Turner and the Elements

Turner Contemporary

28 January – 13 May 2012

Some of JMW Turner's most dramatic depictions of the classical elements " earth, air, fire and water " have been drawn from the Tate Collection for this first major Turner exhibition at the Gallery.

A fifth section, 'Fusion' investigates how the artist mixed the elements in his late work, creating canvases bursting with energy.The gallery's director, Victoria Pomery, explains the thinking behind the exhibition: 'Turner's landscapes show how he understood geology, and was aware of current discussions abou the creation of the earth. He was also fascinated by the threatening aspects of water, and the sea's ability to capsize ships and pound lighthouses. He took on the element of air in his paintings of the weather and atmosphere, choosing to covey the transient moment and changeability of nature. The element of fire features in his watercolours and oils of volcanoes, fireworks, destructive conflagrations and crimson sunsets. Each section follows a roughly chronological progression, from detailed and fairly conventional works to those which are more abstracted.'What will be extra special at Margate is that visitors will be able to come out of the galleries and see some of the views that Turner depicted.'

Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sun and Bank Holidays, 10am – 6pm
Closed 25 – 26 Dec

"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)