Hastings Contemporary

Rock-a-Nore Road Hastings East Sussex TN34 3DW

Built to provide a permanent home for the Jerwood Foundation’s modern art collection, this is part of the Sussex coast’s ‘Coastal Culture Trail’, a trio of galleries which also includes the Towner in Eastbourne and the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. The award-winning architecture – angular lines and shimmering, black-glazed tiles – is a conscious nod to the tall, black net huts of Hastings Old Town’s still-working fishing quarter, which borders the gallery. Inside, big picture windows look out over the fishing boats pulled up on the pebbles, and there’s a sleek first-floor café with a lovely sun terrace facing the sea. The gallery’s permanent collection, around two hundred paintings and prints by British artists working between the First World War and the 1960s, includes paintings by Stanley Spencer, Walter Sickert and Augustus John, while down on the ground floor you can see temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, which change quarterly; past exhibitors have included Gary Hume, Gillian Ayres and Rose Wylie.

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