A new exhibition featuring paintings from acclaimed artists including Lucien Freud, David Hockney, Walter Sickert and Richard Hamilton will open at Nottingham Castle on Saturday 20 June.

One Day, Something Happens is a touring exhibition from the Arts Council Collection which examines the portrait during the 20th and 21st centuries. It is curated by the co-editor of Frieze magazine Jennifer Higgie.

This important exhibition explores a kind of everyday theatricality. The artists on show approach their subjects in very different ways, and the people they depict are both imaginary and real characters. Higgie’s fascinating selection of works teases out common themes across the decades, especially works where the artist captured some kind of drama or significant moment.

In her selection, she represents many common human themes including relationships and loneliness, work and leisure, activity and stillness. The exhibition charts not only the historical influences felt by the artists, but also captures stories and snapshots of the lives of all sorts of people including famous figures, ordinary people, lovers, friends and invented characters.

The exhibition title is a quotation from the artist Walter Sickert, whose beautiful study of a woman from 1906, her forehead patterned like a diamond, is the earliest work on view. Other paintings include the light-filled brilliance of Lucian Freud’s Girl in a Green Dress from 1954, and exuberant representations of the body in the 1960s and ‘70s from artists as diverse as Nottingham-based artist Bob Robinson, Peter Blake, Alasdair Gray and David Hockney, and contemporary works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Paula Rego and Rose Wylie. Artists such as Enrico David and David Noonan explore painting’s further reaches through silkscreen and sculpture, placing the body centre stage.

Curator Jennifer Higgie has also made a small selection from the Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery Fine Art Painting collection; these paintings will be on display alongside the body of works from the Arts Council Collection.

The exhibition runs 20 June – 6 September. One Day, Something Happens was shown in Leeds from March - May 2015, and will also visit Drogheda, Southport and Eastbourne after Nottingham.