Faces in the crowd, Picturing moden life from manet to today, Whitechapel Gallery,

From: Ralph Boden
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 09 December 2004



I am happy to report that this is a stunningly good exhibition. The Whitechapel pulls off that rare beast, an art show stuffed with good art. This is a maximal show, from individual paintings that by themselves are worth the entrance fee, to an upstairs filled with videos, doumentation of seminal performances etc, that are varied enough to hold your attention and challenge downstairs stillness.. The theme and the art work together and individually, and the walls are free of tired and patronising exegesis. Highlights include Richter's portrait series, an Alex Katz office scene, a paper figure painted by Magritte, a suicidal looking Munch, and various documnetary and Soviet photographers..

How all this pictures modern life, I don't know, I was too busy enjoying individual bits to see the whole, perhaps this is the alienation of modernity working its malign magic, or with such a lot of stuff to see maybe I just need longer to comprehend it. In some ways modern times are quite beautiful.