Marcel Broodthaers, The Visual Tower, 1966, Glass jars, wood and magazine illustrations, 88.7 x 49.7 x 49.7 cm


Faces in the Crowd

Whitechapel Gallery
77 - 82 Whitechapel High Street
December 3, 2004–February 5, 2005

Like a good modernist, this show starts squarely with Manet, but like an even better deconstructionist, its roughly sixty works in various media propose alternate histories of this well-traversed terrain. Refusing a formalist privileging of abstraction and autonomy, the artists constellated here—a who’s who from Picasso to Heartfield, Warhol to Sherman—have recourse to the figure. A comprehensive catalogue-cum-anthology penned by such contributors as Ester Coen, Charles Harrison, Jill Lloyd, Robert Storr, and exhibiting artist Jeff Wall accompanies the show. An imaging of the social in many guises, this exhibition can’t help but feel resolutely avant-garde after all.