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Nasher Sculpture Center Presents Rachel Whiteread Drawings
Study (Blue) for “Floor”, 1992. Correction fluid, ink and watercolor on paper. 16 ½ x 23 ½ inches. Tate: Presented anonymously in memory of Adrian Ward-Jackson, 1994.
DALLAS, TX.- The Nasher Sculpture Center presents the first museum retrospective of drawings by contemporary British artist Rachel Whiteread. Featuring over 125 drawings and collages selected from the artist’s studio, as well as from leading public and private collections in Europe and the United States, the exhibition brings to the fore a rarely seen aspect of Whiteread’s work. The exhibition has been organized by the Hammer Museum.

"We are pleased to welcome Rachel Whiteread to the Nasher Sculpture Center. This will be the first major exhibition at the Nasher of an artist not represented in our collection," said Director Jeremy Strick. "Ms. Whiteread is one of the most significant artists of our time, and this exhibition reveals a little-known but exceptionally beautiful aspect of her work."

While her sculpture is well known and widely published, Whiteread's work on paper has remained largely behind the scenes. "My drawings are a diary of my work," she explains, and like the passages in a diary her drawings range from fleeting ideas to labored reflections. Variegated textures, subtle nuances of tone over colored graph paper, and the play of imagery in collaged constructions are some of the distinctive characteristics of Whiteread's works on paper. A crucial aspect of her artistic practice, they are produced independently of the sculpture yet evoke similarly poignant notions of presence and absence.

In this exhibition, Whiteread's drawings will be accompanied by key examples of her sculptural work. While her drawings are of a more intimate nature than the sculptures, they share a similar patina that is alternatively glossy, grainy, mottled, slippery, transparent, fragile, and bold. Whiteread uses thick glazes of correction fluid and acrylic, which often causes the paper to undulate and turns the drawings into three-dimensional objects. Whiteread’s sculptures capture the traces of other people’s lives, while the traces of her own hand are reserved for her drawings. She seizes memories in all her work, but in the drawings those captured moments are her own: “With each drawing, I have an ability to recall where I did that drawing and the circumstance of its making,” she specifies. “It is as if the drawing absorbed the time of its making.”

Among the special features of the installation is a vitrine of objects selected by Whiteread. Works by the artist are juxtaposed with items gathered from various sources, such as attics and thrift stores, or found on walks and travels. Fossils, a dental mold, a tin votive, buttons and shoe lasts are just some of the objects that belong to Whiteread's collection of captured memories, and thus to her extended notion of drawing.

The Nasher Sculpture Center | Rachel Whiteread | Jeremy Strick |


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