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Whitechapel Gallery

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  • Whitechapel
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  1. Pregnant White Maid (Elmgreen & Dragset)
    Elmgreen & Dragset
  2. Guy Montagu-Pollock
    Guy Montagu-PollockWhitechapel Gallery facade, with the Tree of Life by Rachel Whiteread.

Time Out says

This East End stalwart reopened in 2009 following a major redesign and expansion that saw the Grade II listed building transformed into a vibrant, holistic centre of art complete with a research centre, archives room and café. Since 1901, Whitechapel Art Gallery has built on its reputation as a pioneering contemporary institution and is well remembered for premiering the talents of exhibitions by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo among others. Expect the rolling shows to be challenging and risqué.


77-82 Whitechapel High St
E1 7QX
Tube: Aldgate East
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun (except Thu) 11am-6pm; Thu 11am-9pm.
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Nicole Eisenman: What Happened

  • 3 out of 5 stars

Who is Nicole Eisenman? She doesn’t seem too sure herself, so what chance do the rest of us have? The New York-based French artist’s work is so full of clashing influences, disparate styles and dense references that she becomes impossible to pin down. In her early work from 1990s New York, she creates satirical paintings that mash together high renaissance influences with caricature and comic book references in searing cultural critiques of the artist’s place in society. Naked swimmers fondle in a pool, a hanged woman gives birth, a kid sells women’s pee like it’s lemonade. It’s all cartoony, gross, quick, clever. Eisenman found early success with these works, but it was fleeting, so then she paints herself as The Thing receiving a letter addressed ‘Dear Obscurity’ and as a nude woman bound in rope by her gallerist.  All this early work feels like French satirist Honoré Daumier going to therapy, hanging out in hip New York instead of revolutionary France, looking inwards instead of outwards.  It’s all cartoony, gross, quick, clever She eventually gets less introspective. The early 2000s brought the Bush administration, an economic crisis and a war on terror. Things get panicky, heightened. She paints group scenes of people in bars or around dinner tables, anxious paintings of worried people, full of nods to Otto Dix and interwar European painting.  Upstairs she depicts art classes where each figure is painted in a different style, a sculptor staring at his own bust, sharp re

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