Rachel Whiteread’s drawings and collages reveal through their delicate treatment a personal territory from which her practice steadily emerges. Whiteread is known for her sculptures in which she casts the negative space within or surrounding domestic objects and interiors as a means of memorializing the everyday and often overlooked. Her works on paper operate similarly around the notion of the trace as they capture Whiteread’s diaristic ruminations around her subject matter. She states, “With each drawing, I have an ability to recall where I did that drawing and the circumstances of its making. It’s as if the drawing absorbed the time of its making.”
In this selection of early 90s and recent works, familiar motifs of beds, floors, stairs, and windows are rendered into form against the gridded backdrops of architecture sketchbooks. Her use of correction fluid, a material normally purposed for erasing, reminds the viewer of the inextricable relationship between presence and absence that runs throughout her work.
Whiteread’s retrospective exhibition, which originated at the Tate Britain and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, is currently on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum through June 9, 2019.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit the museum’s website.