John Virtue’s Towner exhibition


A record-breaking art exhibition by British painter John Virtue opens at the Towner this Saturday (January 17).

The work will break the record for the largest paintings ever to be shown at the South East’s biggest gallery’s top floor space.

In this comprehensive selection of Virtue’s study of the North Sea, the oversized canvases presented a logistical challenge for Towner’s technical team, who have devised a way to transport the works up to the second floor gallery space.

The largest canvas, The Sea, Painting No.10 measures at 244 x 488 cm.

The Sea No.9, The Sea No.11, The Sea No.12 all measure 640 cm wide.

Twelve of Virtue’s canvases will take over the 400 square meter gallery. The exhibition will also include 24 paintings on paper and 100 sketchbooks.

The exhibition opens on Saturday January 17 and runs until April 12.

On the day of the exhibition opening, Towner also welcomes renowned broadcaster and art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon, who will be talking to Virtue about his fascinating career in an exclusive event held in the exhibition’s gallery space at 2pm.

Towner’s award-winning art gallery opened five years ago and boasts approximately 1,250 meters square of display space.

Many of the works from The Sea were first exhibited in 2014 at Marlborough Fine Art in London and at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

The exhibition is free and open Tuesday to Sunday plus bank holidays. For more information see