Sussex Modernism

Retreat and Rebellion

28th January 2017 – 23rd April 2017

Download the press release

Download the exhibition catalogue

Our sixth exhibition, Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion, examined why radical artists and writers were drawn to the rolling hills, seaside resorts, and quaint villages of Sussex in the first half of the 20th century and how, in the communities they created, artistic innovation ran hand in-hand with political, sexual and domestic experimentation.

Sussex Modernism was created by the Bulldog Trust in partnership with 9 Sussex museums and galleries. The exhibition drew on the richness of collections in the region as well as featuring major loans from across the country. Within the county are the homes of major artists and collectors namely Charleston, Farleys House and Gallery, and West Dean College as well as the iconic modernist building De La Warr Pavilion, now a contemporary art gallery and performance venue. The exhibition drew on these collections as well as the Sussex museums and galleries with significant holdings of modernist art Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft, Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, Pallant House Gallery in Chichester and Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne.

The exhibition was curated by Dr Hope Wolf, Lecturer in British Modernist Literature and co-Director of the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex.

Dali Lips

Edward James/Salvador Dali, Mae West lips sofa, 1938, Image courtesy of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

Eric Gill (1882 - 1940) Icon (for Divine Lovers), 1923 Pewter, Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft Courtesy of the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft

Eric Gill, Icon (for Divine Lovers), 1923, Image courtesy of the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft