A wide range of these botanical works will be seen for the first time in this exhibition and is a chance for audiences to see Nash's oeuvre at its most broad.

Lothar Götz in conversation with Joe Hill

The Landscape of Love and Solace will contextualise the artist's life and work within the history of the 20th century, and in particular via his key relationships, including Christine Kuhlenthal, who later became his wife. 

Works will also be presented from friends and peers including Edward Bawden, Peter Coker, Charles Ginner, Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman, Cedric Morris, Eric Ravilious, and Carel Weight.

John Nash: The Landscape of Love and Solace - 18 May to 26 September 2021 
 
Following a joint acquisition with the National Museum of Wales in 2021, John Akomfrah's Vertigo Sea, will be exhibited at Towner in summer 2021. 

First shown at the Venice Biennale in 2015, this three-channel film installation is the first in a trilogy including Purple (2017) and Four Nocturnes (2019) that explore the complex, intertwined relationship between humanity's destruction of the natural world and destruction of itself. 

A sensual, poetic and cohesive meditation on man's relationship with the sea and exploration of its role in the history of slavery, migration, and conflict, Vertigo Sea comes to Towner with the context of the gallery's location on the southern coastline of England, and the constantly changing boundary between land and sea.⁠ 

John Akomfrah: Vertigo Sea - 18 May to 26 September 2021

German artist Lothar Götz has transformed the exterior walls of the gallery with his new large-scale, colourful geometric artwork, Dance Diagonal (2019). Götz, who is based in the U.K., was chosen from 60 artists and designers from an open call for the Brewers Towner Commission to create an artwork to mark the 10th anniversary of the gallery's move from its original home in Eastbourne's Old Town. 

Drawing on its unique architecture, angles and exterior recesses and alcoves, Götz's mural – his largest to date – envelops the length and width of three sides of the award-winning building.  

Götz's work – typically large-scale paintings, drawings and installations that respond to existing architectural structures – has included commissions for South Bank Centre, London (2014) and Leeds Art Gallery (2017). 

Dance Diagonal is his first major commission on the south coast and the first time an artist has been commissioned to create an artwork for Towner's exterior.

Lothar Götz: Dance Diagonal - Extended until 2024 for Towner's centenary year.

by: Mike Cobley



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