Color confuses me. Every day when I get up, I have to think
about it. I love color, but there are too many decisions to make.
Am I an aesthete? Is color about necessity for me in my work—
Or is it simply a product of what I am thinking about?
I try not to dwell on it; if I did, I would only ever use black and
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new sculpture by Rachel Whiteread. This will be the artist's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
For the past two decades, Whiteread has developed various approaches to casting and impression as both a process and vehicle for content. Her practice is based on a persistent duality: a pragmatic approach to the materials and making of art coupled with a fascination for the psychologically charged associations and traces of human contact borne by and embedded in objects and environments. By casting the empty and unexamined spaces inside and around the domestic objects and materials that populate daily life, she renders negative space as positive sculptural form to poignant and unprecedented effect.
In recent years, Whiteread has moved away from the monolithic, architectural, and site-specific sculptures for which she became so renowned, such as Ghost (1990), House (1993) and Basement (2001), returning to a more intimate scale to explore the mutable nature of mass-produced vessels and materials. Her ensembles of cast packaging in delicately modulated hues of white, ranged on tables and shelves or leaned casually against the wall, have prompted comparison with the work of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, whose simple and repetitive motifs—bottles, jars, and vases—and restrained use of color, value, and compositional balance made him a prescient and important forerunner of Minimalism.
In the current work, Whiteread has passed beyond her characteristically muted and spectral palette, exploring the conventions of still life in a more relaxed and exuberant mood. Casting all manner of small packing boxes, containers and discarded materials in vividly pigmented plaster and jelly-hued resin—acid greens, watery blues, deep amber, rose, tangerine, and saffron—she has assembled animated groupings of the resulting objects on wall-mounted shelves or set them casually on low bronze plinths and tubular steel chair frames. Immortalized vestiges of today's avid consumer culture, these tableaux are Whiteread's wry, sometimes inverse reflections on the role of color in art and life.
Rachel Whiteread was born in London in 1963. Her work has been exhibited internationally in many solo and group exhibitions including the British Pavilion at the 47th Venice Biennale (1997), the Serpentine Gallery, London (2001), Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2001), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2002), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2005), and MADRE, Naples (2007). She has also produced notable temporary public commissions such as House (London, 1993), Water Tower (New York, 1998), Monument (London, 2001), and Embankment at Tate Modern, 2005. In 1996 she received the controversial commission for Holocaust Memorial at the Judenplatz in Vienna, which she completed in 2000. An exhibition of her recent work Place (Village) (2006-2008) is currently on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Whiteread lives and works in London.
A fully illustrated catalogue with an accompanying essay by James Lawrence will be available.
Cast of Characters
James Lawrence explores how contemporary artists have grappled with the subject of the library.
Shy Sculpture: Nissen Hut
Rachel Whiteread’s public sculpture Nissen Hut was unveiled in October 2018 in Yorkshire’s Dalby Forest. Curator Tamsin Dillon explores the dynamic history of these structures and provides a firsthand account of the steps leading up to the work’s premiere.
An exhibition at Gagosian, Paris, is raising funds to aid in the reconstruction of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris following the devastating fire of April 2019. Gagosian directors Serena Cattaneo Adorno and Jean-Olivier Després spoke to Jennifer Knox White about the generous response of artists and others, and what the restoration of this iconic structure means across the world.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2019
The Summer 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail from Afrylic by Ellen Gallagher on its cover.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.
Rachel Whiteread’s US Embassy (Flat pack house) was unveiled in its permanent home at the new American embassy in Nine Elms, London, earlier this year. Virginia Shore, the curator for the London embassy project who worked with Whiteread to realize this site-specific commission, reflects on the history of prefabricated housing, the power of “home,” and the connecting force of art.