Category: Highlights — Published:

From digital discovery on the ‘Electronic Superhighway’ to the Guerrilla Girls’ unique brand of feminism, art and activism, join us as we look back at our highlights of 2016. Have a wonderful festive season and happy new year.


Image of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Surface Tension (1992), plasma or rear-projection screen, computerised surveillance system, custom‐made software, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Carroll/Fletcher, London. Installation photograph by Maxime Dufour © Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
1. #ElectronicSuperhighway. We kick-started 2016 by powering-up for a journey back through 50 years of art and the internet.

Watch curator Omar Kholeif talk about his highlights from the show.

Emma Hart portrait. Photo by Thierry Bal 2med web2. We welcomed Emma Hart to the fold as our sixth Max Mara Art Prize for Women winner.

This year she’s been touring Milan, Todi and Faenza developing a new work we’ll unveil at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2017. Watch this space!

2016-05-097975 13. In our first online commission, we quizzed you on the value of art in the age of technology.

Jonas Lund’s interactive work Fair Warning drew from the format of online questionnaires and personality tests to question the art market, the role of the gallery and how the digital sphere affects the value of art.

You can still take part at

Mary Heilmann, Crashing Wave, 2011 (detail), Oil on canvas, 127 x 101.60 cm, © Mary Heilmann, Photo: Thomas Müller, Courtesy of the artist, 303 Gallery, New York, and Hauser & Wirt4. From the East End to the West Coast – Mary Heilmann transported us with her good vibrations and eye-popping colourful canvasses.

…and she shared her musical inspirations with us along the way, from Brian Eno and Jefferson Airplane to R.E.M and Musical Youth.

See a selection of her favourite tracks.

Whitechapel Gallery Children's Commission 2016 - Edwina Ashton: In the Winter Hours, installation view. Photo: Stephen White5. Edwina Ashton’s imagined and real animal characters showed us the delicacy and mystery of the natural world.

Ashton’s installation for the 2016 Children’s Commission dotted her animal critters around Galleries 5 and 6, from boggle eyed sock puppets to a mysterious animated work featuring elephants and an alpine newt.

Guerrilla Girls Is it even worse in Europe. Dan Weill 1 (11)6. The Guerrilla Girls – Live!

140,000 people have watched our live stream of the U.S feminist art collective’s talk on diversity in the arts, coinciding with their Whitechapel Gallery exhibition.

Watch the Guerrilla Girls Facebook Live at the Whitechapel Gallery.

2016-09-12.1108326 17. An Imperfect Chronology: political and poetic works from across the Middle East arrived in Whitechapel.

Our four-part collaboration with the Barjeel Art Foundation, who hold one of the most extensive collections of art from the Arab region, allowed us to show modern and contemporary works telling the story of Arab art over 100 years.

7 Fragments for Georges Méliès, Day for Night and Journey to the Moon 2003 9-channel video installation with sound 16 mm and 35 mm film based on live-action, video and animated drawing, transferred to video, colour Courtesy William Kentridge, Marian Goodman Gallery, Goodman Gallery and Lia Rumma Gallery8. William Kentridge stormed London with a cacophony of animation, film, sound, dance and theatre.

…and there is still time to see his critically-acclaimed exhibition Thick Time, closing 15 January. Book Now