Revealed: Turner Contemporary Opens
JMW Turner, The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains in the Island of St. Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th April 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esqre 1815 © The Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool
JMW Turner (1775 – 1851) visited Margate throughout his life. He used his imagination and experience of nature to create extraordinary paintings conjured from his mind’s eye and often stimulated by the light and landscape of the Kent coast.
The exhibition centres on Turner’s extraordinary painting The Eruption of the Souffrier Mountains, in the Island of St Vincent, at Midnight, on the 30th of April, 1812, from a Sketch Taken at the Time by Hugh P. Keane, Esqre ,1815, which portrays the drama of a volcanic eruption.
Turner never saw the event, but was inspired to make the painting by Keane’s sketch and his interest in the natural world.
Turner’s painting is evidence of the power of his imagination and his curiosity about new places and natural phenomena. This desire for knowledge marked the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when many discoveries were made in science and technology and artists and scientists worked in close dialogue.
Teresita Fernández, Eruption (Small) 2005, aluminium, glass beads, wood, vinyl, private collection. Courtesy Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York © David Grandorge
The six contemporary artists in the exhibition work in the same spirit of enquiry, invention and interest in the natural world that flourished during Turner’s lifetime. Just as Turner explored nature in paint and colour, so these contemporary artists play at the borders between what we can see and know and the truly fantastic. Four of the artists have made new work for the opening of Turner Contemporary. Like Turner, their work responds to the special setting of the gallery in Margate, on the North Kent coast.
Exhibition ends: 4 September 2011
Kent CT9 1HG
Tel: + 44 (0) 1843 233000