Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
National Gallery | 26 November 2014 – 15 February 2015
The National Gallery celebrates the return of Maggi Hambling, its first Artist in Residence.
One of Britain’s most significant and controversial painters and sculptors, Maggi Hambling, exhibits a new series of dramatic paintings, which have never been seen in public before.
Occupying Room 1, Hambling’s eight works are vast, intense and energetic, measuring over six by seven feet, with another ninth, smaller canvas that was produced in response to the death of Amy Winehouse in 2011.
Through turbulence and exuberant colour, Hambling continues to affirm painting’s immediacy, saying “The crucial thing that only painting can do is to make you feel as if you’re there while it’s being created – as if it’s happening in front of you.”
Inspired by Hambling’s experience of gigantic waves crashing onto the sea wall at Southwold, Suffolk – the county where she was born, still lives and which has often inspired her work – the works offer visitors a contemporary parallel to the seascapes by Norwegian artist Peder Balke concurrently displayed in the Sunley Room.
Maggi Hambling is represented in all major British collections from the British Museum to Tate. Her sculpture ‘Scallop’ (2003) is permanently sited on the beach at Aldeburgh, Suffolk, as a monument to composer Benjamin Britten. In 2013 she was the subject of a solo presentation at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; and her acclaimed series ‘North Sea Paintings’, begun in 2002, was most recently seen in ‘Maggi Hambling: The Wave’ at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2010).