Turner Contemporary is the South East's major new gallery. We celebrate JMW Turner's association with Margate, by showcasing historical and contemporary art through a rolling programme of exhibitions. We have regular events, many of which are free for you to take part in. Admission to the gallery is free.
Open Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays 10am-6pm
(closed Mondays except bank holidays)
Turner Contemporary is fully accessible for visitors, with a ramp to the main entrance and café, as well as an internal lift to all upper floor galleries.
Seven disabled parking spaces are available on the piazza at the front of the gallery, as signposted.
Turner Contemporary Café is open Tuesday to Sunday, serving delicious hot and cold food and drinks, locally sourced where possible.
Edmund de Waal: Atmosphere
- 29 March 2014 — 8 February 2015 *on now
For this ambitious project the artist has created an installation in response to the space, light and architecture of the Sunley Gallery with its double height windows and spectacular views. This commission will be accompanied by two other works by the artist. Juxtaposed alongside Atmosphere is Bauspiel, a group of vessels residing on a floor based plinth in a configuration which reflects those in the nearby suspended vitrines. The ground floor corridor is transformed by a new wall-based text installation, which sees De Waal convert the corridor walls into a life-size notebook.
- Any age
Felicity Aston Pole of Cold: What does winter mean to you?
- 4 November 2014 — 1 February 2015 *on now
Explorer Felicity Aston was the first woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone. In 2014, she made the 36,000km journey from the UK to the Pole of Cold in north-east Siberia, the coldest inhabited place on earth.
See the journey documented in photographs from the expedition by Felicity Aston, Manu Palomeque and Gísli Jónsson.
- Family friendly
Self: Image and Identity from Van Dyck to Louise Bourgeois
- 17 November 2014 — 10 May 2015 *on now
Organised in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, the exhibition presents artist self-portraits from the sixteenth-century to the present day. More than 60 works from the National Portrait Gallery will be presented alongside key twentieth-century and contemporary self-portraits from major public and private international collections. Central to the exhibition is Sir Antony Van Dyck’s last self-portrait of 1640-1, purchased in 2014 following a joint public appeal by the National Portrait Gallery and the Art Fund. Turner Contemporary will be the first venue where visitors can see Van Dyck’s remarkable self-portrait as it embarks on a major nationwide tour.
Taking Van Dyck’s legacy and self-portrait as a starting point, the development of the genre of self-portraiture will be considered in the exhibition through four key themes: identity, mortality, patronage and contemporary approaches. From historical representation to contemporary responses, such as Jason Evans’s new commission Sound System Self-Portrait, the exhibition features more than 100 artists including; Louise Bourgeois; John Constable; Lucian Freud; Damien Hirst; David Hockney; Angelia Kauffmann, Sarah Lucas, JMW Turner and Gillian Wearing.
Self: Image and Identity is sponsored by St Lawrence College.
- Any age
- 1 March 2015 — 10 January 2016
As part of the Year of Mexico in the UK and the UK in Mexico in 2015 Turner Contemporary presents an installation by Mexican artist Carlos Amorles. The installation will be presented in Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery with its double height windows and spectacular views over the North Sea.
Carlos Amorles works in a range of media to explore the use and limits of language. The centrepiece of Amorles’s installation in the Sunley Gallery, We Will See How Everything
Reverberates (2012), is a sculpture of suspended symbols based on the shape of Alexander Calder’s mobiles. Visitors are invited to play the cymbals in a work that exists both in silence and harmony as well as chaos and noise.
- Any age
- 23 May — 13 September 2015
Grayson Perry’s work combines autobiographic references with wry social commentary on themes ranging from class and taste to the status of the artist versus that of the
artisan or maker. At the heart of Perry’s practice is a passionate desire to communicate his thoughts on aspects of contemporary experience.
This exhibition presents a selection of Grayson Perry’s ceramics and other artworks
including tapestries, prints, bronze and iron sculpture. Working in traditional media, he is interested in how each historic category of object accrues intellectual and emotional baggage over time. Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in to his exquisitely crafted works with beauty, wit, sentiment and nostalgia, whilst at the same time exploring issues within society and culture that instigate fear, uncertainty and anger.
- Any age
Turner Contemporary and Jasmin Vardimon Company present a new production in 2015
- 10 — 15 April 2015
Two of the UK’s leading arts organisations, Jasmin Vardimon Company and Turner Contemporary are collaborating to present an immersive new performance experience in April 2015, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Exceptional award programme.
Maze, an extraordinary new work bridging dance theatre and the visual arts, will invite audience members to explore a world of surprise, wonder, delight and occasionally, unease, as dancers inhabit an astonishing labyrinth structure.
Maze will occupy a self-contained architecture conceived in Margate for the performance by designer, artist and architect Ron Arad in collaboration with installation artist Guy Bar Amotz. Inspired by Arad’s visit to a foam factory in China, the architectural structure will be made from industrial foam using its tactility and visual qualities to create a unique immersive space. Navigating their way along one of several paths through this architectural labyrinth, visitors will encounter a feast of sights, sounds, smells, textures and actions; some moments will be intimate and moving, others so spectacular as to defy belief.
Additional funding has been awarded by Kent County Council to support the delivery of an education programme associated with Maze. Educational activities will explore the making of Maze as well as themes, choreography and concepts explored in the work and will engage children and young people to reach their own interpretations and creative responses to the work.
Maze will be staged at the Winter Gardens in Margate from 10 until 15 April 2015.
- 7 October 2015 — 17 January 2016
Creating art is risky by nature; it always involves an element of the unknown – a gap between intent and outcome. During the last century artists have sought to expand that gap and, in so doing, challenge the status of the artwork as a closed object. The exhibition will propose risk as an important element of key artistic moments during the last century, which continues to feature in contemporary practice. Risk has played a role in Abstract Expressionist painting, post-minimal sculpture and “process” art, performance art, and work made in the context of and responding to political conditions around the world, among other practices. Featuring works from the twentieth-century to the present day, the exhibition will bring together artworks and artistic practices that engaged directly with risk exploring the subject through a range of themes: the intersection between risk and chance; the artist at risk; the contemporary landscape of risk; materials and processes and exposure and self-revelation. Among the artists presented in the exhibition are Marina Abramovic, Francis Alÿs, Marcel Duchamp, Simon Faithfull, Gerhard Richter, JMW Turner and performances by Jasmin Vardimon Company.
- Any age