This autumn Turner Contemporary presents its first historical exhibition since the blockbuster Turner and the Elements with a major showcase of works by JMW Turner, John Constable and their contemporaries.
Bringing together 75 paintings from the Tate collection, the exhibition, organised by Compton Verney, explores the practice of oil sketching in the landscape in the fullest presentation of oil sketches from the Tate Collection to date. This approach to oil painting became increasingly fashionable during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These rarely shown works, radical for their time, demonstrate artists’ efforts to reflect direct experience of their environment, rather than a concern for careful composition.
The exhibition is organised around five principal landscape themes, reflecting interests and subjects common to artists of the period: sketching from nature; the city; the picturesque; the Thames, rivers and coasts; and rural nature. These themes are explored in the works of JMW Turner and John Constable as well as George Stubbs and John Sell Cotman, among others.
Organised by Compton Verney in Warwickshire, the exhibition is curated by Michael Rosenthal, Emeritus Professor of Art History, University of Warwick, one of the world’s foremost experts on the art of this period, and Dr Steven Parissien, Director of Compton Verney.
This exhibition appears alongside Connemara, an exhibition of work by Irish artist Dorothy Cross. Cross’s work presents a contemporary engagement with nature and the landscape, bringing the themes of Turner and Constable: Sketching from Nature. Works from the Tate Collection up to date.
All images Turner and Constable. Sketching from Nature, Works from the Tate Collection, Installation view, Photo: Stephen White