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.
- 1 March 2015 — 10 January 2016 *on now
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
Year of Mexico in the UK: Pedro Reyes: Disarm (Mechanized)
- 12 September 2015 — 10 January 2016 *on now
This autumn, see the second installation in Turner Contemporary's Sunley Gallery as part of The Year of Mexico 2015 with Pedro Reyes' Disarm (Mechanized), 2012. Disarm (Mechanized) is an ambitious installation, comprising of 8 mechanical musical instruments, resulting from Pedro Reyes international project in which illegal firearms were used to fabricate musical instruments. This is the first time Disarm (Mechanized) has been exhibited in a UK public gallery.
Musical instruments were created from firearms, including revolvers, shot-guns and machine-guns, which were crushed by tanks and steamrollers to render them useless. These were offered to the artist by the Mexican government following their confiscation and subsequent public destruction in the city of Ciudad, Juarez. From the 6,700 destroyed weapons the artist received from the Mexican Secretary of Defence, Reyes created two groups of instruments including Disarm. This installation of mechanical musical instruments can either be automated or played live by an individual operator using a laptop computer or midi keyboard. Disarm (Mechanized) will be automated to play in Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery at intervals throughout the duration of the installation period.
- Any age
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01843 233000
- 7 October 2015 — 17 January 2016 *on now
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 proposes 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.
- 17 January — 31 March 2016
To open 2016 in our ground floor Sunley Gallery space, Turner Contemporary is showing a group of paintings and drawings by celebrated Kent-based artist Rose Wylie.
Wylie’s bold, large-scale figurative paintings draw on ancient and folk art, such as Mexican street art and contemporary Egyptian Hajj painting, as well as art history and film. Their deliberate awkwardness, closer to the unselfconscious art of children, includes a collage-like approach in which mistakes are simply covered up with patches of cut-up canvas or paper.
This display – the first time the Sunley gallery has been used for painting – will focus on recent works from her ongoing Film Notes, a series of paintings inspired by remembered images from contemporary films. An avid and discerning film fan, her recent paintings and drawings have paid homage to directors as diverse as François Ozon, Werner Herzog, Claudia Llosa and Quentin Tarantino, whose films she particularly enjoys painting from because of their ‘glamour and theatricality’.
- Any age
Leise Wilson: 365 Days
- 4 February — 10 March 2016
Leise Wilson’s watercolours demonstrate her fascination with the outdoors, open spaces and blue skies. Many of her works are inspired by her family visits to the Kent coast and the unique light and colours of this landscape.
In 365 Days, Leise Wilson recorded the view of the sky through the same window pane every day for a whole year, capturing the natural rhythms of light across the seasons. Wilson’s watercolours are often large but these small images, delicately painted onto squares of tissue paper, flutter in invisible air currents created by the viewer suggesting the movement of clouds in the sky. This work will be shown in Turner Contemporary’s Clore Learning Studio.
- Any age
Joachim Koester: The Other Side of the Sky
- 4 February — 8 May 2016
Turner Contemporary presents the first UK solo exhibition of work by Danish artist Joachim Koester, whose atmospheric films, installations and photography track the boundaries of the unknown, where fact and fiction crossover. Koester’s subtle yet sensuous works explore the medium of film.
Presenting a comprehensive series of works by Koester across the first floor gallery spaces, this will be Turner Contemporary’s largest film exhibition to date. Two new 16mm films will be showcased alongside works produced by the artist in the past 10 years, many of which will be shown in the UK for the first time.
Central to the exhibition is a new film inspired by Koester’s research into JMW Turner, The Other Side of the Sky (2015). This film explores Turner’s depiction and experience of storms via the analogy of psychedelic trips. Relating to surrealism and the 20th century mescaline experiments by Henri Michaux, it continues Koester’s interest in both physical journeys and psychological exploration. The Other Side of the Sky will be shown within a specially-built structure reminiscent of an abandoned shack, offering glimpses to a group of late watercolours by JMW Turner, which will be hung alongside it.
- Any age
Seeing Round Corners
- 21 May — 25 September 2016
Turner Contemporary presents the first UK exhibition to explore how artists have responded to the phenomenon of the circle, the disc or the sphere. This exhibition explores the ways in which artists have used this universal and recurring form, and the very idea of ‘roundness’. Seeing Round Corners showcases more than 50 works, presenting a variety of processes and media including painting, sculpture, film and photography, alongside design objects and historical artefacts.
Whether in the form of a disc, a sphere, a void or an arc, the circle is central to our experience of the natural world and to artists’ depictions of nature. The exhibition includes works by JMW Turner, whose swirling, circular vortex of paint evoked the power of natural forces in his late seascapes and history paintings. The majority of works in the exhibition are from the 20th century onwards, exploring the circle through the prism of modern and contemporary artistic practice, with works by Barry Flanagan, Anish Kapoor, Barbara Hepworth, Paul Nash, David Batchelor, Richard Long and Ben Nicholson, amongst others.
Drawing on a wealth of concepts and subjects from the atomic and the cosmic, geometry and optics, to time, rotation and visual perception, Seeing Round Corners will also include a selection of objects and images from world cultures, religions and history such as scientific instruments, technological images and works from spiritual and mystical traditions.
- Any age
Turner and Colour
- 8 October 2016 — 8 January 2017
Following the success of Turner and the Elements in 2012, Turner Contemporary presents a major exhibition of work by JMW Turner and the fullest survey of the artist’s watercolours of Margate yet to be shown at the gallery.
Turner and Colour is the first exhibition to examine this fundamental theme in relation to Turner, exploring the familiar outline of his life and art in a new way. Colour is the essence of JMW Turner’s work, and his distinctive, sometimes eccentric use of vibrant colour was central to his success as an artist.
Featuring more than 70 works in both oil and watercolour, the exhibition highlights Turner’s engagement with developments in colour theory and his adoption and exploitation of new materials. Beginning with the more traditional ‘Old Master’ aesthetic that Turner quickly matched and then superseded, the exhibition charts the impact made by the artist’s experimental techniques.
- Any age
Kashif Nadim Chaudry: Turner Contemporary’s Studio Group commission
- 13 November 2016 — 31 May 2017
Turner Contemporary presents its fourth new commission for its Sunley Gallery with a major new work by Nottingham based artist Kashif Nadim Chaudry.
This commission has been selected and curated by Turner Contemporary’s Studio Group: a group of local artists and makers who first came together in 2012 to help produce Turner Contemporary’s first Sunley Gallery commission, Maria Nepomuceno’s Breathing Time (2012).
The Studio Group will work with Turner Contemporary to lead on the commission of a new artwork by Chaudry, working closely with the artist to creatively develop and make the work.
- Any age
- 7 October 2015 — 17 January 2016 *on now
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