September 29th, 2019

Sarah Rapson at Essex Street


Artist: Sarah Rapson

Venue: Essex Street, New York

Exhibition Title: Sell The House

Date: September 8 – October 27, 2019

Note: An excerpt from Rapson’s audio recording Tell Me What You Want (1997) is available here.

Click here to view slideshow

Sarah Rapson, Cathcart Hill, 2000, super 8 transferred to DVD, silent, 7:25 min (excerpt)



Full gallery of images, press release, and link available after the jump.



Sarah Rapson, Cathcart Hill, 2000, super 8 transferred to DVD, silent, 7:25 min (excerpt)

Sarah Rapson, Sufficient Fortune, 2002, super 8 transferred to DVD, sound, 2:47 min (excerpt)

Images courtesy of Essex Street, New York

Press Release:

tell me what you want what you want what you want what you want what you want what you really really want ill tell you what i want what i want what i want what i want what i want what i really really want

ESSEX STREET is humbled to share an exhibition of works by someone named Sarah Rapson.

Sarah Rapson was born in North London and was raised across the street from a library. In the 1970s she was a teenage punk. She worked at the British Museum during an exhibition of Claude Lorraine and sold black and white photographic slides. She studied art in London and Paris. She moved to New York at the very end of the 1980s and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program. She worked as Richard Prince’s studio assistant for years. She lived on Hope Street in Brooklyn. Her first solo exhibition was in 1992 at Trial Balloon, an alternative space in Soho that only showed work by women. Eileen Myles reviewed the exhibition for Art in America. She had a booth at the Köln Art Fair once. She showed at other galleries too. Around 2004 Rapson left New York for a small town in Dorset, England. She lives in a ropemakers cottage built the same year that Keats was born. It is five minutes away from the sea.

The exhibition at ESSEX STREET surveys more than two decades of Sarah Rapson’s work and includes videos, paintings, audio recordings, collages and drawings. Sarah Rapson works slowly and constantly. Some works are made and overmade and undermade over the course of years. Everything is itself and its opposite, knowing and believing at once, like the news of the day contained inside a monochrome painting. She works using what is near, with what she has called ‘no materials’ including house paint, sand stone, ash, marble dust, wood from construction. Many works contain clippings from old sections of the New York Times, usually from art market columns, or art reviews, or obituaries of great artists. She draws wigs on the heads of men found in momentous scenes of classic Minimalism inscribed on the pages of magazines from half a century past. She writes her phone number and her address, and the conversion rate between British pound sterling and dollars, and the distance between the years the great poets were born and today, on the surface of her works. She covers auction results in a deep pool of Kandahar ink. She reads out every advertised gallery listing in Frieze Magazine in 1999. She allows a spider web on the surface of one painting to correlate with a wrinkle in the reproduction of a painting by Ad Reinhardt. She wears a wig and rolls a baby carriage over a Carl Andre sculpture. She breaks the most beautiful painting in half. She puts Bridget Riley on the title page of H.W. Janson’s History of Art.

Link: Sarah Rapson at Essex Street

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