But then there are the naysayers. Her last exhibition at the National Gallery, a frenzied series of churning seascapes, divided opinion spectacularly. One review called it 'magnificent', one art critic who shall remain nameless, brought out his hatchet " ‘If she’s a painter, I’m Rembrandt’. Loathsome" Her four metre scallop on Aldeburgh Beach caused quite the stir, launched a petition for its removal and was satirised mercilessly in Private Eye.
Hambling may be a shapeshifter, but her work is shot through with foreboding, and motifs of war and death. One of her most famous works is a charcoal drawing of her partner Henrietta Moraes, lying on her death bed.
And the artist is returning to drawing, moving away from the abstraction that has dominated her recent work. A new exhibition at the British Museum, Touch, will concentrate specifically on works on paper. The title addresses the profound connection between the sitter and artist / "I believe the subject chooses the artist, not vice versa", Hambling has said. "The challenge is to touch the subject, with all the desire of a lover."
The exhibition will contain over forty works, including a life-size charcoal portrait of the writer, artist and Soho dandy Sebastian Horsley, in nothing but a silk scarf. Work from the '60s and '70s will be on show, as will more recent work made in 2015, from a new series entitled Edge.
We're looking forward to this quiet, meditative exhibition.
|What||Maggi Hambling – Touch: Works on paper, British Museum|
|Where||British Museum, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
08 Sep 16 – 27 Jan 17, Opening hours 10.00–17.30 Saturday to Thursday and 10.00–20.30 Fridays.
|Website||Click here for more information|