Pallant House Gallery’s collection of Modern British art is often described as one of the best in the UK. We regularly change our curated displays to showcase key themes running through our collections which complement our temporary exhibitions.

Our key displays this season include:

Landscape painting in early twentieth-century Britain

Landscape painting occupies an important place within the history of Modern British art.  A rich source of inspiration for artists, including Paul Nash, Walter Sickert and Spencer Gore, the landscape has served as a vital subject matter for the expression of individual concerns as well as developments in artistic style and composition.

Lines in Space: Abstract Art in Britain

During the 1940s and 1950s, the creation of abstract art in Britain centred on a thriving community of artists in St. Ives. Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth relocated there during the Second World War with the Russian-born sculptor Naum Gabo and the influence of their presence saw it flourish as a centre for modern developments in British art.

European Modern Art

A display demonstrating the development of cubism in Modern European art, including work by Paul Cézanne, Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. Many of the artworks included here  were bequeathed to the Gallery by Charles Kearley (1904-1989). The collection, including paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures broadened the Gallery’s international scope with important examples of continental Modern Art.

Walter Sickert in the 1920s and 30s

A celebration of Walter Sickert's works during the 1920s and 30s and in particular two paintings on long-term loan to the Gallery. 'The Wedding' (1924) and 'The Drawing Room' (1934). Alongside these are works from the Gallery's permanent collection, including Sickert's portrait of actor Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies in 'The Lady of the Lamp' (1932-34) and La Rue Pecquet, Dieppe (c.1922).

Post-war Abstract Landscape (until 29 July 2018)

After the Second World War, St Ives became a centre for the development of abstraction in British Art. The young artists who gathered there were deeply inspired by the surrounding landscape and evoked its structure, form, rhythm, colour and sensory engagement through their work. This display illustrates the development of post-war abstraction through works by significant artists of the St Ives School including Ben Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sir Terry Frost, John Wells and Patrick Heron.

British Surrealism

Surrealism was a subversive art movement that developed in Paris in the early 1920s, but flourished in Britain during the 1930s. This display features works by artists who took part in the first International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936 including Eileen Agar, Edward Burra, Merlyn Evans and Henry Moore.

Post-War Portraiture

Throughout the 20th century a form of figurative art based on perception of the human figure has endured in British art. In the period after the Second World War British art schools were the focus for new developments in painting. Works on display include portraits by Winifred Nicholson, Glyn Philpot and Matthew Smith.