Whitechapel Gallery’s entirely free autumn 2020 exhibition season celebrates diversity in ideas, medium and practice through new artist commissions, retrospectives, archival material and international collection displays.
Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me?
23 September 2020 – May 2021
Whitechapel Gallery unveils a major new work titled Can You Hear Me? by Nalini Malani (b. 1946 Karachi, Undivided India; lives and works in Mumbai, India) as part of its prestigious annual programme of artist commissions.
Embodying the role of the artist as social activist, Malani gives voice to the marginalised through visual stories which often take the form of multi-layered, immersive installations, exploring themes of violence, feminism, politics, racial tensions and social inequality. Widely considered the pioneer of video art in India, Malani has a 50-year multimedia practice that includes film, photography, painting, wall drawing, erasure performance, theatre, animation and video.
Kai Althoff goes with Bernard Leach
7 October 2020 – 10 January 2021
Galleries 1, 8 & 9
Whitechapel Gallery presents the first major UK survey of figurative painter and creator of poetic mise-en-scenes, Kai Althoff (b. 1966 Cologne, Germany; lives and works in New York, USA and Cologne, Germany). The exhibition brings together more than 130 works spanning Althoff’s career, from childhood drawings and photographs to textiles, sculptural installations and new paintings, presented as part of three immersive environments. Read a description of the exhibition from the artist here.
Althoff draws on a wide range of literary, cultural and artistic influences in his work and, for this exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, he pays tribute to British potter Bernard Leach (1887–1979). The exhibition features over 30 of Leach’s ceramic vessels and tiles from the 1920s onwards, selected by Althoff from UK collections and displayed in vitrines designed by the artist. The exhibition takes place in the centenary year of the Leach Pottery in St Ives, founded in 1920 and considered the birthplace of British studio pottery.
Exercising Freedom: Encounters with Art, Artists and Communities
7 October 2020 – 21 March 2021
By the mid-1970s the cultural mosaic of East London changed significantly as local artists found themselves living and working alongside local communities, who provided an invigorating environment rich in ideas, possibilities and resources. This archive exhibition focuses on the Whitechapel Gallery’s community education programme from 1979 to 1989, exploring the role that art plays in society. The display highlights how artists play a part in developing participatory and educational activities and features interviews with key figures, whose involvement helped to cement the Gallery’s pioneering ethos and vision in art and education, including Zarina Bhimji (b. 1963, Mbarara, Uganda), Fran Cottell (b. Kent, UK), Charlie Hooker (b. 1953, London, UK), Denise Jones, Rob Kessler (b. 1951, Solihull, UK) and Jenni Lomax, Community Education Organiser at the time.
Accelerate your escape: Gary Hume selects from the Hiscox Collection
25 August 2020 – 3 January 2021
Important works by renowned artists including Etel Adnan (b.1925, Beirut, Lebanon), Nan Goldin (b.1953, Washington D.C, USA), David Hockney (b.1937, Bradford, UK), Noemie Goudal (b. 1984, Paris, France), Prem Sahib (b. 1982, London, UK), Joan Miró (1893-1983, Spain), Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005, UK) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973, Spain), are on public view for the first time in two consecutive, artist-curated exhibitions drawn from the Hiscox Collection, taking place at Whitechapel Gallery. The series forms part of the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to showing rarely seen public and private collections.
Duchamp & Sons selects from the Hiscox collection
25 August 2020 – 3 January 2021
Considering the ways in which lockdown has affected experiences of art and culture, Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum, Duchamp & Sons, presents a virtually curated display featuring artworks drawn from the Hiscox Collection.
WRITER IN RESIDENCE 2020
Himali Singh Soin
As Whitechapel Gallery Writer in Residence for 2020, Himali Singh Soin (b. 1987, Delhi, India) creates a new series of poetic texts drawing on research into her namesake, the Himalayas, its animistic rituals and remedies and mystical geometries. Collectively titled ancestors of the blue moon, the collection of 13 ‘flash fictions’ are written from the perspective of remote or forgotten deities and delivered digitally from the artist’s home in Delhi. A live multi-media performance with the collective Hylozoic/Desires will mark the culmination of her residency in 2021.