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New exhibition by Maggi Hambling for Festival 2022

A new exhibition by one of Britain’s most significant and controversial artists

The artist Maggi Hambling will present her first exhibition at Glyndebourne at the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival with support from Marlborough Gallery.

One of Britain’s most significant and controversial artists, Hambling has established a reputation over the last four decades as a singular contemporary force whose work continues to move, seduce and challenge. Maggi Hambling: Glyndebourne features a new series of diptychs and ink drawings which resonate with this year’s Glyndebourne Festival productions, along with a large-scale painting that will hang prominently in the Glyndebourne foyer.

The exhibition will include six prints of ink drawings, each one selected by Hambling to represent one of this year’s productions, and a series titled Stage Diptychs I-XII that portray figures in a variety of poses on stage. Using a bold palette of Indian yellows, black, oxblood and white, these paired paintings reflect Hambling’s longstanding interest in performers and the art of performance. As with much of the artist’s output, the works for Glyndebourne deal with themes of desire, ecstasy, life, loss and death.

Maggi Hambling: Glyndebourne, will be presented across a number of locations at the opera house, including the Old Green Room, rarely accessible to the public. Constructed in the 1930s, the space features original wood panelling and floorboards and today is used as a rehearsal and entertaining space. Hambling’s works will revitalise the Old Green Room with new energy, recalling its intended purpose as a place for performers.

The six new ink drawings will be featured in the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival Programme Book and available to purchase in a signed and numbered limited-edition portfolio, published by Plinth.

When asked what she is most looking forward to about exhibiting at Glyndebourne, Hambling reveals that it’s being part of a season that excites her most: ‘The Festival happens and then it’s gone. My work will be there for a precise amount of time, and I hope that it can match the intensity of the music, the staging. You’ve got to be brave when you make an opera. And you’ve got to be brave when you make a painting. You have to have no fear.’

Maggi Hambling: Glyndebourne will be available to view by ticket-holders to the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival, which runs from 21 May – 28 August, and by appointment. It follows the artist’s first major solo show in New York, which opened this month at Marlborough Gallery.

Hambling is the latest in a long line of artists to collaborate with Glyndebourne. In 2022 Glyndebourne marks 70 years of its annual Festival Programme book, a highly collectable publication featuring beautifully illustrated, expert articles that celebrate and explore the operas on stage at Glyndebourne each summer. One of the special features of the Programme book is its cover art, which over the years has been designed by some of the biggest names in British stage design and contemporary art.

We will also be presenting Cover to Cover, an exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Programme Book, featuring original cover art by designers such as Oliver Messel, Emanuele Luzzati and Elizabeth Bury and new work by photographer Mark Vessey. Completing the exhibition programme is new work by British painter and printmaker Tom Hammick, Glyndebourne’s Associate Artist for 2021-2022.


Main image – a detail from Stage Diptych VIII, Maggi Hambling, oil on canvas

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