Our Studio Sunday artist this week is Rachel Whiteread. Whiteread is perhaps most famous for her sculptures which involve casting everyday objects in concrete, resin, and other materials. In 1993 she produced House, a concrete cast of an entire home in London, which won the Turner prize that year. Also important to Whiteread’s practice, however, is drawing.
As the artist says, the drawings help her artistic process, as a way of working through ideas, something she has been doing in her artwork since the beginning of her practice. Whiteread’s studio is beautifully cluttered. In the above photo, drawings and small paintings cover the walls, and are stacked up on the numerous tables in a manner as messy as the art materials.
I love that there appears to be wall to wall bulletin boards, on the visible side of this studio anyway. It’s a really nice solution for hanging up any number of your own works, or inspirational works, in a simple, non-precious way that doesn’t damage the walls either.
Several tables and chairs are crammed into the space, too, and they probably each have a specialization – it looks like the table on the right side of this photo has cutting boards for trimming paper or maybe preparing collage materials.
Whiteread’s drawings act, for the artist, as a sort of diary. She might draw one object or piece many times over as a process of thinking about it and working through the possible problems with it. The artist does some of her casting at another shared studio in London, Acme Studios. It was there that she produced Embankment, a work consisting of 14,000 casts of cardboard boxes.