77-82 Whitechapel High Street
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The Whitechapel Art Gallery was founded in 1901 to bring great art to the people of east London. Internationally acclaimed for its exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and its pioneering education and public events programmes, the Gallery has premiered international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Nan Goldin, and provided a showcase for Britain’s most significant artists from Gilbert & George to Lucian Freud, Peter Doig to Mark Wallinger.
The Gallery plays a unique role in the capital’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of East London as the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.
The Grade II* Whitechapel Gallery was designed by architect Charles Harrison Townsend. This purpose built gallery is an outstanding example of the Arts and Crafts movement and its aspirations of being accessible, spiritually uplifting and transformative. This development also builds on the 1980s expansion by Colquhoun and Miller under the directorship of Sir Nicolas Serota and inaugurated by the Queen Mother.
Sculptors Papers from the Henry Moore Institute Archive
- 23 September 2014 — 22 February 2015 *on now
Why do public art commissions spark such controversy? The stories behind radical proposals for public sculptures in London - some realised, others thwarted – are drawn from the Henry Moore Institute’s rich collection of sculptors’ papers.
Laurence Bradshaw’s (1899–1978) iconic Karl Marx memorial (1956) became an ideological site prompting both pilgrimage and attack. Jacob Epstein’s (1880–1959) explicit nudes for the British Medical Association became a battleground for Modernism and are the subject of a new work by Neal White (b. 1966). Other featured artists include Rose Finn-Kelcey, Alfred Frank Hardiman, Paul Neagu and Oscar Nemon whose drawings and documents reveal sculpture’s passage into public life.
Artists Film International: Jorge Macchi, Nicole Miller, Angela Su, Oded Hirsch & Provmyza Group
- 14 October 2014 — 11 January 2015 *on now
A showcase of artists’ film from around the world.
Includes work from artists Jorge Macchi, Nicole Miller, Angela Su, Oded Hirsch, and Russian artist collective Provmyza.
Films are selected by Fundacion PRÓA, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Ballroom Marfa, Texas, USA; Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, China; City Gallery, Kfar Saba, Israel and National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia.
Bart Lodewijks: White Li(n)es
- 9 December 2014 — 8 March 2015 *on now
Armed with chalk and a spirit level, Dutch artist Bart Lodewijks (b. 1972) draws abstract white lines on everything from residential buildings in quiet suburbs to street surfaces in bustling city centres.
As part of the abstract art takeover at the Whitechapel Gallery, Lodewijks’ new commission for London draws from workshops with local young people, wherehe found out about their relationships to the spaces around them. He is interested in how drawing can be a social process built on trust and conversations with individuals or groups. The exhibition includes a series of chalk drawings made in response to the Gallery and its surroundings, a newspaper designed in collaboration with Roma Publications and a display of material from past projects.
- Family friendly
Fiona Banner selects from the V-A-C collection: Stamp Out Photographie
- 9 December 2014 — 8 March 2015 *on now
Renowned for exploring the visual possibilities of language, British artist Fiona Banner (b.1966) chooses works of art from the V-A-C collection, Moscow, as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s programme opening up rarely seen collections from around the world.
The display explores the blurred lines between photography and painting and includes Gerhard Richter’s Kerze (1982), a hyper realistic painting of a single, glowing candle famously used as the cover of Sonic Youth’s 1988 album Daydream Nation. While Andy Warhol’s Jackie (1964) based on photographs of Jackie Kennedy Onassis
is shown alongside Stretch (1964), an optical black & white painting by Bridget Riley which appears to shift and vibrate.
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler: The Unreliable Narrator
- 14 January — 26 April 2015
A gripping new film about the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai will be screened at the Whitechapel Gallery from 14 January to 26 April 2015.
The Unreliable Narrator (2014), by London-based artist duo Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, combines footage sourced from CCTV recordings of the siege at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai, with recorded telephone conversations between the attackers and their controllers, who orchestrate the violence from afar.
In the film, televised news footage and scenes taken from a recent Bollywood movie dramatizing the event are spliced together, emphasising the complex yet pivotal role technology and the media played in the attacks. A female voiceover narrates, piecing together the story for the viewer and suggesting the violent acts were performed for the benefit of the news cameras. Highlighting discrepancies in the media coverage of the event along the way, the narrator ultimately questions the role of the artwork itself and its portrayal of an act of terrorism to the public.
Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 - 2015
- 15 January — 6 April 2015
Bringing together over 100 works by 80 modern masters and contemporary artists including Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Piet Mondrian, Gabriel Orozco and Aleksander Rodchenko, the exhibition traces a century of Abstract art from 1915 to today, shedding new light on the evolution of geometric abstraction.
Beginning with Kazimir Malevich’s Black and White. Suprematist Composition (1915) the exhibition explores how abstract art can both underpin socially transformative spaces and filter into all aspects of visual culture.
Exhibition highlights include an entire wall filled with photographs documenting the radio towers of Moscow and Berlin by Aleksandr Rodchenko and László Moholy-Nagy amongst others, blow-up archive photographs of iconic exhibitions running through the history of abstraction and a selection of magazines which convey revolutionary ideas in art and society through typography and graphic design.