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Exhibition at Turner Contemporary shows how JMW Turner revolutionised landscape painting
JMW Turner, The Burning of Rome, circa 1834-5. Gouache, pencil and watercolour on paper© Tate, London 2011.
MARGATE.- Eighty-eight works by Britain’s best-loved painter, JMW Turner, many from Tate’s collection, will go on show in the major exhibition Turner and the Elements at Turner Contemporary in Margate from 28 January –13 May 2012. The exhibition, including a number of works featuring Margate and the north Kent coast, illustrates how his painting technique and the influence of the latest scientific and technological developments of his time, revolutionised landscape painting.

JMW Turner was a frequent visitor to Margate spending time there as a child and again later in his life. He is said to have remarked to John Ruskin that “the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe”.

In the 1820s and 1830s Turner lodged with Sophia Booth in a house that was located on the same site as Turner Contemporary. The windows from the house provided Turner with an ever-changing view over the beach, pier and jetty and Margate became a central subject in many of his works made at that time.

In these images of Margate and the Kentish coast, Turner’s fascination with the elements, air and water, is apparent. The exhibition focuses on the theme of the elements in the artist’s work and is divided into five sections: Earth, Water, Air, Fire and Fusion.

Sketches in the exhibition known as ‘colour beginnings’ reference Margate and the North Kent coast, Margate circa 1830, Storm on Margate Sands 1835-40 and Margate (?) from the sea circa 1835.

Turner and the Elements is organised in collaboration with Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg and The National Museum Kracow. A fully illustrated catalogue is available to accompany the exhibition.

Curated by Inés Richter-Musso and Ortrud Westheider, the exhibition is the only opportunity to see this selection of works by Turner together in the UK.

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