Saturday 24 September
Maggi Hambling is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary figurative artists, working across all media, in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and installation. However, drawing is at the heart of her practice and is therefore of fundamental importance to her. Hambling’s exhibition, which opens at the British Museum* in September 2016, takes its title, Touch, from the concept of a deep connection with the subject being drawn.
As Hambling says: ‘I believe the subject chooses the artist, not vice versa, and that subject must then be in charge during the act of drawing in order for the truth to be found. Eye and hand attempt to discover and produce those precise marks which will recreate what the heart feels. The challenge is to touch the subject, with all the desire of a lover.’
The British Museum was the first national institution to collect extensively Hambling’s works on paper and the exhibition examines Hambling’s drawings and prints, many of which have never been exhibited before, from early student drawings and etchings to portraits of artist and critic John Berger, actor Stephen Fry, and curator Norman Rosenthal.
*Maggi Hambling Touch: works on paper opens at the British Museum on 8 September 2016 and runs until 27 January 2017. Free admission. To coincide with the exhibition, a fully illustrated book, Maggi Hambling: Touch: works on paper, will be published by Lund Humphries.