Founded in 1901 as one of the first publicly-funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in the capital, Whitechapel Gallery is a free gallery, located right next to Aldgate East tube station, east London.
The striking building was designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, and the gallery enjoyed a major refurbishment in 1986 with further work in 2009 seeing the adjacent Passmore Edwards Library being incorporated into the space.
This effectively doubled the physical size of the Gallery and nearly tripled the available exhibition space.
Situated in darkened room, Current Disturbance is a piece by British-Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum and is made up of stacked wire cages and flickering light bulbs.
The lights all flicker on and off together to the sound of a loud and rather unnerving buzzing noise. I wouldn’t want to spend too long in the room, but I rather liked it.
The exhibit is at the gallery until 6 March 2011.
With all the lights, the darkness and the discordant buzzing it was a bit like being at an industrial minimalist techno party.
Richard Wentworth’s, A Confiscation of String, “explores ideas of currency, exchange and the treasure in a cabinet containing examples of string, both natural and manmade, brought to the Gallery by manufacturers, artists, collectors and hobbyists.”
There’s a rather splendid cafe at the Whitechapel Gallery that’s a bit like our old central London favourite, the Photographers’ Gallery.
It’s rather hidden away though, and you have to navigate a circuitous route upstairs and around the back of the building to find the place. But it’s worth it.
We certainly prefer it to the posh new ‘Dining Room’ be the entrance.
The gallery is right next to Aldgate East tube station.
Waiting for the tube home.
The gallery is open all the year round, and it’s free to get in.
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
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One Comment on “Whitechapel Gallery – buzzing light bulbs and coffee”
The wire cage looks very interesting and on closer look you appreciate how much work went into the exhibit. I have friends in Whitechapel and am sure they have visited the gallery in the past and I do remember talking about the expansion in 2009. It is nice to know its free as I will be in that area in the next few months.