The Whitechapel Gallery presents a new archive display exploring the first decade of Acme Studios, the pioneering artists’ initiative which, since 1972, has played an important role in establishing east London as a centre for the visual arts.
Over 40 years Acme has provided London’s artists with affordable studios and housing through its innovative approach to the property market and planning policies in the city. This display will include photographs, film, rare exhibition posters and other materials from the extensive Acme archives alongside artist testimonials charting the early years of the organisation.
Over its first decade Acme grew from two disused shops in Bow to over 250 properties, including almost an entire street of houses in Beck Road, Hackney and factories across London. The organisation was instrumental in forming pockets of creative communities which still exist in the city today.
The display will also be the first to look at key exhibitions from the history of The Acme Gallery, which opened in 1976 and closed in 1981 when the building was demolished. Housed in a former banana factory in Covent Garden, the gallery hosted major shows by artists including Stuart Brisley, Helen Chadwick, Albert Irvin, Jock McFadyen, Darrell Viner and Anthony Whishaw.
Whitechapel Gallery, Pat Matthews Gallery (Gallery 4)