Search

Award-winning artist to ‘finish’ Whitechapel gallery frieze

PUBLISHED: 09:52 10 February 2012 | UPDATED: 11:04 10 February 2012

Artist Rachel Whiteread with her poster, LOndOn 2012, that has been unveiled as one of the official posters for the London Olympics.

Artist Rachel Whiteread with her poster, LOndOn 2012, that has been unveiled as one of the official posters for the London Olympics.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Turner-prize wining artist Rachel Whiteread has been commissioned to produce an artwork on the front of the Whitechapel Gallery.

In what will be the East End artist’s first ever public commission in the UK, Ms Whiteread will complete a frieze in a large blank rectangle above the main entrance, as part of the London 2012 Festival.

The orginal plans for the Grade II* listed building on Whitechapel High Street, built in 1901 and designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, show the space being covered by a frieze. This artwork was to embody the Gallery’s aim of bringing great art to the people of London.

Using this space, Ms Whiteread, who came to prominence for making a life-sized cast of the interior of a condemned terraced house, has used a tree of life motif, which is part of the building as her inspiration.

She is using the techniques for which she won the most prestigious prize in modern art, by making casts from existing features of the building, These will be used to create clusters of gilded leaves and branches which catch and reflect light as a motif that floats above the existing trees on the upper part of the façade. Four negative casts of existing Gallery windows in terracotta will be located centrally within the recessed panel area between the towers, as a formal counterpoint to the leaf elements.

Rachel Whiteread, artist, said: “Having lived in this area of London for so long I feel very connected to the Whitechapel Gallery and I hope my work will have a positive and lasting impact for the area and communities here.”

Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery, said: “The Whitechapel Gallery has been the artist’s gallery for over a century, so it is truly fitting to have a major new work of art for our facade created by Rachel Whiteread, one of Britain’s leading artists. Having lived near the gallery for 25 Years it’s wonderful that Rachel’s work will become part of the fabric of the building for future generations to enjoy. Her minimalist aesthetic and use of existing architectural forms as the departure point for her sculpture are the perfect fit for this commission.”

Latest East London Entertainment Stories

07:00

Works by British artists collaborating with Mexican artists go on public show in Bethnal Green on Monday in the fifth annual “comrades in art” competition.

Mon, 18:00

Meet two sisters passionate about olive oil who don’t let you leave their family-run restaurant feeling hungry—then you must be in Wapping.

Friday, February 16, 2018

The true story of two male penguins in New York’s Central Zoo is to be brought to life in a new children’s show at a Limehouse theatre.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A new ‘poet in residence’ has been appointed at the historic Tower of London for 2018.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The alternative London Remixed music winter festival returns to Bethnal Green’s Richmix arts centre tomorrow for two nights.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

New acts have been added to the support line up for headliners The National at All Points East festival this summer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Catfish and the Bottlemen are the final headline act to be announced for the new All Points East festival in Victoria Park this summer.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Cabaret queens and drag delights descend on Bethnal Green to honour LGBT people of colour.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now