Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Rachel Whiteread. Opening in our Tribeca location on March 10, the presentation marks the eleventh solo show of the artist’s work since the gallery began representing her in 1991, and her first in this space. Featuring intimately scaled floor and wall pieces, the exhibition showcases Whiteread’s facility and experimentation with a wide range of materials and surfaces.
As is typical in Whiteread's work, the sculptures in this exhibition communicate a high-low dialogue: discarded, seemingly inconsequential items are rendered in often precious, high-art materials, which transforms and elevates them from their original context and reading. The eye is tricked, and careful observation is required of the viewer. What appears to be spray-painted cardboard is in reality patinated bronze or silver, or shimmering metallic papier-mache, and assemblages of found materials are in reality amalgams of both found objects and hand-crafted simulacra. Cartons, boxes, branches, crates, cardboard, packing materials, and pipes overlap and interchange, creating an installation that becomes a pleasing visual puzzle. Whiteread created the works for this exhibition specifically with the light-filled, high-ceilinged Tribeca gallery in mind, so a beautiful optical play with colors and materials punctuates the space and draws the viewer into close examination of these human-scaled pieces. Silver and bronze casts of empty, anonymous boxes have a weighty presence, in contrast to the disposable nature of their form. The floor pieces are ghostly white assemblages of both found and cast objects, mostly debris; sitting wraithlike on the floor, each beckons the viewer to circle them and decode their elements.
Rachel Whiteread (b. 1963) was born in London, England where she currently lives and works. She studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic and sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. Whiteread won the Turner Prize for her public sculpture Untitled (House), 1993, and represented Great Britain at the 1997 Venice Biennale. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel; Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, among others. Her works are in several prestigious collections worldwide including Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Tate, London; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, among others. From 2017-19, a major retrospective exhibition of Whiteread's work toured from Tate Britain, London to the 21er Haus, Vienna, the National Gallery, Washington D.C., and the St. Louis Art Museum. In 2019 Rachel Whiteread was awarded a damehood for services to art as a part of The Queen’s Birthday Honors List, which awards people across the United Kingdom for outstanding achievements.