fri 01/03/2024

Whitechapel Gallery

Zineb Sedira: Dreams Have No Titles, Whitechapel Gallery review - a disorientating mix of fact and fiction

The downstairs of the Whitechapel Gallery has been converted into a ballroom or, rather, a film set of a ballroom. From time to time, a couple glides briefly across the floor, dancing a perfunctory tango. And they are really hamming it up, not for...

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Life is More Important than Art, Whitechapel Gallery review - themes of arrival, belonging and departure unite fascinating mixed show

Standing just inside the door of the Whitechapel’s downstairs gallery is a luggage trolley laden with parcels (pictured below, right). This forlorn object looks as if it’s waiting to be collected, but the owner seems to have gone AWOL.The packages...

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Action Gesture Paint, Whitechapel Gallery review - a revelation and an inspiration

It’s not often that an exhibition makes me cry, but then it’s not often that a show reveals the degree to which we have been duped. Action Gesture Paint includes the work of some 80 women, half of whom I’d never heard of. Given that I’ve been a...

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A Century of the Artist's Studio, Whitechapel Gallery review - a voyeur's delight

The Whitechapel Gallery's exhibition opens with Cell IX, 1999 (pictured below) one of the wire cages that Louise Bourgeois filled with memories of her dysfunctional family. This one contains a block of marble carved into hands. A tender portrayal of...

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Yoko Ono, Mend Piece, Whitechapel Gallery review – funny and sad in equal measure

Its more than 50 years since Yoko Ono first presented Mend Piece at the Indica Gallery, London in the exhibition through which she met John Lennon. The piece is currently being revisited at the Whitechapel Gallery and, in the intervening years, its...

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Theaster Gates - A Clay Sermon, Whitechapel Gallery review - mud, mud, glorious mud

Last year a stoneware jar by David Drake sold at auction for $1.3 million. It fetched this extraordinary price because of its history: Drake was a slave on a plantation in South Carolina who not only made fabulous pots, but dared sign and date them...

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Eileen Agar, Whitechapel Gallery review - a free spirit to the end

Eileen Agar was the only woman included in the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936, which introduced London to artists like Salvador Dali and Max Ernst. The Surrealists were exploring the creative potential of chance, chaos and the...

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Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, Whitechapel review - ten distinctive voices

“From today, painting is dead.” These melodramatic words were uttered by French painter, Paul Delaroche on seeing a photograph for the first time. That was in 1840 and, since then, painting has been declared dead many times over, yet it refuses to...

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Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary, Whitechapel Gallery review – a gentle rebellion

Now in her mid-seventies, Anna Maria Maiolino has been making work for six decades. Its a long stretch to cover in an exhibition, especially when the artist is not well known. Perhaps inevitably, then, this Whitechapel Gallery retrospective seems...

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Elmgreen & Dragset, Whitechapel Gallery review – when is a door not a door ?

A whiff of chlorine hits you as you open the door of the Whitechapel Gallery. Its the smell of public baths, and inside is a derelict swimming pool with nothing in it but dead leaves and piles of brick dust. Damp walls, peeling paint and cracked...

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Mark Dion: Theatre of the Natural World, Whitechapel Gallery review - handsome installations

On entering the gallery, you are greeted by the cheeping of birds. A flock of zebra finches flies around a circular cage and comes to rest on the branches of the apple tree “planted” in Mark Dion’s latest installation (main picture), before taking...

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A Handful of Dust, Whitechapel Gallery review - grime does pay

Why is dust so fascinating yet, at the same time, so repellent? Maybe the fear of choking to death in a dust storm or being buried alive in fine sand provokes a visceral response to it. My current obsession with dust comes from having builders in my...

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