Maggi Hambling has been at the forefront of her country’s art scene for five decades and is considered one of the best portraitists of her generation. Heiress and friend of Francis Bacon, she is a charismatic personality with an unmistakable style. Controversial painter and sculptor, she has a career linked to social commitment and a personal life that she has reflected in her works, such as those that evoke the romantic relationship she had with Henrietta Moraes, «Queen of Soho» and muse of Bacon and Freud.
Maggi Hambling presents a series of about thirty works that deal with death and madness on the one hand, and abuse and violence against animals on the other, with a beautiful rawness that reveals an affinity and a sensibility very close to works from Goya’s last period.
The historian and conservator of the Museo del Prado Manuela Mena is the author of the text of the catalog, with the Fusilamientos, the Pinturas negras and the Desastres as a tangential argument and reflection of the project in the gallery.
In the text, Mena emphasizes: «the strength of the brushstrokes, strokes and touches of Hambling’s brushes, which recall in their relief, thickness and fineness, direction and accuracy, economy and richness of the material used, what I have seen for years in works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez or Goya».
Maggi Hambling (Sudbury, U.K., 1945) studied in the 1960s at Benton End, Suffolk (the legendary art school run by Cedric Morris and Arthur Lett-Haines, where Lucian Freud was also a student), Ipswich School of Art, Camberwell School of Art and Slade. In the last decade, she has held important exhibitions at the Marlborough Gallery in New York (2022), the CAFA Art Museum, Beijing (2019), the British Museum in London (2016), the National Gallery (2014) and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (2013). She has achieved notoriety for her various public sculpture commissions, most notably «A Conversation with Oscar Wilde» (1998) at Charing Cross, London, the beautiful «Scallop» (2003) at Aldeburgh Beach, Suffolk, and «A Sculpture for Mary Wollstonecraft» (2020) in homage to the English writer and philosopher, in Newington Green, London.
Her work is also included in the collections of the British Museum, the Tate and the National Gallery in London, the Gulbekian Foundation in Lisbon, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Yale Center for British Art in Newhaven, USA, among others.