Lyons Teashops Lithographs and Dependent Rational Animals at Eastbourne Towner

By Culture24 Reporter | 19 July 2013

Exhibition previews: The Lyons Teashops Lithographs: Art in a Time of Austerity; Dependent Rational Animals, Towner, Eastbourne, until September 22 2013

A photo of a post-war painting of a mother and daughter
William Scott, The Bird Cage (1947) The Lyons Lithographs - First Series© Towner Collection
Faced with wartime decline in their famous teashops, the catering giant J Lyons & Co commissioned a series of lithographs, made by a stellar cast including Edward Bawden, John Piper, John Nash, LS Lowry and their peers.

Towner has the complete set of 40, these days attesting to the finest modern British art of the era. At the time, suppers in 200 hangouts around the country got to enjoy these mini-masterpieces.

Vaster and more conceptually convoluted, Dependent Rational Animals - touted as “an installation within an installation” - puts paintings and sculptures within each other, playing with scale and space in a set of large-scale watercolour wall drawings by Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh.

They are the backdrop for a looming, timber-framed sculpture, shingled with leather and a nine-sided woollen igloo hiding smaller paintings.

From Northampton to Newcastle, Underwood and Walsh’s wry takes on the traditional gallery experience have aroused curious new vantage points in their commissions. For viewers, the prospect of each work enjoying its own shelter makes every part of the space feel secluded.

  • Open 10am-6pm (closed Monday except Bank Holidays). Admission free. Follow the gallery on Twitter @TownerGallery‎.

More pictures:

A photo of a painting of a boat at sea
David Gentleman, Cornish Pilchard Boat (circa 1953-55). The Lyons Lithographs - Third Series© Towner Collection
A photo of a painting of men and women in a post-war setting
Barnett Freedman, People (1947). The Lyons Lithographs - First Series© Towner Collection
A photo of various different shaped objects in a gallery installation
In their Dependent Rational Animals series, Sally Underwood and Roxy Walsh are interested in how sculpture makes space for painting and how paintings hold the interior of a sculpture© Photo: Alison Bettles
A photo of two curved barn-style structures inside a gallery
Their concept draws on unusual displays of paintings in museums such as the Sir John Soane Museum, where works are mounted on moveable panels© Photo: Alison Bettles
A photo of a curved wooden barn-like sculpture within a gallery
The title of the exhibition derives from a book of the same name by Alasdair MacIntyre, who perceives vulnerability as a central feature of human life© Photo: Alison Bettles
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