The gallery will present a major exhibition examining the work of a new generation of artists and how they represent the body in radical ways to tell stories and explore vital social concerns.

#mydressmychoice, Michael Armitage, 2015. Private Collection, London. (c)Michael Armitage. Photo (c)White Cube (George Darrell).

On display from the 6th February, Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium will concentrate on the new generation of artists and the new direction that painting has taken.

This exhibition will feature the work of ten painters including: Michael Armitage, Cecily Brown, Nicole Eisenman, Sanya Kantarovsky, Tala Madani, Ryan Mosley, Christina Quarles, Daniel Richter, Dana Schutz and Tschbalala Self.

While painting was considered to be last popular in the 1980’s, the Whitechapel Gallery’s Spring exhibition is set to reveal how there has been a renewed interest in expressive and experimental modes of figuration among painters who have come to prominence since 2000.

Each of the artists in the exhibition explore  contemporary subjects including gender and sexuality, society and politics, race and body image to push the notion of what figurative painting is.

Talking about the exhibition Lydia Yee, Chief Curator, Whitechapel Gallery says: “By charting the return of an expressive mode of figuration, this exhibition asks broader questions about art and society today. These artists expand and destabilise fixed notions of identity through their depiction of indeterminate figures and partial bodies. By employing digital methods to create compositions; drawing subjects from online sources; or employing a flattened perspective reminiscent of a screen, they reflect new possibilities for the figure in an age when technology is transforming bodies and relationships. The narratives they explore encourage us to consider how painting can reflect personal anxieties and wider social concerns. Moreover, these artists are challenging and expanding the canonical Western painting tradition”. 

Radical Figures: Painting in the New Millennium will be on display at the Whitechapel Gallery from the 6th February until the 10th May.

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