18 March – 1 June 2014, Gallery 7.

Bright and bold pots, plus prints by leading British and international Pop artists go on display at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Highlights of the Contemporary Art Society show include Picasso plates of faces from the Attenborough Collection; Babe Rainbow by Peter Blake, the British Pop artist famed for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album cover; and Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry’s huge pot depicting skateboarders called Designer Rebellion.

The exhibition also includes an Andy Warhol screenprint showing the Birmingham, Alabama, race riots in 1963; British Pop artist Richard Hamilton’s My Marilyn (1966) of Marilyn Monroe, plus a toby jug of Gordon Brown and a Margaret Thatcher teapot, and a Jann Haworth fabric tea table.

The works of art feature in a new display, The Best is Not Too Good for You, drawn from the collections of Contemporary Art Society member museums across the Midlands in England and is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s programme opening up public and private collections for everyone. It draws on the rich history of Staffordshire ceramics in the region including the famous Wedgwood, Spode and Minton potteries. Works on show range from a medieval face jug and  17th century posset pot to a Queen Victoria Jubilee plate to plates by Eduardo Paolozzi.

Founded in 1910, the Contemporary Art Society supports public museums and galleries across the UK, through new acquisitions, gifts, advocacy and advice.  A centrepiece of the display is Grayson Perry’s pot Designer Rebellion (1999) which was one of the first works of the artist bought for a public collection, by the Contemporary Art Society for Stoke Fine Art Department.

Contemporary Art Society: The Best is Not Too Good for You is conceived by Arts Council-funded Curatorial Fellow Ingrid Swenson in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery. It is the third in a year-long series of displays showcasing important works of art from regional museums across England. This year-long series of displays is supported by a major grant from Arts Council England. The Whitechapel Gallery’s programme of collection displays is supported by specialist art insurer Hiscox.

Notes to editors
– 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 Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. 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. The Gallery does not own a Collection, but has a dedicated gallery for opening up public and private collections, including five displays from the British Council Collection from April 2009 – May 2010; four displays from The D. Daskalopoulos Collection, Greece, from June 2010 – May 2011; five displays from the Government Art Collection, from June 2011 – September 2012 and four displays from the Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo September 2012 – September 2013.
– Founded in 1910, the Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that exists to encourage an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art by a wide audience and to donate works by established and new artists to museums and public galleries across the UK. The Contemporary Art Society has donated more than 8,000 works to museums and galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK. In 2012, the organisation acquired its first ever permanent space at 59 Central Street in Clerkenwell, and launched a programme of talks, events and displays for its members and the wider public. www.contemporaryartsociety.org
– Contemporary Art Society: The Best is Not Too Good For You  is conceived by Arts Council-funded Curatorial Fellow Ingrid Swenson, supported by Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
– Contemporary Art Society: The Best is Not Too Good For You  will tour to Rugby Art Gallery, 28 June – 30 August 2014.
– Specialist art insurer Hiscox, a keen contemporary art collector itself, supports the Whitechapel Gallery’s programme of collections displays because it gives everyone free access to important collections that would not otherwise be available to the public, and engages a diverse audience with art, particularly the local community. www.hiscox.co.uk.
– Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, it will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Visitor Information
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm. Admission free. Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR. T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 info@whitechapelgallery.org whitechapelgallery.org

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