Accelerate your escape: Gary Hume selects from the Hiscox Collection
25 August – 3 January 2021

Sol Calero selects from the Hiscox Collection
13 January – 2 May 2021

Important works by renowned artists including Etel Adnan (b.1925), Nan Goldin (b.1953), David Hockney (b.1937), Joan Miró (1893-1983), Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), will be on public view for the first time in two consecutive, artist-curated exhibitions drawn from the Hiscox Collection, taking place at Whitechapel Gallery from August.  The series forms part of the Gallery’s ongoing commitment to showing rarely seen public and private collections.

Global specialist insurer Hiscox have been collecting modern and contemporary art for over 50 years. The collection comprises 1000 works by renowned artists, including Grayson Perry, Tacita Dean and Peter Doig. With no single work ever in storage, this living collection is displayed across the company’s 35 global offices – on the walls of common areas and meeting rooms, enlivening the working environment with art that provokes thought or sparks creativity.

British painter Gary Hume (b.1962) and Berlin-based Venezualan artist Sol Calero (b.1982) each bring new perspectives to the Hiscox Collection in their personal selection of works at Whitechapel Gallery.

For Gary Hume, making and viewing art are a means of escape. At Whitechapel Gallery, Hume invites us to escape the every day and to find new joys and sorrows in the myriad worlds imagined for us by the artists he has selected. 27 works across painting, photography, sculpture and print are on show.

Hume’s exhibition takes its title, Accelerate your escape, from a print created by Haim Steinbach (b.1944)in 2006, in which he presents these three words – written in the recognisably energetic Nike typeface – in white against a sky-blue background. Howard Hodgkin’s (1932-2017) Indian Tree (1990-1) and David Hockney’s (b. 1937) Oranges (2011) each evoke sunny climes in colourful hues. By contrast, Keith Coventry  (b.1958) memorialises, in bronze, saplings that were planted in London but destroyed by vandals. Noemie Goudal’s (b. 1984) photographic prints insert ghost-like observatories into bleak environments, while Northern Irish artist Willie Doherty (b. 1959) captures a border crossing at night in At the Border 1 (Walking Towards Military Checkpoint) (1995).

Sol Calero’s work takes the form of brightly coloured, large-scale immersive installations that often appropriate many of the cultural stereotypes projected onto her native Latin America. At Whitechapel Gallery, she will present a densley hung environment celebrating the natural world  and the many ways that artists in the Hiscox Collection have chosen to explore it.


Notes to Editors

  • The exhibition is curated by Laura Smith, Curator, Whitechapel Gallery and Whitney Hintz, Curator, Hiscox, with Grace Storey, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery
  • The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication including an interview between Iwona Blazwick, former Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Robert Hiscox as well as contributions from Sol Calero, Gary Hume, Laura Smith, Curator, Whitechapel Gallery and Whitney Hintz, Curator, Hiscox.

About Whitechapel Gallery

For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George, Sarah Lucas and William Kentridge. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

About Whitechapel Gallery Collection Displays

Each season Whitechapel Gallery gives unprecedented free access to important and rarely seen public and private collections. Artists, writers, creatives and curators are invited to select works for display, bringing new narratives and encouraging different perspectives on existing collections. Over the course of 37 displays held over the last decade, leading arts figures including artists Salvatore Arancio (b. 1974, Italy), Fiona Banner (b. 1966, UK), Michael Craig-Martin (b. 1941, Ireland), Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, UK), Alan Kane (b. 1961, UK), writer, broadcaster and art historian Tim Marlow (b. 1963, UK), writer Tom McCarthy (b. 1969, UK), artists Mike Nelson (b. 1967, UK), Cornelia Parker (b. 1956, UK), Paula Rego (b. 1935, Portugal), James Richards (b. 1983, UK), historian and writer Simon Schama (b. 1945, UK), writer Enrique Vila-Matas (b. 1948, Spain), and artist Lynette Yiadom Boakye (b. 1977, UK) have curated collection displays. These were drawn from the British Council Collection (2009 – 10); Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2013); D. Daskalopoulos Collection (2010 – 11); Government Art Collection (2011 – 12); the collections of Contemporary Art Society member museums (2013 – 14); V-A-C collection (2014 – 15); Barjeel Art Collection (2015 – 17); National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington D.C.) (2017); iSelf Collection (2017 – 18); Loudon Collection (2018); “la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art (2019 – 20).

About Hiscox Collection

The Hiscox Collection was established in 1970 when Robert Hiscox took over the company from his father.  Its focus was on Modern British art, with an interest in the work of the Russian Constructivists.  As the company grew and opened offices around the globe, the Collection’s focus became more international in scope with an emphasis on supporting young emerging artists.  The Collection now comprises approximately 1,000 works on display across the company’s 35 offices in the UK, US, and Europe, with prominent works by Sol LeWitt, Cecily Brown, Lynette Yiadom- Boakye, Nan Goldin, Thomas Struth and Tacita Dean.

Hiscox are not only major insurers of art, but collectors and enablers of it. We acquire works by living artists, we sponsor works and exhibitions and we firmly believe that the works of art in our offices create an inspiring environment.

Gary Hume

Gary Hume (b. 1962, Tenterden, Kent, UK) attended Goldsmiths College in London. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and the Bienal de São Paulo in 1996, the same year he was nominated for the Turner Prize. His work was the subject of a solo exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery in 1999, and in 2001 he was elected to the Royal Academy. Major monographic shows of Hume’s work were organised at Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, and the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria, in 2004, and in 2008 Modern Art Oxford mounted a significant exhibition of his paintings. In 2013, Tate Britain presented a focused survey spanning Hume’s career that explores the breadth and vitality of his work. Hume currently lives and works in London and Accord, New York.

Sol Calero

Sol Calero (b.1982, Caracas, Venezuela) studied at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife. She currently lives and works in Berlin, where together with Christopher Kline she runs the art space Kinderhook & Caracas. In 2017 she was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie, and her installation won the Audience Prize. Her work has been exhibited internationally, at venues including Ville Arson (2020), Tate Liverpool (2019) Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (2017–2018), Dortmunder Kunstverein (2017), Folkestone Triennial (2017), Kunstpalais Erlangen (2017), Kunsthaus Bregenz (2016–2017) and Studio Voltaire, London (2015).

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