On 28th January 2017, Two Temple Place reopens to the public with its sixth annual Winter Exhibition, Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion. This major exhibition examines why radical artists and writers were drawn to the rolling hills, seaside resorts, and quaint villages of Sussex in the first half of the 20th century and how, in the communities they created, artistic innovation ran hand in-hand with political, sexual and domestic experimentation.

Through over 120 works, the exhibition discovers intriguing connections between these enclaves of artists and the modernisms they represented. The art and craft of Eric Gill and David Jones in the Catholic community in Ditchling is compared with the paintings and interiors of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant at Charleston and the surrealist collaborations of Edward James and Salvador Dalí. The unexpected network of Serge Chermayeff, Eric Ravilious, László Moholy-Nagy, Henry Moore and John Piper is revealed; despite sharing socialist ideas, they produced very different artistic output from striking architectureand sculpture to innovative photography and film. Also included are the haunted watercolours of Edward Burra in Rye and the surrealist photos by Eileen Agar, Paul Nash and Lee Miller demonstrate the often tense relationship between artists and their environment.Sussex provided the inspiration but all these artists and writers were outsiders in their new surroundings.

Never settling, some brought unconventional ideas, others found nightmares in the most picturesque of scenes, but ultimately they challenged the idea of Sussex as an idyllic escape.Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion is created by the Bulldog Trust in partnership with 9 Sussex museums and galleries. The exhibition draws on the richness of collections in the region as well as featuring major loans from across the country. Within the county are the homes of major artists and collectors namely Charleston (home of the Bloomsbury Group), Farley Farm House, Chiddingly (home of Roland Penrose and Lee Miller) and West Dean (home to surrealist Edward James) as well as the iconic modernist building De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (designed by Serge Chermayeff and Erich Mendelsohn) now a contemporary art gallery and performance venue. The exhibition draws on these collections as well as the Sussex museums and galleries with significant holdings of modernist art Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne.

EDITORS' NOTES: Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion is curated by Dr Hope Wolf, Lecturer in British Modernist Literature and co-Director of the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex."The metropolis has long been assumed to be a catalyst for Modernism: a melting pot in which people from different places could meet, exchange ideas, and explore new ways of thinking and making. This exhibition asks what experimental artists, writers and makers of other kinds were doing in Sussex in the early twentieth century. For some, a rural retreat provided an opportunity for escape and alternative living. Enclaves were made of homes and communities, although works created in them are often suggestive ofanxieties that accompanied attempts to break with convention. Others critiqued their new contexts, troubling the idea of Sussex as an idyll and sparking controversy with work created for local audiences. Comparingthe lives and works of makers associated with different modernist movements, the exhibition illustrates how the regional setting both amplified their contrary energies and facilitated their attempts to live and represent the world differently. In turn, it shows how seemingly picturesque scenes were reimagined and transformed by the unsettled artist."

Dr Hope Wolf

Two Temple Place, a magnificent neo-Gothic mansion on London's Victoria Embankment, is owned and run by the charity the Bulldog Trust. Its Winter Exhibition Programme supports regional museums across the UK, highlighting great collections through annual free exhibitions.

The Programme is supported by public funding through Arts Council England.Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion will be accompanied by a varied programme of cultural events for both children and adults. Two Temple Place also continues to offer its popular free literacy workshops for KS2 pupils from London Primary Schools.

For further press information please contact: CHLOE NAHUM REBECCA HONERees & Company Exhibition Coordinator, Two Temple PlaceE: chloe@reesandco.com E: rebecca@bulldogtrust.orgT: +44 (0)203 137 8776 T: 020 7836 3715