Seafaring at Hastings Contemporary

Mixed show, until October 30

Richard Eurich, Survivors from a Torpedoed Ship, 1942. (c) Tate

Seafaring brings together a host of major artists – historical and contemporary – exploring ‘the drama, beauty and strangeness of life at sea’.

At the heart of the exhibition there’s a show-within-a-show, by eminent contemporary abstract-expressionist Cecily Brown, featuring three new oil paintings displayed alongside the works which influenced them, by the likes of Delacroix, Gericault and Turner. This section also contains a series of lithographs by Martin Kippenberger, from his suite Medusa, produced a year before his untimely death in 1997.

Other artists included in the wider show include Eric Ravilious, Edward Ardizzone, Elisabeth Frink, Edward Wadsworth, Edward Burne-Jones, Frank Brangwyn, James Tissot, Richard Eurich, Alfred Wallis, Maggi Hambling and Peter de Francia. All this within sight of the actual sea, with Hastings beach and its colourful fishing boats on view through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this beautifully airy gallery.

The show is curated by the excellent James Russell, responsible for last year’s Hastings Contemporary exhibition Seaside Modern, and the Eric Ravilious retrospective currently on display in The Arc, Winchester.

Bring your swimming togs; don’t leave without buying fresh fish from one of the nearby stalls.