Ahead of its 120-year anniversary, Whitechapel Gallery announces a spring programme of exclusively women artists and a summer triennial in celebration of London’s emerging practitioners. Interpretative texts and audio content will be made available on the Gallery’s free digital guide as part of the Bloomberg Connects app.


Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy
10 February – 23 May 2021
Galleries 1, 8 & 9, Ticketed

Whitechapel Gallery is pleased to announce Angel of Anarchy, a major retrospective of the work of Eileen Agar (1899–1991). The exhibition is the largest exhibition of Agar’s work to date and celebrates the crucial role that Agar played within the development of European twentieth century culture. It features over 100 paintings, collages, photographs, assemblages and archive material, much of which has been rarely exhibited.

Curated by Laura Smith, Curator with Grace Storey, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

Desde el Salón (From the Living Room): Sol Calero Explores the Hiscox Collection
14 January – 16 May 2021
Gallery 7, Free

Sol Calero (b. 1982 Caracas, Venezuela) presents a densely hung environment celebrating the natural world and the many ways that artists in the Hiscox Collection have chosen to explore it.

Featured artists include Pio Abad (b. 1983, Philippines), Yto Barrada (b. 1971, France), David Batchelor (b. 1955, Scotland), Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949, USA), Sol LeWitt (b. 1928, USA), Joan Miró (1893–1983, Spain), Pablo Picasso (1881–1973, Spain) and more.

Curated by Laura Smith, Curator with Grace Storey, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me?
23 September 2020 – 6 June 2021
Gallery 2, Free

For her first major UK commission, Nalini Malani (b. 1946 Karachi, Undivided India) presents Can You Hear Me?, an Animation Chamber consisting of 88 iPad animations projected on the walls of Whitechapel Gallery’s historic interior. Visitors are surrounded by a flow of images and ideas that address global issues of feminism and social injustice.

Curated by Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator with Inês Costa, Curatorial Assistant, Whitechapel Gallery.

Phantoms of Surrealism
30 March – 22 August 2021
Gallery 4, Free

Alongside the major retrospective, Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy, this archival exhibition examines the pivotal role of women as artists, organisers, editors and animators of the Surrealist movement in Britain. Photography and documents feature Eileen Agar (1898–1991), Claude Cahun (1894–1954), Ithell Colquhoun (1906–88), Elizabeth Raikes (1907–42), Edith Rimmington (1902–86) and Sheila Legge (1911–49), whose 1936 appearance as the ‘phantom of Surrealism’ launched the London International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries in Mayfair.

Curated by Nayia Yiakoumaki, Archive Curator with Cameron Foote, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.

A Glittering City: Ayo Akingbade with Duchamp & Sons
12 January – 16 May 2021
Galleries 5 & 6, Free

Marking the culmination of a six-month collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery’s Youth Forum, Duchamp & Sons, this new project from artist filmmaker Ayo Akingbade (b. 1994, UK) draws on a series of explorations of local and personal histories. Framing her thinking are questions around identity and belonging as well as public space and gentrification.

Echoing the precarious times we live in, a newly commissioned documentary Fire In My Belly (2021) offers a compelling take on questions of home, community and crisis in the metropolitan city of London. This is presented alongside Dear Babylon (2019), a film essay that follows three art students and their investigations on the future of social housing.

Curated by Sofia Victorino, Director of Education & Public Programmes and Renee Odjidja, Curator: Youth Programmes, Whitechapel Gallery.

Artists’ Film International
19 January – 16 May 2021

Artists’ Film International is a collaborative project featuring outstanding film, video and animation from around the world. Each arts organisation nominates one work to be screened by every partner venue and online. Throughout 2021, artists’ films considering the theme of care will be shown across five continents.

Curated by Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator with Candy Stobbs, Assistant Curator, Whitechapel Gallery.


The London Open 2021
16 June – 29 August 2021
Galleries 1, 2, 8 & 9, Free

Since 1932 the Whitechapel Gallery’s open submission exhibition has been a launch pad for leading contemporary artists in the early stages of their career including Larry Achiampong, Frank Bowling, Alice Channer, Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Grayson Perry, Heather Phillipson and Rachel Whiteread.

Selected by an esteemed selection panel featuring collector Maria Bukhtoyarova, artist Shezad Dawood, curator and art historian Christine Eyene and gallerist Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja, the artworks submitted for The London Open feature a range of mediums and reflect current concerns in contemporary art. The list of selected artists will be announced in February 2021.

Curated by Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator, Wells Fray-Smith, Assistant Curator and Inês Costa, Curatorial Assistant at Whitechapel Gallery.

Notes to Editors

Visitor Information

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm
Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Nearest London Underground Stations: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR

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Whitechapel Gallery Press Information

For more information, interviews and images, contact:

Carrie Rees, Rees & Co
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Megan Miller, Whitechapel Gallery
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2021 Programme Highlights_Final

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