Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Artist of the Day, June 30, 2021: Dame Rachel Whiteread, a British sculptor (#1323)

Dame Rachel Whiteread DBE (1963) is an English artist who primarily produces sculptures, which typically take the form of casts. She was the first woman to win the annual Turner Prize in 1993.

Whiteread was one of the Young British Artists who exhibited at the Royal Academy's Sensation exhibition in 1997. Among her most renowned works are House, a large concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian house; the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna, resembling the shelves of a library with the pages turned outwards; and Untitled Monument, her resin sculpture for the empty fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square.

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2006 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honours for services to art.

Whiteread took a workshop on casting with the sculptor Richard Wilson and began to realize the possibilities in casting objects. She was briefly at the Cyprus College of Art. From 1985 to 1987 she studied sculpture at Slade School of Art, University College, London, where she was taught by Phyllida Barlow, graduating with an MA in 1987. Whiteread worked as an invigilator at the Serpentine Gallery.

For a time she worked in Highgate Cemetery fixing lids back onto time-damaged coffins. She began to exhibit in 1987, with her first solo exhibition coming in 1988. She lives and works in a former synagogue in east London with long-term partner and fellow sculptor Marcus Taylor. They have two sons.

Many of Whiteread's works are casts of ordinary domestic objects and, in numerous cases, their so-called negative space. For example, she is known for making solid casts of the open space in and around pieces of furniture such as tables and chairs, architectural details and even entire rooms and buildings. She says the casts carry "the residue of years and years of use." Whiteread mainly focuses on the line and the form for her pieces.

While still at the Slade, Whiteread cast domestic objects and created her first sculpture, Closet. She made a plaster cast of the interior of a wooden wardrobe and covered it with black felt. It was based on comforting childhood memories of hiding in a dark closet. After she graduated she rented space for a studio using the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. She created Shallow Breath (1988), the cast of the underside of a bed, made not long after her father died. Both sculptures were exhibited in her first solo show in 1988 along with casts of other domestic pieces. The work all sold and allowed her to apply for grants to find funding for larger sculptures.

After her first solo exhibition, Whiteread decided to cast the space that her domestic objects could have inhabited. She applied for grants, describing the project as "mummifying the air in a room." She completed Ghost in 1990. It was cast from a room in a house on Archway Road in north London, much like the house she grew up in. The road was being widened, and the house was torn down. She used plaster to cast the parlor walls and ceiling in sections and assembled them on a metal frame.

Ghost was first shown at the nonprofit Chisenhale Gallery. It was purchased by Charles Saatchi and included with other works by Whiteread in his first "Young British Art" show in 1992. In May 2004 a fire in a Momart storage warehouse destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection, including, it is believed, some by Whiteread. However, Ghost had recently been moved from the warehouse to the new Gagosian Gallery in London. The work was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in the autumn of 2004.

In October 1993 Whiteread completed House, the cast of a Victorian terrace house. She had begun considering casting an entire house in 1991. She and James Lingwood of Artangel looked at houses to be torn down in North and East London in 1992, but without success in securing one. During this period in 1992 and 1993, Whiteread had an artist residency in Berlin with a scholarship from the DAAD Artist's Programme. While in Berlin, she created Untitled (Room), the cast of a generic, anonymous room that she built herself. She finished the interior of a room-sized box with wallpaper, windows, and door before casting. The sculpture is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

House, perhaps her best-known work, was a concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian terraced house completed in autumn 1993, exhibited at the location of the original house – 193 Grove Road – in East London (all the houses in the street had earlier been knocked down by the council). It drew mixed responses, winning her both the Turner Prize for the best young British artist in 1993 and the K Foundation art award for the worst British artist. She was the first woman to win a Turner Prize. Tower Hamlets London Borough Council demolished House on 11 January 1994, a decision which caused some controversy itself.
Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) (1997)

For the Sensation exhibition in 1997, Whiteread exhibited Untitled (One Hundred Spaces), a series of resin casts of the space underneath chairs. This work can be seen as a descendant of Bruce Nauman's concrete cast of the area under his chair of 1965.

In 1998, Whiteread made Water Tower as part of a grant for New York City's Public Art Fund. The piece, which is 12' 2" and 9' in diameter, was a translucent resin cast of a water tower installed on a rooftop in New York City's SoHo district. It has been called "an extremely beautiful object, which changes colour with the sky, and also a very appropriate one, celebrating one of the most idiosyncratic and charming features of the New York skyline." The piece is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Just as Ghost led on to the larger and better known House, so Water Tower led to the more public Trafalgar Square plinth work three years later

During the Holocaust, 65,000 Austrian Jews were executed, and in memory, Monument to the Victims of Fascism was a monument erected to commemorate these lost lives, however, this piece was seen as unsatisfying, so Simon Wiesenthal proposed the idea for a new memorial to the mayor of Vienna. With the condition that this memorial could not be figurative and needed to represent all 65,000 lives and the camps they were executed at, Rachel Whiteread was chosen out of ten artists to create this monument. Her monument Nameless Library was erected in Judenplatz Square in Vienna and appears to be an inside-out library. This structure was built from positively cast cement books which are placed with their spines facing inward. The inability to read these books allude to the lost lives of the 65,000 Austrian Jews whose stories are unable to be told leaving the viewer with a sense of loss and absence. These books have also been seen as referring to the Nazi book burnings. The sculpture also does not include corners or bookshelves which further symbolizes the lack of structure and support.

In spring 2004, she was offered the annual Unilever series commission to produce a piece for Tate Modern's vast Turbine Hall, delaying acceptance for five to six months until she was confident she could conceive of a work to fill the space. Throughout the latter half of September 2005 and mid-way through October her work Embankment was installed and was made public on 10 October. It consists of some 14,000 translucent, white polyethylene boxes (themselves casts of the inside of cardboard boxes) stacked in various ways; some in very tall mountain-like peaks and others in lower (though still over human height), rectangular, more leveled arrangements. They are fixed in position with an adhesive. She cited the end scenes of both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Citizen Kane as visual precursors; she also spoke of the death of her mother and a period of upheaval which involved packing and moving comparable boxes.

© 2021. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by Rachel Whiteread or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only


Dame Rachel Whiteread

1988, Torso

1992, Untitled (Air Bed)

1993, House

1993, Untitled (Amber Floor)

1993, Untitled (Floor-Ceiling)

1993, Untitled (House) 

1994, Untitled (6 Spaces)

1994-95, Untitled (Floor)

1995, House, from Stützmappe

1995, Stair Space III

1995, Stairs

1995, Untitled (One Hundred Spaces)

1995, Untitled (One Hundred Spaces)

1997, Untitled (Paperbacks)

1998, Untitled (Nine Tables)

1998, Untitled (Twenty-Four Switches)

1998, Water Tower

2000, Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial

2001, Untitled (Rooms)

2001, Untitled (Stairs)

2002, Untitled (Domestic)

2002, Untitled (Nets)

2003, Stairs

2004, IN OUT-XI

2004, Untitled

2005, Archways

2005, Documents

2005, Embankment

2005, Unit

2010, Untitled 10 from 12 Objects, 12 Etchings

2016, Due Porte

2020, Poltergeist


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Artist of the Day, June 29, 2021: John Taylor Dismukes, an American graphic designer, illustrator (#1322)

 John Taylor Dismukes is an artist, whose work has appeared in a variety of media. He began his career as an illustrator in the city of Hollywood, California. Dismukes had established the JTD & Associates company in the year of 1985. The company was established when computer technology was beginning to take over the industry.

John Taylor Dismukes received his education of art through the institution known as the Art Center College of Design, which is located in Pasadena, California.

His paintings have been used as record album covers, film posters, and graphic novel covers. His work also includes 2D and 3D computer illustration.

Album covers for:

• Y&T
• The Right to Rock
• Foreigner
• The Grateful Dead
• Steppenwolf


• Charlotte's Web
• Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
• Star Trek
• Star Wars
• Boba Fett lithograph (1998)
• Stormtroopers under the door lithograph (1998)
• 3-panel vehicles lithograph (1999)
• The Addams Family

Comic covers:

• Insider (May 1992 cover)
• The Terminator: Hunters and Killers (all three issues)

• ET
• The Lost World: Jurassic Park
• Megadeth – Countdown to Extinction & Exposure of a Dream

© 2021. All content on this blog is protected by international copyright laws All images are copyrighted © by John Taylor Dismukes or assignee. Apart from fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, the use of any image from this site is prohibited unless prior written permission is obtained. All images used for illustrative purposes only

 John Taylor Dismukes with Wollfman Jack

JTD logo

5 Logo

Christmas Spectacular logo

Coors Light

L Cruise with a Classic logo

Diablo logo

Disney on Ice logo

Dungeons & Dragons Heroes logo

Endgame Logo


Gothic Coating logo

Harley 100 years

La Palima Cigars logo

La Palina Black Label Cigars Logo

La Palina Red Label Cigars Logo

Medieval Times

Medieval Times

Miami Dolphins

People Weekly

 Pirates Sid Meiers logo

Robb Report 25th Annual

TV Jones 3D logo

Westrock Coffee Logo

Amy Tintera covers

Endgame Covers

Victoria Aveyard covers

Charlottes Web

Race for Atlantis

Smokin' Spots

Spider Man

Eye of the Labyrinth packaging

Gothic Packaging

SelfMade 3 album

The Greatest Album Cover

Scream promo

Scream promo