Towner exhibitions in the news

Posted on 1/08/2015

Have you read about our exhibitions in our most recent coverage in national and regional press? Here’s a selection of just a few from print and online.

Mark Brown writes about East Sussex Open artist Wycliffe Stutchbury and his new work Eastbourne Pier in The Guardian (30/7/15):

Wycliffe Stutchbury, Eastbourne Pier, 2015. Part of East Sussex Open.

Wycliffe Stutchbury, Eastbourne Pier, 2015. Part of East Sussex Open.

Charred remains of Eastbourne pier rise again as artistic tribute to seaside fun

There are reports of visitors smelling the huge, heavy artwork on display at Eastbourne’s Towner art gallery and the artist is delighted. “I like the sound of that,” said Wycliffe Stutchbury, “it does have that bitter, musky scent of fire.”

The reason is because the two-metre square wall-hung artwork is made from the charred remains of Eastbourne pier, badly damaged in a headline-grabbing fire one year ago on Thursday.

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Rachel Cooke writes about our current summer show,William Gear: the painter that Britain forgot, for the Observer (19/7/15):

William Gear, Two Fishes, 1948 © the Artist's Estate. Image courtesy of Auktionshaus-Karbstein, Düsseldorf, Germany

William Gear, Two Fishes, 1948 © the Artist’s Estate. Image courtesy of Auktionshaus-Karbstein, Düsseldorf, Germany

William Gear: the painter that Britain forgot

He studied under Léger and was shown alongside Pollock before dictating cultural tastes on Britain’s south coast. So why has William Gear been erased from art history?

In 1958, the artist William Gear arrived in Eastbourne to take up a position as curator of the Towner Gallery. Alas, not everyone was thrilled by his arrival, at least not after he began acquiring art on the town’s behalf. “I think this sort of painting is decadent,” lamented an enraged councillor of Harold Mockford’sEastbourne (1958), a landscape some likened to a snow-covered slag heap. “Any artist with anything about him at all could do that in two hours.”

In 1959, when Gear mounted an exhibition called English Contemporary Art, a letter to the local paper complained that “such daubs must have been painted by persons with very depraved minds”. Did he imagine any right-thinking citizen of Eastbourne wanted to look at the efforts of a bunch of “teddy boys”?

But Gear was not to be put off: the son of a Fife coal miner, he carried with him a streak of stubbornness as wide as the Grand hotel.

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