Maggi Hambling: Walls of Water

National Gallery

26 November 2014 – 15 February 2015

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A dramatic new series of paintings inspired by Hambling’s experience of gigantic waves crashing onto the sea wall at Southwold.

For Suffolk-born Maggi Hambling her fascination with the sea is deep rooted. 'It's got me by the short and curlies this subject' she admits, and whether crafting a sculptural tribute to the composer Benjamin Britten or responding to the tragic death of Amy Winehouse, it is never far from the centre of her work.

Following her return to the area a decade ago, Hambling has visited the shore on a near daily basis to sketch the water and try to capture its mood. In the studio these drawings are used to work up epic paintings of swirling tides, which she describes as 'sometimes roaring like a beast, sometimes laughing gently'.

This particular series of work began in 2010 and shows the artist playing with a mix of exuberant colour and stark monochromes. Their monumental size - six by seven feet - make them a formidable presence; at her previous shows, gallery assistants have complained of feeling queasy and seasick, a fact that pleases Hambling greatly.

Venue information

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 6pm (Fri, 10am – 9pm)

Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan

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