Located in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, on the north side of Whitechapel High Street, the Whitechapel Gallery is a public art gallery designed by the architect Charles Harrison Townsend. Opened in 1901, it was one of the firsts publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, exhibiting the work of contemporary artists and organising retrospective exhibitions and shows.
On the fifth of December the Gallery will present The Upset Bucket: a new display that carries on the Museum’s credo and commitment to show Art from exceptional but rarely-seen public and private collections. This exhibition is part of a year-long programme dedicated to the ISelf Collection – “a private collection of contemporary art focusing on the investigation of self, personal identity and the nature of being” -.
Francis Alÿs’s The Upset Bucket was exhibited for the first time in 1992. The artwork depicting a dog, an overturned chair and a spilt bucket on a partially rolled canvas pushes the viewer to question and reflect the enigmatic scene. The installation is exhibited with a further 27 artworks by leading international artists: mixed medias that include installations, sculptures and photographs; a new display that explores and focuses on “how people shape a sense of self through their relationship with others and through the material world“.
Other artists focus on how people show their identity through their consumer choices. For example Matthew Darbyshire‘s work, a museum like display of household objects – “Ikea shelves, souvenir Murano vases, Cristal d’Arque champagne flutes and acrylic water pipes” – distrusts the degree to which people permeate certain objects with aspirational codes.
“Visitors are prompted to reconsider the everyday use and value of objects, repurposing industrial materials and found materials.”
Rayyane Tabet encases her suitcases in concrete, metaphor and symbol of migration issues. Karla Black creates gigantic sculptures from ephemeral materials. Ellen Gallagher organises delicate assemblages of African-American beauty magazines in Spoils (2011).
Other artists interpret discarded materials and waste, like Gabriel Kuri’s sculpture made with precariously stacked wire bins or William Eggleston capturing the ordinary beauty of colourful dumpsters, similarly to Richard Wentworth’s photographs of assembled trash bags.
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