Founded in 1901, the Whitechapel Gallery was tasked to “bring great art to the people of east London,” and it’s still putting on excellent shows to this day.
Entry to most of the exhibitions remains free and we paid a visit last week and grabbed these photos:
The Phantoms of Surrealism exhibition on the first floor examines the pivotal role of women as both artists and as behind-the-scenes organisers within Surrealism in Britain in the 1930s.
There’s an incredibly detailed model celebrating the International Surrealist Exhibition of July 1936, and includes mini works by Herbert Read, Sheila Legge, Andre Breton, Salvador Dali, Eileen Agar and Dylan Thomas amongst others.
Two engaging films were on show: Fire In My Belly (2021) offered a compelling portrait of London through the voices of young people, as they navigate an uncharted road map of the city, and Dear Babylon (2019) follows three art students and their investigations on the future of social housing.
Images of trees, flowers and seed-heads, vast ocean and mountain scapes, tropical maps and contested lands are presented alongside painted bright brick walls, open windows, sculpted chairs, rugs and jugs in this exhibition curated by Berlin-based, Venezuelan installation artist Sol Calero.
Can You Hear Me? is Nalini Malani’s s first UK commission.
The exhibit comprises 88 animations projected on the walls of the Whitechapel Gallery’s historic interior.
Made between 2017 and 2020, they feature overlapping hand-drawn images and notes, as well as fragments of quoted text.
In this installation Malani once more fills the former central reading room of the Whitechapel Public Library with books, transcribing quotes by influential writers such as Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Bertolt Brecht, Veena Das, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Milan Kundera, George Orwell and Wislawa Szymborska.
This 21st century form of the artist’s notebook is projected directly onto the gallery’s brick walls with text and image taking the form of moving graffiti.
77-82 Whitechapel High St
Tel: +44 (0)20 7522 7888