One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People – The Atkinson’s New Exhibition

One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People – The Atkinson’s New Exhibition

A Hayward Touring and Arts Council Collection exhibition, curated by Jennifer Higgie

The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport
20 February 2016 – 22 May 2016

A new Arts Council Collection exhibition of paintings of the figure is being exhibited at The Atkinson, Southport in February, curated by Jennifer Higgie, co-editor of frieze magazine.

This exhibition reflects a personal view of a period of radical change in art, from Jennifer Higgie, who herself studied painting. We can see in many of the paintings the art historical influences felt by the artists but this unique touring exhibition primarily captures stories and snapshots of lives past and present. The paintings also convey the theatricality of painting. By choosing work by the well-known and not so well known, the exhibition uses the Arts Council Collection to tell a wider story of the twists and turns of British figurative painting over the past century.

The paintings range from some of the very earliest by date in the Arts Council Collection, such as the study of a woman by Walter Sickert (1906) including those and by artists as diverse as Robert Colquhoun (Seated Woman and Cat, 1946), Prunella Clough (Lowestoft Harbour, 1951), and the Pop artists Richard Hamilton and David Hockney, who worked from the 1960s. The present is represented by a group of figurative works by contemporary artists including Enrico David, Michael Fullerton, David Noonan, Renee So, Martin Westwood and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Jennifer Higgie said:
“What a privilege it was to be asked to curate an exhibition from the Arts Council Collection. Spending time immersed in this extraordinary group of over 2000 paintings has been a joy. This exhibition took shape organically: I realised that the pictures that particularly attracted me all evoke something theatrical, in the broadest sense of the word; they also hint at some kind of narrative and their gestures – however small – are always significant. These wonderful paintings of people also offer a decidedly idiosyncratic snapshot of over a hundred years of life in Britain.”

Jill Constantine, Head of the Arts Council Collection, said:
“For nearly 70 years, the Arts Council Collection, managed by the Southbank Centre, has supported artists based in the UK by purchasing their work. The Collection has been built through the support of the many distinguished artists, curators and writers who have been invited to advise on the purchase of works and it is arguably in this very open and democratic approach to acquisition that the Collection’s greatest strength lies. We are delighted to be working with Jennifer on this exhibition, drawing on her expertise as a curator and a painter.”

All artists in the exhibition will include: Eileen Agar, Michael Andrews, Liz Arnold, Walter Bayes, Peter Blake, Glenn Brown, Jeffery Camp, Steve Claydon, Prunella Clough, Robert Colquhoun, Enrico David, Milena Dragicevic, Malcolm Drummond, Lucien Freud, Michael Fullerton, Alastair Gray, Roy Grayson, Richard Hamilton, Georgia Hayes, David Hockney, Donna Huddleston, Jock McFadyen, Katy Moran, Ryan Mosley, David Noonan, Paula Rego, Ceri Richards, William Roberts, Bob Robinson, Walter Sickert, Renee So, Euan Uglow, Peter Unsworth, Phoebe Unwin, Barbara Walker, Martin Westwood, Alfred Wolmark, Rose Wylie, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People is on display at The Atkinson, Southport: 20 February 2016 – 22 May 2016

For more information on the exhibition please call Box Office on 01704 533333 or visit

Image Credit Lynette Yiadom-Boakye , Condor and The Mole, 2011
Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
For interviews, press images or more information please contact or call 0151 934 2129
The Arts Council Collection is one of Britain’s foremost national collections of post-war British Art. As a collection ‘’without walls’’, it has no permanent gallery; it can be seen on long term loan to museums, galleries, schools, hospitals, colleges and charitable associations and in touring exhibitions and displays at home and abroad. It is also, importantly, the most widely circulated and easily accessible collection of its kind, with nearly 8000 works available for loan. It is run by Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England. Established in 1946 to promote and enrich knowledge of contemporary art, the Collection continues to acquire works by artists, many at an early stage of their career, living and working in Britain and to foster the widest possible access to modern and contemporary across the UK. It includes work by Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley and Wolfgang Tillmans.

Hayward Touring produces exhibitions that tour to galleries, museums and other publicly funded venues throughout Britain. Hayward Touring collaborate with artists, independent curators, writers and partner institutions to develop and tour imaginative exhibitions that are seen by approximately half a million people in over 100 cities and towns each year.

Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The sitehas an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

One Day, Something Happens: Paintings of People
20 February 2016 – 22 May 2016
The Atkinson
Lord Street

About The Atkinson

The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.

The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters.
You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wander through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

The new Museum is now open. Sefton Between Land & Sea tells the story of Southport and Sefton as well as the area’s dramatic maritime history. While Discover Ancient Egypt – the new Egyptology Gallery is the home of the Goodison Egyptology Collection, a remarkable collection of archaeology that has not been seen for over 40 years.

Posted on 6 January 2016 under Exhibition

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