Whitechapel Gallery will reopen to the public on 14 July 2020 with new Health & Safety measures in place to prioritise the welfare of staff and visitors. The spring exhibition programme, including Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium, Carlos Bunga’s monumental environment and Spain’s most important collection of contemporary art will be extended through the summer.

In line with guidance from Public Health England, the gallery will put the following measures in place, ensuring the exhibitions and displays can be enjoyed in a safe and accessible way.

–  Timed entry will be in place so visitors must book in advance via the online booking system.
–  There will be one entrance and one exit to allow one-way systems around the gallery.
Thermal scanners have been installed at the Gallery’s entrance in order to safely check the temperatures of all staff and visitors without close contact.
–  Visitors will be encouraged to respect social distancing with floor markings.
–  Visitors will be encouraged to wear gloves and face masks when in the building.
–  Front of house staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
–  Hand sanitisers will be situated around the building.
–  Regular additional cleaning will take place throughout the building.
–  All live events at the gallery have been cancelled.
–  The Gallery will be unable to take group bookings.
–  The Koenig Bookshop will be open with limited capacity.
–  Townsend restaurant will be adapted to accommodate social distancing as well as introducing a retail element with their own range of deli products. Their recipe box delivery service will be available nationwide.

Iwona Blazwick, former Director, Whitechapel Gallery said: ‘We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the Whitechapel Gallery this July. The protection of our staff and visitors is of the utmost importance and we have implemented key measures so people can reconnect with our much-loved building in a safe environment. Arts and culture play a vital role in our emotional wellbeing and sense of community. Experiencing great art can be healing and we hope the gallery can offer some solace and a much needed space for reflection and inspiration. It is with gratitude and thanks to all our key workers, as well as a shared responsibility for the health of our communities, that we have reached a point where we can safely and responsibly open our doors once again.’

Programming Update: Summer season


The gallery will reopen with a second chance to see the major exhibition Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium (extended until 30 August 2020). Surveying a new direction in figurative painting, the exhibition features works by Michael Armitage, Cecily Brown, Nicole Eisenman, Sanya Kantarovsky, Tala Madani, Ryan Mosley, Christina Quarles, Daniel Richter, Dana Schutz and Tschabalala Self.

Also continuing throughout the summer is Carlos Bunga’s commission Something Necessary and Useful (until 6 September 2020), In the Eye of Bambi, ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art, selected by Verónica Gerber Bicecci (extended until 9 August 2020), The Return of the Spirit in Painting (until 27 September 2020) and Rachel Pimm: Plates (extended until 9 August 2020). Artists Film International will continue to be presented online as well as return to the Zilkha Auditorium on weekends only, with social distancing measures in place. The Whitechapel Gallery’s late night festival Nocturnal Creatures will resume in 2021.


Notes to Editors

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, Frida Kahlo and Hannah Höch to contemporaries such as Zarina Bhimji, Sophie Calle, William Kentridge, Eduardo Paolozzi and Michael Rakowitz. Its historic campus houses exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, talks and film screenings, the Townsend dining room and the Koenig Bookshop. 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.

Visitor Information

Admission: Free
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm

Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 | info@whitechapelgallery.org | whitechapelgallery.org

Press Contact

For more information, interviews and images, contact:

Madeline Adeane at Rees & Co | madeline@reesandco.com
Jenny Lea | jennylea@whitechapelgallery.org
Megan Miller | meganmiller@whitechapelgallery.org | press@whitechapelgallery.org

Reopening Press Release_Final

Press enquiries

Will Ferreira Dyke
Communications Assistant
E press@whitechapelgallery.org
T +44 (0)207 539 3315

Other enquiries

For all other communications enquiries please contact:

T +44 (0)20 7522 7888