REBECCA WARREN

Radio Caroline, 2015–2016
Window Gallery, Berlin, Goethestraße 2/3
7 September – 11 December 2021

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Rebecca Warren makes sculptures, assemblages, collages and vitrines, using a variety of materials including clay, bronze, steel and neon. Warren says about her work: “it comes from a strange nowhere, then gradually something comes out into the light. There are impulses, half-seen shapes, things that might have stuck with you from decades ago, as well as more recently. It’s all stuff in the world going through you as a filter ...”.

<i>Radio Caroline</i>, 2015–2016
Radio Caroline, 2015–2016, mixed media vitrine, 75 x 130 x 93 cm.; 29 1/2 x 51 1/8 x 36 5/8 in.

In Radio Caroline, 2015–2016, objects are arranged on and within a wall mounted vitrine, which has been painted in such a way that the white paint spreads in uneven waves over the edges of the board. A neon light casts a pink glow over the top of the work. Beside it, a piece of wool hangs from a series of black and yellow painted stripes; below, a length of wood leans against a low-relief rhombus painted with a thinner coat of white than its background, while at the base, a wicker loop lies beside several pompoms, further iterations of which appear on the top and the side of the vitrine. An extended shelf-like form branches out, reframing the centre of the vitrine from an oblique angle. Warren has said of these works “the energies of placing, inclusion, proximity, similarity and difference, push here and there, interacting within the vitrines and into the room”.

Radio Caroline, 2015–2016, additional view

“One approach to the artist’s mixed-material vitrine works [...] is to consider them as microcosms or models of the spatial thinking that Warren realizes at life size in her exhibitions. In these works materials and light occupy a delimited shelf space hung at eye level like a headspace. Unlike in Warren’s freestanding work, viewers can enter or walk around in these spaces only with their eyes, perhaps leaning into them to peer at the spaces between the parts and fragments. These are highly speculative works that also invite an imagination of their own making. And zooming out such a work punctuates actual art-filled spaces like a wall-mounted dash. Warren’s work thus also entails abstract spatial compositions of individual works, ones characterized by a mix of ultra-elegant placement, balancing acts and poise, and sometimes with a reaction to the spatial conditions of the given exhibition room, such as windows, architectural thresholds and the cities outside.”

– Dominic Eichler

“The pompoms make a regular appearance in Warren’s collages and works with neon too. These are perhaps the most intimate of her works, both because of their scale and because of the items that they are made from: detritus, strands of wool, hair, fluff, clay and pieces of colored neon tubing […]. These collages show us an atomised, miniature vision of her world.”

– Laura Smith

“In tandem with her large clay sculptures, Rebecca Warren has also produced a parallel series of vitrines and assemblages which form a counterpart to her other works [...]. These groups of work, which have now become a characteristic and ongoing facet of her oeuvre, are significant interventions insofar as they introduce different and meaningful force fields into her exhibitions. More discreet than her sculptures, they nevertheless exude a powerful aura, attracting us with their accents of electric light and at the same time drawing us inwards into a microscopic world, made up if not of particles of dust then of strands of wool and tiny, yet somehow precious items of ordinary garbage, leftovers and found objects. These assemblages bring forth emotive associations with the material world...”

– Bice Curiger

“In tandem with her large clay sculptures, Rebecca Warren has also produced a parallel series of vitrines and assemblages which form a counterpart to her other works [...]. These groups of work, which have now become a characteristic and ongoing facet of her oeuvre, are significant interventions insofar as they introduce different and meaningful force fields into her exhibitions. More discreet than her sculptures, they nevertheless exude a powerful aura, attracting us with their accents of electric light and at the same time drawing us inwards into a microscopic world, made up if not of particles of dust then of strands of wool and tiny, yet somehow precious items of ordinary garbage, leftovers and found objects. These assemblages bring forth emotive associations with the material world...”

– Bice Curiger

Rebecca Warren (born 1965) was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006 and the Vincent Award in 2008. The artist has had one-person exhibitions at numerous museums, most recently the Musée National Eugène Delacroix in Paris (2018), Tate St. Ives in England (2017), Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles in France (2017), and the Dallas Museum of Art (2016). Her work was included in the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and is in the permanent collection of museums across Europe and the United States. Warren first showed with Galerie Max Hetzler in 2007. She lives and works in London.

In 2020, Rebecca Warren was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for services to art. The artist’s work will be the subject of a solo show at the Belvedere 21, Vienna, from July – October 2022.

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