"...its form remains iconic, simple, and bold. Inside there is a feeling of glamour and spaciousness despite the building's modest footprint." (Architecture Week's review of the refurbishment, 1999)
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The De La Warr Pavilion is a Grade I listed Modernist icon and an international centre for contemporary arts on the seafront in Bexhill On Sea.
The UK's first public building built in the Modernist style, the DLWP was commissioned in 1935 by the 9th Earl De La Warr. Its original purspose was to provide accessible culture and leisure for the people of Bexhill and beyond, and to regenerate the economy of the town and surrounding area.
As pioneering in structure as it was in spirit, this magnificent steel and concrete Pavilion was designed by renowned architects, Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff.
Seventy five years later, the DLWP's newly-appointed visionary Director, Alan Haydon (1999-2011), led a £9million restoration and redevelopment project that enabled the De La Warr Pavilion to resurrect its original ambitions, whilst creating new aspirations for its future. Read more about the history of the DLWP.
We currently welcome over 350,000 people per year and continue to be one of the country‘s best-loved architectural landmarks, dedicated to presenting high-quality exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and live perfomances of international repute.
The DLWP does not house a permanent collection. The vast scale of the building and the adaptability of its flowing spaces means it lends itself perfectly to transformation and a vibrant, changing calendar of exhibitions.
The dynamism of the building is likewise reflected in the DLWP's artistic programme; the DLWP nurtures experimentation in art and music with a focus on inter-disciplinary practice and multi-faceted projects.
Over the last ten years we have presented landmark exhbitions from some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art. Programme highlights have inlcuded include solo shows and retrospective exhibitions by twentieth century artists including Antony Gormley, Susan Collins, Jeremy Deller, Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, John Cage, Grayson Perry and Tomoko Takahashi.
We have also displayed thematic and historical group exhibitions that have attracted national and international acclaim including, Myth, Manners and Memory: Photography of the American South and Modern Times.
The DLWP supports and facilitates commissions from regional and international artists. Recently, brand new works have been unveiled by Nathan Coley, Catherine Yass, Bridget Smith and Blast Theory.
This dedication to cross-platform artforms is carried through to the DLWP's live programme, which attracts global icons as well as new and emerging artists at the cutting edge of contemporary music.
We have seen landmark performances from Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Michael Nyman, Margaret Leng Tan, Jose Gonzalez with the Gothenburg String Theory, Femi Kuti, The Fall, Goldfrapp, The Decemberists and many more. The DLWP has facilitated stunning collaborations between the Heritage Orchestra and Beardyman + DJ Switch + Gabriel Prokofiev and a second collaboration with UNKLE.
Experimental and inter-disciplinary work is at the core of the DLWP's live programme, with a history of stand-out performances by artists using a range of media; CocoRosie, Michachu and The Shapes, Martin Creed Band, Mount Kimbie + Creep, Polar Bear, the Portico Quartet and Mira Calix are just a few examples.
"It's amazing to find in Bexhill-on-Sea (suspected by some to be the real home of 'Dad's Army'!) an Art Deco public building that displays high quality contemporary art and boasts an excellent art (and gift) shop - as well as a range of shows and superb facilities. This is a bright and cheerful place to be in (especially in sunny weather) and there are fantastic views of the English Channel. Andy Warhol's work was in the exhibition recently, which is a mark of the standard and ambition of the DLWP!
Good quality coffee and cake are on sale in an excellent eating space with an outside option.
It's right on the sea front, so you can combine a visit with a stroll along the prom, a paddle in the sea and a run-around for the kids. In a tourist world that's full of mediocrity, this is an education and a delight."
26 May 2012 - RobertE634 - tripadvisor.co.uk