Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Drawing - Rachel Whiteread

Tate Britain
September 8 2010 to January 16 2011

I am looking forward to this show of Rachel Whiteread’s drawings, which form a visual record of her life and also the thinking process behind her sculpture.

Internationally recognised for her sculpture made with a casting process that transforms domestic objects into something uncanny, drawing has always been central to her practice. She draws daily keeping what she calls a 'visual diary' of her creative process and like diary entries her drawings range from fleeting ideas to laboured reflections that echo the themes of absence and presence in her sculpture.

Her latest exhibition, 'Drawing', is a retrospective that seeks to illuminate the relationship between her rarely shown works on paper and her sculptures. Works such as House and Bath capture the traces of other people’s lives, while the traces of her own hand are reserved for her drawings.

Whiteread’s daily drawing practice started early in her career during a Berlin residency in 1992-1993 resulting in a museum exhibition. In this show the lightness of the paper drawings arranged on the walls contrasts with the gravitational pull of the plaster, rubber, and resin sculptures in the centre of the room. In the drawings Whiteread uses varnish, collage, correction fluid, and silver leaf allowing the paper to wrinkle so that the surface becomes three-dimensional. The imagery of domestic scenes communicate the decadence and decay wrought in the wake of Britain’s empire.

Covering her artistic career to date the exhibition is organized thematically according to Whiteread’s principal sculptural projects such as Floors, Beds and Mattresses, House, Holocaust Memorial, Water Tower, and Trafalgar Square Plinth.

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