Diverse exhibition spans old and new at Towner gallery

Detail of work in Autumn show at Towner Gallery in Eastbourne
Detail of work in Autumn show at Towner Gallery in Eastbourne

One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People is the new show at the Towner Gallery from October 15 until January 8.

This is an Arts Council Collection touring exhibition curated by Jennifer Higgie, co-editor of Frieze magazine.

The exhibition reflects a personal view of a period of radical change in art, an alternative narrative telling of the development of British figurative painting over the past century.

Exploring the everyday theatricality of the body, the imaginary and the real, One Day, Something Happens embraces a huge diversity of approaches to figuration drawing out common themes across the decades: work, introspection and individuality, joy and loneliness.

The show spans both the historical and contemporary, and lesser known as well as famous artists including Walter Sickert, Prunella Clough, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Phoebe Unwin.

One Day, Something Happens includes some of the very earliest paintings in the Arts Council Collection, from Head of a Woman (1906) by Walter Sickert and artists as diverse as Robert Colquhoun (Seated Woman and Cat, 1946), Prunella Clough (Lowestoft Harbour, 1951), to Richard Hamilton (Portrait of Hugh Gaitskill as a Famous Monster of Filmland, 1964) and David Hockney (Portrait Surrounded by Artistic Devices, (1965). Higgie has also selected Eric Ravilious’ Submarine Series: Commander looking through the periscope, (c. 1941), Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s Negro Head (c. 1890) and several other historic works from Towner’s own collection.

Contemporary works in the exhibition include Enrico David, Michael Fullerton, Renee So and Rose Wylie.

Jennifer Higgie is “thrilled” that One Day, Something Happens will be shown in Eastbourne and said: . “Choosing works from the gallery’s rich collection to be hung alongside works from the Arts Council Collection was a joy and an education.”