Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

Seaside Modern exhibition at Hastings Contemporary

Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach exhibition at Hastings Contemporary celebrates and explores the relationship between artists and the beach from the 1920’s to 1970’s.

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This exciting summer exhibition of more than sixty artists and designers works looks at the broader social and cultural phenomenon of the British heading to the beach in ever greater numbers.

A cornucopia of visual mastery awaits audiences in Hastings, including paintings, sculptures and drawings produced by many of the most revered artists of the 20th century such as L.S. Lowry, Richard Eurich, Paul Nash, Laura Knight, William Roberts, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. These exceptional talents are drawn together by special guest British curator James Russell to create a spectacular new show in the historic shoreline gallery.

Seaside Modern exhibition draws together a remarkably large group of artists, reflecting the Genuine Artistic Moment’ of a fifty-year period in the 20th century, during which artists were drawn to the beach, but for varying reasons and with very different results. The views of the beach and coast are produced in different styles and convey different moods and psychological states of mind. Works of traditional subjects including fishermen, boats and the harbour are presented by Eric Ravilious, John Minton and Prunella Clough and there are experimental works, which draw inspiration from the strangeness of the shore, with works produced by John Nash, Edith Rimmington, Eileen Agar and Bill Brandt.

Says Guest Curator of Seaside Modern James Russell I am thrilled to bring Seaside Modern to Hastings Contemporary: the perfect venue for an exhibition celebrating art and life on the beach. During the 20th century the seaside inspired fabulous works of art by LS Lowry, Eric Ravilious, Barbara Hepworth and countless others. But this exhibition also celebrates the social revolution that gave millions of people the opportunity to enjoy their day at the beach. As we emerge from lockdown, Seaside Modern serves as a timely reminder that life really can be fun”. 

Open Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm until 31 October 2021.

Tickets available to book in advance from 


Eric ravilious rye harbour 1938 credit Image courtesy of the Ingram Collection

Wilhelmina barns graham untitled view of st ives 1943 credit c Wilhelmina Barns Graham Trust Image courtesy of the Ingram Collection

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ROBERTS William Press Release

From top: Seaside Modern Installation Image by Lens & Pixel. 

Eric Ravilious: Rye Harbour, 1938. Image courtesy of the Ingram Collection.

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Untitled (view-of-st-ives) 1943. ©Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust. Image courtesy of the Ingram Collection.

Mary Adshead: The Cruise, 1934. Oil on canvas, Tate. Installation image by Lens & Pixel.

William Roberts: The Seaside, c. 1996. Oil on canvas, Arts Council Collection.