Andrew Pierre Hart, Whitechapel Gallery, exhibition review: ‘Sensory landscape of the streets just outside the walls’

Andrew Pierre Hart in his studio. Photograph: courtesy the artist, Christina Holke and Tiwani

You may have had that feeling that your life undulates around East London, with street corners, parks and the mass of the city serving as backdrops against which key moments unfold.

Andrew Pierre Hart’s current exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery presents us with a sensory landscape of the streets just outside the walls, teeming with cultures and personal histories.

Installation view of Andrew Pierre Hart’s exhibition. Photograph: Above Ground Studio / courtesy Whitechapel Gallery.

The specially-commissioned work engages with the local area in a way that is both intimate and readily recognisable.

Through painting, film, dance, beats and sculpture, we are enveloped in the ‘road-shaped rhythms’ he depicts.

Wavy rhomboid patterns recurring over the wall-hung works evoke street market stalls. Or the shapes woven by urban scaffolding. Or the geometrically-patterned architecture of the Gurunsi people in Burkina Faso. Or for some, perhaps, Picasso’s harlequins.

Read what you like into them, these rolling forms wash over you in a way that brings together the markers of cultural diversity that permeate the exhibition.

As Hart comments: “I am interested in all kinds of empowering stories of people’s struggles and standing for their positions against racism. When we walk along these streets today, we also walk past those histories.”

Andrew Pierre Hart: Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story runs until 7 July at Whitechapel Gallery, 77–82 Whitechapel High Street, E1 7QX.