Southampton City Art Gallery Partners With 2020 London Art Fair

Southampton City Art Gallery

In 2019, Southampton City Art Gallery celebrated their 80th anniversary. This year the Gallery has been selected to feature an exhibit at London Art Fair opening 22 January 2020. Southampton will be showcasing a selection of works that are significant to the history of the Gallery; including pieces by Walter Sickert, L.S. Lowry, Stanley Spencer, Ben Nicholson, Helen Chadwick, Maggi Hambling, Christopher Le Brun and Bob and Roberta Smith. 

Southampton City Art Gallery has an exceptional collection that is particularly well balanced between historical and contemporary work – Christopher Le Brun

The selection will highlight the remarkable expansion of the collection over the last 80 years, which has helped to transform Southampton into a leading cultural destination boasting one of the finest collections in the south of England.


Highlights will include The Floating Bridge by L.S. Lowry who visited Southampton in 1954, taking the chain ferry or ‘floating bridge’ across the River Itchen to the city centre. Lowry subsequently created two paintings of the floating bridge from memory, with this one being purchased by the Gallery in 1956. It remains one of the most popular pictures in the collection amongst Southampton residents.

Another highlight will be Loading Timber at Southampton Docks, 1918 by C.R.W. Nevinson (right) . During the First World War Nevinson experienced the horrors of modern warfare which inspired some of his most potent work. He was later appointed an Official War Artist and passed through Southampton on his way to France. This dynamic painting shows the influence of Futurism and Cubism on Nevinson’s art with its emphasis on geometric shapes and patterns, machinery and movement. It was acquired by the Gallery in 1962 and is a crucial part of Southampton’s reputed early 20th-century post-impressionist holdings which reveal the birth of modern art in Britain.

Clare Mitchell, Curator of Art at Southampton City Art Gallery, said: “I am thrilled that Southampton City Art Gallery is the Museum Partner for the 2020 edition of London Art Fair. We are proud of the collection and find presenting it in different ways both enlightening and rewarding. To have the opportunity to showcase a taste of the collection at London Art Fair will allow us to shout even louder about its importance, inspiring people to visit and discover its true merits in the narrative of art history.”

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture, said: “We are delighted to be the official Museum Partner for the 2020 London Art Fair. Now in its 80th year, Southampton City Art Gallery’s collection grows from strength to strength and continues to put our City on the map. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to show off some of the major highlights from our collection on a significant international stage. This is another great step towards our bid to become ‘City of Culture’ in 2025, firmly putting Southampton at the forefront of the U.K.’s cultural offer.”

British artist Christopher Le Brun, said: “Southampton City Art Gallery has an exceptional collection that is particularly well balanced between historical and contemporary work. What was impressive about their policy was to refresh the collection continually with new paintings, frequently ambitious large-scale paintings. An outstanding city collection housed in a purpose-built gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery is, to me, an exemplar of civic collecting.”

L.A.F. Ticket offer:

London Art Fair has teamed up with Artlyst to offer an unmissable start to the international art calendar returning to the heart of Islington 22 – 26 January 2020.

The Fair provides a space to showcase the most exceptional modern and contemporary art of our time, to discover and to buy. Known as an established destination for both museum quality modern and contemporary work, the Fair nurtures collecting at all levels, from prints and editions to significant works by internationally renowned artists.

Featuring over 130 galleries showcasing an incredible selection of works, alongside a curated programme including talks with art world experts, tours of the Fair, interactive performance art and more, London Art Fair should not be missed.

For a limited time only, book your tickets to receive this exclusive 30% discount on a Day Ticket*.

To claim this offer, enter ARTLYST at the online checkout.

*booking fee of £1.75 applies

Book Tickets Here

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