It’s been a busy year at the Whitechapel Gallery. We can’t wait to start the New Year with a bang, with our Abstraction takeover from 15 January, but in the meantime here were some of our highlights from 2014.
We premiered Hannah Höch, queen of collage; fulfilled the dreams of Chris Marker aficionados by presenting his first major retrospective; had an existential summer with Giulio Paolini; and discovered the delights of fabric and poetry with Richard Tuttle.
James Williamson, The Big Swallow (1901), Film Still, Image courtesy of BFI Stills
2 – Rarely seen collections
Collection displays in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Society revealed little known treasures from across Britain ranging from The Best is Not Too Good for You, a collection of pop art ceramics from the Midlands, to Twixt Two Worlds, featuring the unforgettable short film of a man swallowing a camera (and the camera man).
Image credits clockwise from top left: (1) Installation view: Kader Attia: Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder (2013) at Whitechapel Gallery, Photo: Stephen White. (2) Installation view: Whitechapel Gallery Children’s Commission, Francis Upritchard: Do What You Will (2014), Photo: Angus Mill. (3) Heather and Ivan Morison, Smile All the While (2014), Film still, Three channel video installation, Duration 25 minutes, Courtesy the artists.
3 – Brand new works
Kader Attia’s immersive library Continuum of Repair: The Light of Jacob’s Ladder and its visions of infinity filled Gallery 2 for the year. The annual Children’s Comission by Francis Upritchard saw prehistoric creatures placed on plinths around Galleries 5 & 6 in a pastel coloured installation and Heather and Ivan Morison’s video works guiding visitors through the education galleries looked at the relationship between making art, learning and play.
The Artists’ Film International programme, which showcases work selected by art institutions around the world, featured everything from Vietnamese artist Uudam Tran Nguyen’s choreographed masked scooter-riders to Turner Prize-winning artist Elizabeth Price’s eerie study of desire and consumption, AT THE HOUSE OF MR X.
In the archive gallery we heard of the unrealised dreams of London council estate tenants interviewed by artist Stephen Willats and discovered the fate of six of the city’s public sculptures courtesy of the Henry Moore Institute’s archive of Sculptors’ Papers in Leeds.