Masters of art: Introducing the Brighton gallery's Modern Masters

The latest exhibition in our Brighton gallery looks at the contemporary artists who draw inspiration from the Old Masters...and then make it modern.

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When it comes to art, how do you define a ‘master’? If you’re talking about the Old Masters – renowned artists such as Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Willem Kalf and Vermeer – then they’re the skilled painters, working in Europe between the Renaissance and the 1800s, who created some of the most incredible, realistic portraiture and juicy-looking still-lifes that had – and still have – ever existed. But in contemporary terms…?

We’ve got a few ideas. And you can discover exactly what those are at our upcoming exhibition, Modern Masters, which runs at our Brighton gallery from 13-24 July 2018.

Why Modern Masters? Well, we really couldn’t overlook the fact that among the gallery's family of artists we have some contemporary masters – artists whose work offers a nod to the work of the historical greats (see above) but moves it forward into the present day.

Within the work of Iva Troj, Chris Kettle, Sarah Shaw, Jake Wood-Evans, Dylan Floyd, Cosmo Sarson and Dave White (and others) you can see threads of reference to the Old Masters’ imagery, styles or themes. From semi-abstract paintings feature glowing embers of colour that pop off the image’s surface in the manner of a Dutch still life to fantastical creatures and Renaissance-style nudes placed in wholly new settings, there’s a visual feast waiting to be discovered.

And, because we don’t believe in anonymous or inaccessible art, we’ve spent some time getting to know the artists whose work we’re showcasing – covering everything from their Old Master inspirations to their contemporary studio rituals. Keep an eye on the gallery page in the run up to the exhibition, to read our interviews and find out a little more about our Modern Masters.


Visit the Modern Masters exhibition, between 13th July to 15th August 2018 at the Brighton gallery. If you’re quick, you might also join the guest list for our preview evening on 12th June, visit our Eventbrite page for details.

Read our interviews with artists taking part in the Modern Masters exhibition:

Chris Kettle

Iva Troj

Dylan Floyd

Sarah Shaw

Dave White

Cosmo Sarson