The world-class Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate has fast become one of the most distinctive UK galleries. The gallery, designed by award-winning architect David Chipperfield, celebrates the artist JMW Turner’s spirit of enquiry with a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions showcasing world-class historic and contemporary art and events, and free entry to the gallery, there’s always something fresh to discover.
In autumn this year, the gallery is host to Turner Prize 2019 (28 September 2019 to 12 January 2020), one of the best-known art prizes in the world and a must-see cultural highlight on England’s Creative Coast. Entry to the event is completely free and the work of the four nominees - Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar murillo and Tai shani – will be exhibited, with the winner announced in December.
Since opening in 2011, Turner Contemporary has exhibited the work of countless international artists, including Turner Prize nominees and winners Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Yinka Shonibare, and Paula Rego.
Out to sea, in front of the gallery on Fulsam Rock, you can see Antony Gormley’s Another Time, a bronze figure, which appears and disappears with the tide.
Overlooking Margate’s beautiful golden sands, a visit to this striking, seafront building, situated on the same site where Turner stayed in the 1800s, would not be complete without heading outside and revelling in the artistic energy of wider Margate; the original seaside town, now reenergised as a popular cultural hotspot, where ice cream parlours, traditional chippies, funky cafés, and independent shops combine with artistic happenings. Soak up the town’s palpable creative vibe as you stroll into the Old Town and along the seafront to Cliftonville where you’ll find artists’ studios, gallery spaces, independent shops, all rich in character and full of cultural wonders.
As part of The Waterfronts series Turner Contemporary will be creating a new artwork with Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz, the current #FourthPlinth artist, who reconstructs lost histories through his art. Since 2006, Rakowitz has sought to reconstruct more than 8,000 artefacts from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad that are missing, stolen, destroyed or ‘of status unknown’ following the 2003 invasion by the US-led coalition. For Waterfronts, he will focus on connecting the social and geological histories of Margate.