NEW YORK—Following the model of other museums in the United States and Europe that have jointly purchased and agreed to share single works of art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y., have acquired a large-scale sculptural installation, Untitled (Domestic), 2002, by British artist Rachel Whiteread. The work was cast from an interior staircase at the London gallery Haunch of Venison.
The installation, which was purchased for a price “in the middle six-figures,” says Albright-Knox director Louis Grachos, is currently on view at the gallery and will travel to the Carnegie for exhibition by late spring or early summer.
Untitled (Domestic) was purchased through New York’s Luhring Augustine Gallery, which represents the artist in the U.S. Both Grachos and Carnegie director Richard Armstrong saw the work for the first time in 2005, when it was exhibited at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale.
Explains Armstrong: “Grachos and I had been talking for a while about the notion of combining forces, and he suggested that this work be the start-up.” The Carnegie already owns a Whiteread work from the early 1990s—a rubber-and-polystyrene sculpture cast from a bathtub, Untitled (Yellow Bath), 1996—a suite of five etchings and 12 screen prints.
“Joint purchase just made a lot of sense,” Grachos told ARTnewsletter. “Prices of contemporary art have been incredibly on the rise, and this empowers us to compete with a powerful art market.” He notes that the two institutions will also share conservation, maintenance and storage costs, and that “more people will get to see the work, which is perhaps most important, because Rachel is an outstanding artist.”