The Whitechapel Gallery presents The Upset Bucket

OPENING this week at The Whitechapel Gallery, The Upset Bucket will display rarely seen work from 28 international artists, including Francis Alÿs, Ai Weiwei and Wolfgang Tillmans. All the work is dedicated to the ISelf Collection of the gallery and features work that explores how people’s relationship with the material world shapes their sense of self.

The Upset Bucket

William Eggleston, Untitled (Red Dumpster, Orange Building, Memphis), 2005. Pigment print, 71.1 × 55.9 cm.
Image courtesy of Victoria Miro, London and Cheim & Read, New York © Eggleston Artistic Trust

The title of the exhibition is based on Francis Alÿs’ work, The Upset Bucket, which is a partly rolled canvas depicting a dog, an overturned chair and a knocked-over bucket. This image is supposed to encourage visitors to consider what our possessions say about us.

The Upset Bucket

Francis Alÿs, The Upset Bucket, 1991–92. Oil on canvas, painting 31.8 × 40 × 5.1 cm, drawing
43.8 × 64.8 × 5.1 cm. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London © Francis Alÿs

Matthew Darbyshire’s piece focuses on how people project their identity through their consumer choices by displaying household objects on a set of shelves. Rayanne Tabat repurposes suitcases and fossilises them in concrete as a symbolic tribute to historic and current issues faced by migrants. Ugo Rondinone creates extremely colourful sculptures that invoke thoughts of totem poles and associated rituals.

The Upset Bucket

Rayyane Tabet, Fossils (The Suitcase), 2014. From the Series: Five Distant Memories: The Suitcase, The Room, The Toys, The Boat and Maradona, 2006 ongoing. Three suitcases encased in concrete – 84×70×34cm, 90×75×34cm, 80×60×33cm.
Image courtesy of Rayyane Tabet and Sfeir- Semler Gallery, Hamburg/Beirut

 The Upset BucketMatthew Darbyshire, Untitled: Shelves No. 7 (Series 2), 2010. Resin cast owl figurine, Murano vase, acrylic desk sculpture, crystal d’arque champagne flutes, acrylic bong, McDonald’s Coca Cola glasses, shelves, Perspex case – 120×30×30cm. Courtesy of the artist and Herald St, London.

The Upset Bucket

Ugo Rondinone, orange yellow green blue pink red mountain, 2015. Painted stone, stainless steel, plywood, concrete. Overall: 208×46×45cm. Image courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ, London © Ugo Rondinone

by Allie Nawrat 

The Upset Bucket is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue entitled Creating Ourselves, priced at £24.99

The Upset Bucket is open from December, 5 2017 until April, 1 2018. Entry to the exhibition  is free

The Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7QX