Maggi Hambling –

Touch: works on paper

8 September 2016 –
29 January 2017

Recommend this exhibition

This exhibition presents an important survey of works on paper that traces Maggi Hambling’s engagement with drawing throughout her career. It includes work from the British Museum’s collection, loans from the National Portrait Gallery and Tate, and rarely seen work from private collections and the artist’s studio.

One of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists, Hambling is perhaps best known for her compelling portraits, paintings of the sea, and her celebrated and controversial public sculpture, including A Conversation with Oscar Wilde (1998) and Scallop (2003). Less familiar, but equally significant, are her dynamic and sensuous works on paper. Forging an immediate and powerful connection with the subject being drawn, the concept of ‘touch’ pervades these works, distilling the themes of life and death that underscore her art. This exhibition presents over 40 works on paper, many of which are on show for the first time.

‘I believe the subject chooses the artist, not vice versa, and that subject must then be in charge during the act of drawing in order for the truth to be found. Eye and hand attempt to discover and produce those precise marks which recreate what the heart feels. The challenge is to touch the subject, with all the desire of a lover.’ Maggi Hambling

A comprehensively illustrated book, the first to focus specifically on the range and impact of Hambling’s works on paper, is published by Lund Humphries to coincide with the exhibition.


Maggi Hambling (b. 1945), Sebastian in a Hermès scarf.
Charcoal, 2004, 152.4 x 101.6cm. © Maggi Hambling.
Reproduced by permission of the artist.
From the artist’s collection.