For Immediate Release: December 1, 2009 Contact: Sarah L. Stifler, Communications, 310-443-7056, [email protected] The Hammer Museum Presents Rachel Whiteread Drawings in First Drawings Retrospective of the British Artist On View January 31 – April 25, 2010 Los Angeles – This winter the Hammer Museum presents a retrospective of drawings by Rachel Whiteread, the first large-scale museum survey of work on paper by the British artist. Organized by Allegra Pesenti, curator of the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, this exhibition includes key examples of the artist’s sculpture displayed alongside her drawings. The exhibition features 155 drawings, 8 sculptures, and a vitrine filled with roughly 200 objects selected by Whiteread. Although her sculpture is well-known and widely published, Whiteread’s work on paper has remained largely behind the scenes until now. “My drawings are a diary of my work,” Whiteread explains, and like the passages in a diary her drawings range from fleeting ideas to labored reflections. They are produced independently of the sculpture yet are critical to her artistic practice and evoke similarly poignant notions of absence and presence. The exhibition is laid out chronologically and the sections relate thematically to Whiteread's principal sculptural projects such as Floors,Beds and Mattresses, House, Holocaust Memorial, Water Tower, and Trafalgar Square Plinth. The exhibition covers the full expanse of her career to date. Rachel Whiteread Drawings travels to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas, from May 22 to August 15, 2010; and to Tate Britain in London from September 8, 2010, to January 16, 2011. “At the Hammer we have a particular interest in drawings and their key relationship to an artist’s practice and thought process. Rachel Whiteread’s drawings impart tremendous skill and sensitivity and offer another view of her complex and fascinating body of work,” comments Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin. “We are honored to work with Rachel and to organize the first museum exhibition that closely examines this relatively little known aspect of her artmaking.” 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. The colored background of graph paper is another distinctive characteristic of her drawings. Whiteread’s sculptures 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. 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.” “As a place where painting and sculpture meet,” says exhibition curator Allegra Pesenti, “drawing allows Whiteread to expand the boundaries between media. There is a sheer necessity of drawing in Whiteread’s practice. One medium seldom leads to another in her work, but rather her practices can morph—the drawings are as sculptural as the sculptures are graphic.” Whiteread’s dedication to drawing began early in her career, in 1992-1993, during a pivotal artist’s residency in Berlin in which she developed central elements of her sculpture and drawing practice. The result of this residency was the first and, until now, the last museum exhibition dedicated to her drawings. However, her work on paper has continued to evolve in the years since and remains a crucial aspect of her art. The importance of this practice and its parallel relation to Whiteread’s sculptural work are reflected in the layout of her current workspace where a dedicated drawing studio is detached from the sculpture studio. The exhibition explores the thematic connections between her sculptures and her drawings. Projects featured include House (1993) a monumental cast of a nineteenth-century terrace house in the East End of London for which she won Britain’s Turner Prize, the Water Tower (1998) which graced the skyline of downtown New York, Vienna’s Holocaust Memorial (2000), Monument (2001) created for the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, and Embankment (2005-2006) installed in the Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall. Among the special features of the installation is a vitrine reminiscent of a “cabinet of curiosities” filled with objects selected by the artist. The found objects and souvenirs were gathered by Whiteread from various sources such as attics, thrift stores, and more recently eBay. She compares the objects to sketchbooks and, as such, they are central to her thought process and creative practice. The vitrine includes fossils, dental molds, a box of buttons, shoe forms, and other items together with small casts and works by the artist. A separate case will include a selection of work by Whiteread based on found postcards. As a group, these objects belong to Whiteread’s collection of captured memories and, ultimately, to her expanded notion of drawing. Catalogue, Special Edition, and Public Programs The exhibition is accompanied by a 224-page, fully-illustrated catalogue with essays by exhibition curator Allegra Pesenti and Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections (British Art) at the Tate. The catalogue is published by the Hammer Museum and DelMonico Books, an imprint of Prestel Publishing. Retail price $50.00.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by a full range of free public programs at the Hammer Museum: EXHIBITION WALKTHROUGH WITH RACHEL WHITEREAD & ALLEGRA PESENTI Sunday, January 31, 2pm HAMMER SCREENINGS: RITUALS IN TRANSFIGURED TIME Thursday, February 18, 7pm Join us for an evening of short films by Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Bruce Nauman, Kiki Smith, and more. The notion of time, and altering delineations of space—positive and negative, interior and exterior, human and natural—are explored through a range of compositions and choreographies. These artists share an interest in traces, and their moving images can be considered drawings in time, as well as timed drawings. HAMMER WORKSHOP PERFORMING NAVIGATIONS: (RE)MAPPING THE MUSEUM With SARA WOOKEY $10 registration includes lunch Enrollment is limited; please call 310-443-7047 for further information or to reserve your spot. Saturday, February 27, 10am to 3pm Los Angeles-based artist and choreographer Sara Wookey will guide participants in creating a conceptual map of the Hammer Museum. Participants will explore how people move throughout the spaces of the museum, paying close attention to areas such as the courtyard and lobby, where the museum and the outside world converge. Attendees will collect an archive of actions in the form of remembered movements, pathways, postures, gaze patterns, and physical gestures. The conceptual maps that participants create will explore the role the body plays as a spatial and sensory tool in navigation, much like the spatial mapping of traces in Rachel Whiteread’s drawings. This exhibition is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by Gail and Stanley Hollander, the Southern California Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Henry Moore Foundation, the British Council, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. The catalogue is made possible, in part, by the Contemporary Collectors — Orange County.
ABOUT THE HAMMER MUSEUM The Hammer Museum, a public arts unit of the University of California, Los Angeles, is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge in art, architecture, and design, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society. Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer in 1990, the museum houses the Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. Associated UCLA collections include the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, comprising more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists’ books from the Renaissance to the present; and the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer’s newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is led by works on paper, particularly drawings and photographs from 1960 to the present. The Hammer presents major single-artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. It also presents approximately ten Hammer Projects exhibitions each year, providing international and local artists with a laboratory-like environment to create new work or to present existing work in a new context. As a cultural center, the Hammer offers a diverse range of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, and music performances. The Hammer’s Billy Wilder Theater houses these widely acclaimed public programs and is the new home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s renowned cinematheque. HAMMER MUSEUM INFORMATION For current program and exhibition information call 310-443-7000 or visit www.hammer.ucla.edu. Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11am – 7pm; Thursday, 11am – 9 pm; Sunday, 11am – 5 pm; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission: $7 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+) and UCLA Alumni Association members; free for Museum members, students with identification, UCLA faculty/staff, and visitors 17 and under. The Museum is free for everyone on Thursdays. Location/Parking: The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, at Westwood Boulevard. Parking is available under the Museum. Rate is $3 for three hours with Museum validation. Hammer Museum Tours: For group tour reservations and information, call 310-443- 7041.
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