As part of its programme to open up important art collections to the public the Whitechapel Gallery
presents a series of four displays drawn from the D. Daskalopoulos Collection, Greece, one of the foremost European collections of contemporary art. Jointly titled, Keeping it Real, these displays go on view from 10 June 2010 22 May 2011 in the dedicated Collections Gallery.
The D. Daskalopoulos Collection consists of over 400 major works with a particular focus on the last 30 years and key works from earlier periods. Important artists represented in the Collection include Louise Bourgeois, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Mona Hatoum, Mike Kelley, Nikos Kessanlis, Martin Kippenberger, Sherrie Levine, Sarah Lucas, Cady Noland, Dieter Roth, Kiki Smith, and Rosemarie Trockel. Rivane Neuenschwander, Seth Price and Kelley Walker are but some of a younger generation of artists on show.
Devised by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, Keeping it Real is conceived as a sequence of four micro-exhibitions, with each one building on the memory of its predecessor. They bring together a selection of works whose meaning is deeply rooted in the materials employed by the artists; from Duchamps readymade and Gobers wax sculptures to Arturo Herreras collages and Sam Durants mirror painting.
The Corporeal, 10 June 5 September 2010, foregrounds works which examine the human body as a site of psychological, social and ideological struggle. Gender identity and desire are frequent themes as are intimations of mortality. This display includes two emblematic works from the Collection: Louise Bourgeois Fillette (Sweeter Version) (1968 -99) and Marcel Duchamps Fountain (1917 - 64), as well as key works by Marina Abramovic, Robert Gober, David Hammons, Sherrie Levine and Sarah Lucas.
Subversive Abstraction, 17 September 5 December, focuses on works that use the language of abstraction to probe the medium of painting beyond the conventional confines of paint on canvas. An installation by David Hammons enters into dialogue with works by artists as diverse as Lynda Benglis, Robert Gober, Kori Newkirk, Dieter Roth and Daniel Subkoff.
Current Disturbance, 17 December 2010 6 March 2011, is a single installation by Mona Hatoum of the same title dating from 1996. The works physical presence is amplified by the sound of electric current feeding the flashing lightbulbs trapped in a grid of metal cages. This is the first presentation in London of this landmark work by Mona Hatoum.
Material Intelligence, 18 March 22 May 2011 presents artists whose work draws on readily available images for a more playful engagement with the notion of materiality. These range from a series of collages by Martin Kippenberger to the wall-mounted silhouettes of Seth Price and Kelley Walkers digitally manipulated brick paintings.
Achim Borchardt-Hume, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery, said, Collectors have always played a vital role in securing and sustaining a lively and diverse artistic landscape. Having unrestricted access to a collection as significant as the D. Daskalopoulos Collection has enabled the Whitechapel Gallery to trace a particular sensibility in art of the past three decades while bringing rarely seen artworks into the public domain.
The presentation of the D. Daskalopoulos Collection is part of the Whitechapel Gallerys ongoing programme of opening up collections that are rarely seen by the public. Exhibitions are displayed in the dedicated Collections Gallery, one of the new spaces in the recently expanded building which opened in April 2009. It follows the presentation of 5 displays from the British Council Collection from April 2009 May 2010.