'Magnificent paintings worth crawling on your hands and feet to Margate to see'
Novelist and Psychogeographer Iain Sinclair reviews Turner and the Elements
on Radio 4 Front Row
'Quietly magnificent' The arts desk, 30 January
JMW Turner, Britain’s best-loved painter, created new and unusual combinations of earth, water, air and fire and closely examined their interactions.
In Turner and the Elements, our first major show of the painter’s work at Turner Contemporary, we explore the important role that the depiction of the elements played in his landscape watercolours and paintings.
The exhibition brings together 88 works; 76 watercolours and 12 late oil paintings, many from the Tate collection. Turner’s innovative painting technique and the influence of scientific and technological developments during his lifetime were to revolutionise landscape painting.
Today, nearly two centuries since Turner’s visits to Margate, see first-hand how his dynamic concept of landscape, unconventional use of colour and near abstract watercolours and paintings secured his place as the artist of the elements and the founder of modern landscape painting.
Works on display include Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth exhibited 1842 and The New Moon; or ‘I’ve lost My Boat, You shan’t have Your Hoop’ exhibited 1840. Turner’s frequent visits to Margate and the Kent coast are vividly portrayed, with particular works chosen especially for the exhibition’s time at Turner Contemporary.
Curated by Inés Richter-Musso and Ortrud Westheider, the exhibition is the only opportunity to see this selection of works by Turner together in the UK.
Turner and the Elements is organised in collaboration with Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg and The National Museum, Cracow.
Alastair Sooke, The Telegraph, 31 January
'It is Turner at his most brilliant' Laura Cumming, The Observer , 28 January
'Of the several Turner shows opening in 2012, this may be the most exhilarating. Start here.'
Laura Cumming, The Observer, 28 January
'Turner and the Elements is a visual joy and an intellectual pleasure.'
The arts desk, 30 January
'Set against the backdrop of a bright and crisp winter’s day, a visit to Turner Contemporary is a refreshing taste of nature outside the busy London environment. The natural light penetrates the gallery space imbuing the works with a life-like quality and the simplicity of display highlights the work of Turner in an innovative way. Turner’s influence throughout subsequent art history is obvious in the work of the Impressionists, but beyond the nineteenth century, the paintings remain dynamic and exciting for artists interested in depicting place.'
Emily Sack, Aesthetica 2 February 2012
‘It seems apt that an exhibition so clearly focused on the more hidden and experimental aspects of his art should have been staged in the town that was, more than any other, his bolt-hole from convention.’
**** Andrew Graham-Dixon, The Telegraph, 5 Feb 2012
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To celebrate our Turner and the Elements exhibition, we have commissioned artist Stephen Turner to look at JMW Turner’s relationship with Kent.
Stephen has selected 10 images that show the breadth of Turner’s work in Kent and invite readers to travel to a number of locations around the county visited by the artist himself.
Download the tour from the bottom of this page and travel through Turner's Kent...
Our media sponsor for Turner and the Elements, The Independent, have written a review of the tour, read it here.