Victor Willing at Hastings Contemporary

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Detail from Victor Willing, Self Portrait

From October 19 to January 20, Hastings Contemporary (the former Jerwood Gallery) will hold the first major UK retrospective of work by British artist Victor Willing (1928-1988) since his death, charting each decade of his tumultuous life and career from his time at the Slade, his life in Portugal, and back to London and his untimely death from multiple sclerosis.

Callot- Judge, 1983, oil on canvas

As part of Hastings Contemporary’s ambitious and expanded programme, the exhibition will feature key loans from Tate, Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, Pallant House Gallery, Arts Council Collection and private collections, bringing the best of Victor Willing’s works to the South Coast.

The exhibition will offer visitors a chance to encounter the work of this ground breaking artist, whose determined, large-scale paintings illustrate phases of domestic life with his wife and fellow artist, Paula Rego (b.1935) and their family, as well as darker periods of emotional difficulty.

Entitled: ‘Victor Willing: Visions’, it will bring to life Willing’s varied artistic output from training in the late 1940s and early 1950s, his life in Portugal with his young family through the 1960s, and their return to London in the mid-1970s through to late 1980s.

Standing Nude

The exhibition will premiere a new short film of Victor Willing’s life and career by his son and celebrated filmmaker, Nick Willing, following on from his BBC Two documentary Paula Rego: Secrets and Stories alongside unseen material from the family archives.

Liz Gilmore, Director, Hastings Contemporary comments: “This hugely important exhibition, commanding almost the entire gallery space puts Victor Willing back into the public spotlight. Willing is an artist who has inspired and continues to inspire generations of artists.

“This ground-breaking show draws work from collections across Europe and reflects the new ambitious programming of Hastings Contemporary.”

Image Credits: The Artists Estate , Arts Council Collection; .

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