At the start of the twentieth century Canon Barnett and his wife Henrietta came up with the then-brilliant idea of the Whitechapel Gallery. Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend and built in 1901, Barnett’s brainchild was founded on the idea that exposure to fine art would help eradicate the widespread local poverty and ignorance. Just over a hundred years later imagine just how delighted he would be to discover the gallery’s latest wheeze is to invite Coalition lapdog and useful idiot Nick Clegg (pithily profiled by Andrew Rawnsley in today’s Observer as the nation’s “hate figure”); Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister overseeing the dismantling of arts through the regions, and our PM’s own gorgeous wife, Sam Cam, to curate hangs of the Government Art Collection. It is all wonderfully ironic – as of course the Collection is tax-payer funded and so is exactly the type of public spending on art that the Coalition is so hell-bent on stopping – unless of course one gets to ‘curate’ a show of the taxpayer-funded stuff that is and attend a lovely opening party in the boho East End. As for the Whitechapel, the exhibition follows on from their showcasing of the private collection of Dimitris Daskalopoulis, the Greek collector who sold his family stake in the company Vivarta in 2007 at around the time the company was facing allegations of anti-competitive practices. Canon Barnett would be very, very proud.
Posts Tagged ‘Whitechapel Gallery’
Posted by cathedralofshit on December 6, 2010
Posted by cathedralofshit on September 29, 2010
News on the street (park) is that JPJ, HUO and other three-letter-monikered Serpentine folk have acquired another building to expand the Serpentine empire.
Do we need any more Serpentine? Do we WANT any more Serpentine? Perhaps it a case of organisation-expansion-envy (see Whitechapel/SLG)?
Posted by cathedralofshit on March 31, 2010
Whilst the ICA struggles to make ends meet – the Whitechapel Art Gallery has found a cunning way round financial issues – make your one show of the year that charges the one that aims directly at the local community. Anyone wanting to see ‘Where Three Dreams Cross – 150 years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh’ – have to shell out £8.50 each. Surely this is nothing to do with the fact that the Whitechapel sits in the middle of the biggest Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi community in London?! Surely not?
Nice to see the Whitechapel continuing a long tradition of milking the old colonies for every penny they can.
Posted by cathedralofshit on March 9, 2010
Word from the Whitechapel is that they have spent all their endowment on the building project and are now struggling. Each department has been told they have no budget and have to fundraise increasingly, and staff are being made redundant. They aren’t quite in the realm of the ICA – but then they aren’t run by self-serving New Labour poster-boy Eshun.
Expect one or more of the following – a number of film and video-based exhibitions (no shipping), more exhibitions by British artists (again, no shipping), an exhibition by an artist from a major blue chip gallery (financial support) or a wing being rented out to soon-to-be-evicted Haunch of Venison. Or maybe all of the above… Jane and Louise Wilson exhibition anyone?
Posted by cathedralofshit on September 28, 2009
Grown-ups went to The London Art Book Fair which offered a great opportunity for booksellers and publishing people to undercut the Whitechapel’s resident franchise Koenig Books. Adding insult to injury, the Whitechapel’s ever reliably crap marketing department even boasted of “up to 40% off publications” on its own website. The Fair was of course highjacked by White Cube who organised a rather vulgar booksigning by Ms Tracey Emin.