The London Open 2022
Whitechapel Gallery, London
30 June – 4 September 2022

Curator: Emily Butler
Assistant Curators: Inês Costa and Wells Fray-Smith
Exhibitions Interns: Sara Cucè and Sophie Gibbons with Charlotte Nicoll
Head of Exhibition Design and Production: Christopher Aldgate
Gallery Technical Managers: Ryszard Lewandowski and Alejandro Ball

Editors: Emily Butler, Inês Costa, Wells Fray-Smith
Head of Publications: Francesca Vinter
Proofreader: Darryl Samaraweera
Designed by Rose Nordin
Web developer: James Wreford

First published 2022 by Whitechapel Gallery, London
© 2022 Whitechapel Gallery and the authors




Generously supported by
The Whitechapel Gallery Patrons
Jayhawk (Transport Partner)

CHAIRMAN David Dibosa
Alex Sainsbury
Ann Gallagher
Erin Bell
Ian Pleace
Jonny Kanagasooriam
Melanie Manchot
Nicola Kerr
Samantha Hill
Sarah Miller

Christopher Aldgate, Henry Allington-Wood, Daniel Allison, Alejandro Ball, Sadika Begum, Olivia Blyth, Janine Catalano, Ying Tung Chan, Daisy Chan, Si Chen, Emily Church, Miles Clemson, Elizabeth Clowes, Inês Costa, Sarah Crocker, Camilla Cuminatti, Helen Davison, Tallulah de Castro-Gray, Chloe Dennis, Asa Desouza-Jones, Evangelia Dimitrakopoulou, Colette Downing, Sue Evans, Gabriella Fabbriani, Natassaja Fallon, Misha Farrant, Shirin Fathi, Cameron Foote, Siobhán Forshaw, Wells Fray-Smith, Claire Gallagher, Farnaz Gholami, Luke Gregory-Jones, Katie Hudson, Molly Ingleby, Smitha Islam, Emma Izard, Claire Jensen, Woo Jin Joo, Isobel Keig, Paul Kenealy, Rosie Kennedy, Hana Khan, Fatima Khatun, Hana Krkoska, Jenny Lea, Ruth Lie, Marthe Lisson, Margaret Loane, Kirsty Lowry, Tarini Malik, Richard Martin, Josiah McNeil, Megan Miller, Gemma Murray, Andia Newton, Amelia Oakley, Justine Pearsall, Ruth Piper, Elise Plimmer, Agostino Quaranta, Jane Scarth, Laura Smith, Sadie St Hilaire, Vicky Steer, Candy Stobbs, Grace Storey, Allan Struthers, James Sutton, Bea Taylor Searle, Alice Thomson, Pia Tolles, Katie Town, Lucie Treinen, Marta Tworkiewicz, Francesca Vinter, Filine Wagner, Sean Ward, Sam Williams, Yuk Wun Jade Wong, Monica Yam, Lydia Yee, Nayia Yiakoumaki, Seulki Yoo, Krasimira Yosifova, Xiaotong Zhou

The Whitechapel Gallery would like to thank its supporters, whose generosity enables the Gallery to realise its pioneering programmes.

Daskalopoulos Collection
Michael & Nina Zilkha

Asymmetry Art Foundation
Bloomberg Philanthropies
City Bridge Trust
Clore Cultural Learning Fund
Collezione Maramotti
Max Mara
Swarovski Foundation

Aldgate Connect BID
The AKO Foundation
Bagri Foundation
Balice Hertling, Paris
Jill & Jay Bernstein
Christen Sveaas Art Foundation
The Circles of Art
Cockayne Grants for the Arts
Collezione Maramotti
Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo
Sarah & Gerard Griffin
Henry Moore Foundation
High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom
Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna
Karma International, Zurich
kaufmann repetto, Milan, New York
Galerie Lelong & Co.
London Community Foundation
Max Mara
Paul McCartney
Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
The Norwegian Embassy
The Polish Cultural Institute
Regen Projects
Galerie Tanit Munich-Beirut
Tavolozza Foundation
Laura & Barry Townsley
The Whitechapel Gallery
Commissioning Council
White Cube
and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Aldgate Connect BID
Art Fund
The Arts Society Westminster
Dorota & Olivier Audemars
Capital Group
Clore Cultural Learning Fund
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Mayor of London
Newham Council Enrichment Programme
ZVM Rangoonwala Foundation
Alex Sainsbury
Dasha Shenkman
Swarovski Foundation
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets
The Worshipful Company of Grocers

Aldgate Connect BID
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets
City of London Corporation
Genesis Kickstart Fund, Genesis
Stanley Picker Trust

The Headley Trust
Culture Recovery Fund, Heritage Stimulus
Fund – Historic England
The Wolfson Foundation

Bloomberg Philanthropies
Frasers Property UK
Gazelli Art House
Simon Lee Gallery
David Zwirner

Aldgate Connect BID
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Burgess & Leigh
Champagne Castelnau
Crozier Fine Arts
FRAME London (Framing Partner)
Hiscox (Artworks Insurance Partner)
Max Mara
Collezione Maramotti
Omni Colour (Signage Partner)

Mahera & Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh
Sirine & Ahmad Abu Ghazaleh
Swantje Conrad
Mr Dimitris Daskalopoulos
Maryam & Edward Eisler
Luigi Maramotti
Dominic Palfreyman
Catherine Petitgas
John Smith & Vicky Hughes
V-A-C Foundation
Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary
Arts Council England Catalyst
Endowment Fund

Dorota Audemars
Erin Bell
Emilie De Pauw
Heloisa Genish
Leili Huth
Irene Panagopoulos
Nicole Saikalis Bay

Francis Outred

Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson
Charitarian Foundation
Yan Du
Peter & Maria Kellner
Elie Khouri Art Foundation
and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Dirk Boll
Erin Bell & Michael Cohen
Pilar Corrias
Aud & Paolo Cuniberti
Julie Dey & Debashis Dey
Rami Kim
Bimpe Nkontchou
Yana & Stephen Peel
and those who wish to remain anonymous

Cherry Cheng
Mark Harris
Marcelle Joseph
Adrian & Jennifer O’Carroll
Ralph Segreti & Richard Follows
Dasha Shenkman
Audrey Wallrock
and those who wish to remain anonymous.

Cedric Bardawil
Keith & Helen Clark
Sadie Coles HQ
Beth & Michele Colocci
Swantje Conrad
Francesca Consigli
Michael & Elizabeth Corley
Xiaochi Dong
Dunnett Craven Ltd
Sarah Elson
Sian Emmison
Belinda de Gaudemar
Joanna & Alan Gemes
James Green
Richard & Judith Greer
Sarah Griffin
Soo Hitchin
Pippy Houldsworth
Crane Kalman Gallery
Marie Krauss
Frank Krikhaar
Gerrit & Tilman Kristen
George Loudon
Xi Liu & Yi Luo
Di Luo
Kate MacGarry
Mary E McNicholas
Heike Moras
Jacqueline Nowikovsky
Reine Okuliar
Indi Oliver
Maureen Paley
Dominic Palfreyman
Darryl de Prez & Victoria Thomas
Maria-Cruz Rashidian
Eugenio Re Rebaudengo
Paulina Rider Wilhelmsen
Steve Ruggi and Gilda Williams
Marina Ruiz-Colomer
Jackie Russell
Alex Sainsbury & Elinor Jansz
Cherrill & Ian Scheer
Elisabeth von Schwarzkopf
Henrietta Shields
Matthew Slotover and Emily King
Karen & Mark Smith
Joe Start
Bina & Philippe von Stauffenberg
Nayrouz Tatanaki
Christoph & Marion Trestler
Vanessa Vainio
Samantha Wainstein
Eleanor Warnock
Kimberley Williams
Sharon Zhu & Michael Tian
and those who wish to remain anonymous.

We remain grateful for the ongoing support of Whitechapel Gallery Members. The Whitechapel Gallery is proud to be a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England


Nicole Bachmann
Supported by the Swiss Arts Council
Pro Helvetia

Ami Clarke
Supported by Samsung, Datapath and One Media

Sonya Dyer
Supported by Arts Council England and the Adonyeva Foundation

Ian Giles
Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Hospitalfield, Scotland

Eloise Hawser
With the support of Knotenpunkt and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Marija Bozinovska Jones
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Dawoon Kim
Supported by Focusonics

What makes London’s art scene so vibrant? What are the concerns of the next generation of artists? What insight does their work offer in challenging times?

This triennial exhibition showcases a cross-section of the most dynamic artistic talent from across the capital. Established in 1932, this much-celebrated open submission show features 46 London-based artists working across painting, sculpture, moving image, installation and performance.

Since the last London Open in 2018, the city has experienced the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, demonstrations demanding racial and climate justice, and widespread questioning of institutions and their structures.

The London Open 2022 traces the ways in which artists have witnessed and responded to these events with resilience and heart. In times of hardship and crisis, and when exhibitions were cancelled and moved online, these artists experimented with new sites of production and means of dissemination, from the kitchen table to the back garden.

The exhibition is loosely structured as a journey from the personal to the social, moving from individual to collective concerns, the cathartic to the poetic, the political and the environmental.

The artists were selected from over 2,600 entries by a panel of experts including collector Maria Bukhtoyarova, artist Shezad Dawood, curator and art historian Christine Eyene, gallerist Stephan Tanbin Sastrawidjaja, with Whitechapel Gallery curators Emily Butler, lnês Costa and Wells Fray-Smith.

Gallery 1, Downstairs

The relationship between our bodies and the material world kickstarts the exhibition. Rafał Zajko‘s wall-based reliefs appear like hybrid beings, processing the gluten found in wheat and barley flour, leaving us unsure if this is for machine or human consumption.Likewise, Madeleine Pledge‘s stretched fabrics and ceramic boots imply absent bodies and their physical role in manufacturing.

Materiality and belief systems intersect in Candida Powell-Williams’ handmade objects. A unicorn and swing inspired by medieval tapestries are fenced off by a trellis, prompting questions about the divisions between what is mythical and real. Alicia Reyes McNamara‘s paintings feature non-binary, shapeshifting figures drawn from various mythologies, from Meso-America to Ancient Egypt, to consider alternative notions of time and embodiment.

Gallery 9, Upstairs

This gallery features works that delve into the impact of technology, algorithms and quantification on our lives. In his series The Spectre of a World Which Could Be Free  2019, Ben Yau looks at the parallel rise of Neoliberalism and the CIA’s role in sabotaging the socialist government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, bringing together both economic data and declassified documents.

Set in a parallel present reminiscent of sci-fi films such as Blade Runner 2049, The Underlying by Ami Clarke considers the implicit role of capitalism in environmental disaster.

Meanwhile, Rory Cahill and George Mackness offer a walk through a dystopian, corrupted digital landscape of the future, with an immersive soundtrack. They consider: what does a digital wasteland look like, what happens there and what is its afterlife?

Gallery 8, Upstairs

The artworks in this gallery reflect on family, identity and community. Seema Khalique travelled to Bangladesh to photograph two communities of transgender people called hijras. In this behind-the-scenes series, she questions the prejudices they face, revealing the economic hardships they endure alongside the strong network of mentorship and care they create.

Pioneering photographer, curator and writer Sunil Gupta took photographs of his neighbourhood on Walworth Road during lockdown. This work celebrates the increased relevance of our localities during the pandemic, as well as reflecting on the processes involved in created photographic images.

On three vintage TV monitors, Hussina Raja‘s short narrative films look at the subject of migration to the UK from post-Partition India, tracing the continued experiences of displacement and exploring nuanced notions of identity.

The works in the last part of the show focus on our relationship to and impact on the environment. In Agrilogistics (2022), Gerard Ortin Castellvi films in an automated greenhouse, in which the growth of tomatoes, tulips and chrysanthemums is controlled by cameras and sensors, in order to question the future of food production.

Having spent lockdown excavating her back garden, Maria Roy Deulofeu meticulously records each layer of soil like an archaeologist, collecting artefacts and ecofacts, before assembling a kiln to fire hand-thrown urns with the different layers of clay. The process is recorded in a video shown alongside the objects. Finally, a flock of parakeets cast in lead are scattered on the ground in Patrick Goddard‘s Blue Sky Thinking (2019).The parakeet exemplifies a non-native species increasingly common in London parks and hints at a mass extinction event, highlighting mankind’s role in the impending climate disaster.

See the full list of works here.

An illustrated catalogue is available to purchase from the bookshop.

Artists have generously made limited editions to coincide with the exhibition to support the Gallery’s education programme.