I was so excited to be able to spend part of my birthday weekend visiting some exhibits in Dallas. If you are in the area, I recommend all of these, particularly the Luc Tuymans exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art. It is on exhibit until September 5. The Rachel Whiteread exhibit ended Saturday, unfortunately, but the Il Lee exhibit continues into September.
Rachel Whiteread is known for her installation work and large scale sculptures that reference space. At her exhibit, there were many drawings of some of her monumental projects, such as the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna and the Water Tower on the roof of the Museum of Modern Art. In studying negative space and memory, she creates large molds and casts them often using resin. For example, the Holocaust Memorial is a cast of an interior of a library including imprints of the books on the shelves.
Although Whiteread says that these drawings aren’t preparatory work for her installations but rather art unto themselves, when viewing them and reading about the resultant sculptures, it is hard to not see them as such. The Water Tower drawings were printed photographs where she had inserted the outline of her proposed sculpture into the environment. She often draws on graph paper and uses correction fluid to fill in the outline. She also did one of the Water Tower at night that I found absolutely stunning. I can’t find an image online but below are two of the Water Tower drawings:
On the lower floor of the Nasher Sculpture Center, I found some of my favorite of the drawings and collections in the exhibit. Below is a drawing of Stairs:
My very favorite were the collections of images where she took vintage postcards and altered them with paint, or in the case below, by using a hole punch:
There were many, many of these propped on rows of display boards. The book that accompanies the exhibit only has images of 2-3 and that was a disappointment but you can see more images of the exhibit here. In addition, Whiteread sent collections of objects she has picked up on the street and in thrift stores. She likens these collections to “like doodling in a sketchbook.” Below are shoe molds and two of her casts:
The Il Lee exhibit was in a fairly small space at the Crow Museum but the high ceilings made up for it and showed the artwork beautifully. Lee’s drawings convey a huge amount of energy and he says his new drawings are more angular, interrupted with a more rigorous approach. Some are huge, 4’ x 6’ and you know that Lee is putting his whole body into creating these drawings. There is intent in the drawings, you can definitely follow the pattern as they are constructed. Below is one example and an image of Lee in action:
There was also a wall of drawing studies, about 50 of them hung salon-style. I found them fascinating as they were put on scrap paper, newspaper and other material. Highly recommended.