Microsoft word - rachel whiteread final.doc

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
, 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
, “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:
Sunday, January 31, 2pm

Thursday, February 18, 7pm
Join us for an evening of short films by Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson, Bruce
, 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

$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

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

For current program and exhibition information call 310-443-7000 or visit
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
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-


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