Maggi Hambling: The Wave Exhibition Review at the Fitzwilliam Museum

Exhibition running from Apr 27 2010 until Aug 08 2010

A major exhibition of new sea paintings by one of Britain’s most distinguished contemporary artists - Maggi Hambling (b. 1945).

Maggi Hambling: The Wave  brings together a powerful group of large-scale paintings depicting the power and energy of the North Sea. A series of evocative and sensual portraits of the wave, these works reveal the artist’s long-standing fascination with the elemental character of the sea.

The North Sea off the Suffolk coast has dominated Hambling’s art since 2002, a year before her celebrated sculpture Scallop was unveiled on Aldeburgh beach. This exhibition at The Fitzwilliam Museum comprises her most recent paintings, a number of which will be on public display for the first time. The paintings on display, particularly Rising Wave (2009), demonstrate Hambling's increasingly bold way of working. Throughout these works, economy of colour and gesture perfectly state the powerful upward thrust of the curving wave. Among her most ambitious in scale, these works confront the viewer with all the power, grandeur and beauty of the sea. 

Fitzwilliam Museum Director Timothy Potts said: “This is a wonderful exhibition in which Maggi Hambling demonstrates all the robust authenticity and explosive energy for which she is renowned. The swelling and crashing of waves along the Suffolk coast provides the perfect subject for her expressive style and lashing fluidity of brushwork. Rarely since Turner has a British artist conveyed the turbulent power and majesty of the sea — at once fascinating and frightening — as successfully as Hambling does in this landmark series of paintings.” 

"As the waves of the North Sea voraciously consume our coast, these new paintings respond to the energy of their action as they break,” writes Hambling. “This sea, the widest of mouths, roaring or laughing, is always seductive. Life and death mysteriously co-exist in the timeless rhythm of the waves."

OPENING HOURS: Tue – Sat: 10.00 – 17.00, Sun: 12.00 – 17.00

Image Credits:

Maggi Hambling, Summer Wave Tunnel, 2010, Image © Maggi Hambling

Maggi Hambling, Winter Wave Crashing, 2010, Image © Maggi Hambling

Maggi Hambling, April Wave Breaking, 2009, Image © Maggi Hambling

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