Thursday, 9 September 2010

sep, 9th - T3L: the whitechapel gallery....

day 209:

T3London - Whitechapel Gallery (East London)
(*for a description of what T3London means, click on day 160)

East London draws the hip crowd, if you're in search of the creative heart of London then you will find it here. After all, this is where Banksy came to make his mark when he moved from Bristol to London. 

Solidly set in its' midst is The Whitechapel Art Gallery. Founded in 1901, it went through an expansion in the 1980s and then more recently, was combined with the library next door to create an impressive and modern exhibition space, while still retaining its' heart and historic facade.

[Unfortunately, photography is not permitted inside the these pics are mainly of Aldgate East tube station which is the closest station (right next door to the gallery) and one of my favourites for it's medicinal-meets-butcher-shop vibe.]

The Gallery focuses its' energy mainly on contemporary and 20th century artists. Recent exhibitions have included: Elizabeth Peyton, Alice Neel, Sophie Calle. Richard Wentworth filled it with string, Fiona Banner performed a description of a nude who had posed for a painting, Leon Michener and Aleks Kolkwski redrew Iannis Xenakis aural's an interesting place Whitechapel Gallery.

we went to see portraitist, Alice Neel's works today. her honest portrayal of her subjects is not always flattering but she seems to capture the emotional vulnerability in each of them. some favourites were a portrait of a semi-naked Andy Warhol, stripped of his celebrity status bravado and a painting of a family, father, mother and daughter showing their closeness but also their individual awkwardness. if you get a chance, her work is definitely worth a closer look.

Basic Info:

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street
E1 7QX

Recorded Information: +44 (0)20 75227878

Closest Tube: Aldgate East

General admission to the gallery spaces is free 
but featured exhibitions require tickets and cost approx. GBP8.50


- beautiful space and funky part of town
- interesting exhibitions focused mainly on contemporary and 20th century art
- not crazy-busy like some other galleries in town so you have the chance to really take in the works with space around you
- good cafe with freshly made salads and delicious coffee
- small treasures in the cabinets
- London bus signs


- no photography inside...anywhere (understandable...but makes this post tricky)
- exhibitions split over different levels
- lots of doors (only a low if you're pushing a pram)

Tot Tips:

- closest tube is Aldgate East which has loads of stairs and no lift (but very helpful strangers today)
- take a sling if you can as there are also stairs up to the exhibition spaces inside the gallery and the cafe is on the mezzanine level
- there is a goods lift that you can use with a buggy but you need assistance from the staff
- a high chair is available in the cafe but bring your own baby food
- changing facilities are available in the bathroom on the ground floor

See you there!

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