Rachel Howard

Untitled (Inside Out), 2002

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Explore Sydney Contemporary

Rachel Howard, Untitled (Inside Out Series), 2002

Rachel Howard

(British, b. 1969)

Untitled (from the Inside Out series), 2002
signed on the reverse of the mount; signed and dated 2002 on the backing board
c-print, in artist’s frame
image: 30.5 by 20 cm.
frame: 51.8 by 41.6 cm.

Gagosian Gallery, London
Frank & Lorna Dunphy Collection, United Kingdom

AUD $ 2,000

Payment over 10 months with Art Money available

Rachel Howard, Untitled (Inside Out Series), 2002

Key Points

  • Rachel Howard is one of the infamous Young British Artists who shook up the British art world in the 1990s
  • Damien Hirst’s studio assistant, she painted many of his famous early spot paintings
  • Her work is collected by prestigious public and private collections, including the David Roberts Foundation in London, George Michael’s Foundation in Dallas and Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection
  • This work was previously in the collection of Frank and Lorna Dunphy, who were Damien Hirst’s managers

In Context

Having graduated from Goldsmiths College in London in 1991, Rachel Howard started working just as the Young British Artists began to be noticed. She was in fact responsible for some of the most iconic YBA works ever made – as Damien Hirst’s first assistant and best spot painter, Rachel Howard produced many of the famous early spot paintings. Yet her association with Hirst also overshadowed her own practice, as she is often better known as his assistant than for her own work.

As Howard’s own career matured, she worked on very different kinds of paintings, though the religious tone that also underlies much of Hirst’s work is a recurring theme. The large-scale abstract paintings that she is now best known for, often reveal the subtle motif of the cross which also appears in Untitled from the Inside Out series. Here, the cross is actually a detail from a window in a farm in the south of France, cropped to create a mysterious abstract yet symbolically-loaded composition. 

“I went to a Quaker school and it had such a powerful effect on my life that I’ve carried it with me ever since. I’m an atheist now but Quakerism was the first time as a child I came across a religious structure that made some sense … the silence, contemplation, the acknowledgement of our responsibilities not just to each other but also to nature, they are pacifists. I was quite unruly as a child — Quakerism makes you take responsibility for your own actions without being heavy-handed, it’s subtle and beautiful. The Quakers believe in celebrating the light within, it’ll come as no surprise that James Turrell is a Quaker, for example.”

– Rachel Howard

Rachel Howard’s work has been exhibited around the world, and is housed in prestigious public and private collections such as the David Roberts Foundation in London, George Michael’s Foundation in Dallas, Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection in London and Thomas Olbricht’s collection in Berlin.


Selected solo exhibitions
2021 Simon Lee Gallery, London
2019 Blain Southern, New York
2018 MASS MOCA, Massachusetts
2018 Newport Street Gallery, London
2016 MACRO, Rome
2014 Blain Southern, London
2011 Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Napels
2009 Haunch of Venison, Zurich
2008 Museum van Loon, Amsterdam
2007 Bohen Foundation, New York
2007 Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles
2003 Bohen Foundation, New York

Selected collections
Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill
Arts Council, London
David Roberts Foundation, London
Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas
Hiscox Art Collection, London
Imperial War Museum, London
Jerwood Collection, London
Murderme Collection, London
Museum van Loon, Amsterdam
Olbricht Collection, Berlin
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Warehouse Wieland Collection, Atlanta

ILEANA at Explore Sydney Contemporary

Walead Beshty, Louise Bourgeois, Dorian Büchi, Michael Craig-Martin, Melissa Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Rachel Howard, Louise Lawler, Tony Lewis, Sol LeWitt, Tim Maguire, Takesada Matsutani, Edda Renouf, Bridget Riley, Peter Schuyff, Stansfield/Hooykaas, Wang Guangyi, Christopher Wool

Presented at Explore Sydney Contemporary (11-21 November 2021)

All artworks © the artist.