Nathaniel Rackowe

Nathaniel Rackowe was born in the UK in 1975 and graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art with an MFA in sculpture.


His large-scale architectural structures and light sculptures are designed to recreate the experience of navigating the city around us. His works are abstracted impressions of today’s metropolitan experience evoked through the vicissitudes of light as it fluctuates throughout the city. Influenced by Modernism, Rackowe uses the mass manufactured derivative products of that era - corrugated plastics, concrete, scaffolding, breeze blocks and strip lights - to recreate the collective experience and visual sensations of urban contemporary life.


Rackowe uses light to structure space by emulating the way it delineates buildings, city blocks and streets. In this way Rackowe departs from the aesthetics of the use of light of American minimalists such as Flavin and Judd. By decoding these experiences his works capture the chromatic sensations of desolate streets at dawn, the atmosphere as daylight fades into night and the shadows created by obtrusive cranes, scaffolding and skeletal buildings. The resulting sculptures - striking geometric shapes and dramatic shafts of light - combine vivid beauty with the grimness of industrialisation, perhaps offering a true representation of the disparities of contemporary life.


He has participated in several solo shows including The Shape of City, Letitia Art Gallery, Beirut, 2018; Threshold, FOLD Gallery, London, UK, 2018; (De)figured, Dance / Installation with Angela Woodhouse, Elephant x Griffin,

London, UK, 2018; Signs of a City, Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, Paris, France, 2017; Parasolstice – Winter Light, Parasol Unit, London, UK, 2016; The Luminous City, Canary Wharf, London, UK, 2016; Radiant Trajectory, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE, 2015; Edge Lands, Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, Paris, France, 2014; The Consequence of Light, Bodson Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, 2014; NR for F&M, Installation, Covent Garden, London, UK, 2013; Reflections on Space, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London, UK, 2013; Spin NY, temporary installation for EDUN, NY, USA 2013; DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art, Public Art Project, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013; Spin, Edun Fall/Winter Collection Fashion Show, NY, USA, 2012; Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 2012; On the Floor: John Gibbons and Nathaniel Rackowe, Gooden Gallery, London, UK, 2011; Black Beacon, Calvin Klein Project, NY, USA, 2011; Legacy I – An outdoor sculpture exhibition, LIU gallery, London, UK, 2010; What the city left behind, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London, UK, 2010; Delfina Foundation, London, UK, 2010; Positions, with BISCHOFF/WEISS, Art Basel Miami Beach, MI, FL, USA, 2010; Divisions, Centro Colombo Americano, Bogotá, Colombia, 2009; Pathfinding, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris, France, 2008 and Preverberation, Siobhan Davies Studios, London, UK, 2008.


Rackowe has previously taken part in numerous group shows including: Carry on, Fold Gallery, London, UK, 2019; Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London, UK, 2018; (Un)touched, National Museum of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia, 2018; Lumiere London 2018, London, UK, 2018; Heavy Metal, Jerome Pauchant Gallery, Paris, 2018; Occasional Geometries, Longside Gallery, London, UK, 2017; The Mood of Space, Paris Design Week, with Galerie Studiolo, France, 2017; Sculpture in the City, The Square Mile, London, UK, 2017-18;  Contemporary Sculpture Fulmer, curated by William Benington Gallery, West London, UK, 2017; Monologue Dialogue 4: Mysticism and Insecurity, The Koppel Project, London, UK, 2017; Odds, Assembly Point, London, UK, 2017; L’Im-matériel, Galerie Épisodique, Paris, France, 2017;  Beyond, curated by Fabrice Bousteau, Abu Dhabi Art, Warehouse 421, UAE, 2016;  Abu Dhabi Art with Lawrie Shabibi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2016; The Blue Hour, Basement Gallery, London, UK, 2016; État Second, L’Hoste Art Contemporain, Arles, France, 2016; Green Man Festival, group show, Brecon Beacons, UK, 2016; Low Fidelity, Nathaniel Rackowe & Ulrik Weck, Etage Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2016; Il suffit d’un grand morceau de ciel, Galerie Jerome Pauchant, Paris, France, 2016; Sculpture by the Sea, Perth, Australia, 2016; Portals to Fantasy Destinations: Nathaniel Rackowe, Shuster & Moseley, House of St Barnabas, Soho, London, UK, 2016; Portal, 12 Hay Hill, Mayfair, London, UK, 2016; Platonic Spin, Lumiere London, Regents Place, London, UK, 2016; Abu Dhabi Art, with Lawrie Shabibi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2015; Sculpture By the Sea, Aarhus, Denmark, 2015; (Un)touched, version 2 sharing, OXO tower, London, UK, 2015; New DG works, Rod Barton, London, UK, 2015; Art Dubai Contemporary, with Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE, 2015; Light Fantastic, House of the Nobleman, London, UK, 2014; Nathaniel Rackowe & Julien Lombardi: Installation, Drawing, Photography, L’HOSTE Art Contemporain, Arles, France, 2014; Monologue / Dialogue, Bangkok Art and Cultual Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, 2014; Géométrie Immatérielle, Un-Spaced, Bordeaux, France, 2014; Abu Dhabi Art, with Lawrie Shabibi, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2014; Monologue / Dialogue, Bangkok Cultural Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, 2013; Empty Lines, Galerie Bertrand Grimont, Paris, France, 2013; The Double Illums Bolighus, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013; Platonic Spin, Lumiere, Light Festival of Durham, Durham, UK, 2013; The Double Illums Bolighus, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013; Dynamo: A century of Light and Movement in Art, 1913-2013, Grand Palais, Paris, France, 2013; Royal Academy Summer Show, London, UK, 2012; 21 x 29,7, Galerie De Roussan, Paris, France, 2012; Come le lucciole, Nicoletta Rusconi, Milan, Italy, 2011; What The Thunder Said, Lu Magnus, NY, USA, 2011; Legacy I: An Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Formans Smokehouse Gallery, London, UK, 2010; Kaleidoscopic Revolver, British Art, Hanjiyun Contemporary Space, Beijing, China, 2009; Natural Wonders: New Art from London, Group Show, Baibakov Art Projects, Moscow, Russia, 2009; Superposition, Two Person Show, Duve Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2009; London Calling, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea, 2009; Zoo Art Fair, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London, UK, 2008; Nathaniel Rackowe and Douglas White, Art Vandelay Gallery, London, UK, 2008; Constructs for Illumination, Allsopp Contemporary London, UK, 2008; Domestic Appliance, Flowers East, London, UK, 2008; Art After Dark, Louise Blouin Foundation, London, UK, 2008; Walls & Gateways, Existentie, Ghent, Belgium, 2008; Monologue/Dialogue Part II, Thai/UK Art, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London, UK, 2008; and Lumiere, Galerie Jan Wentrup, Berlin, Germany, 2008.


Public Art Projects include Square Prism, commissioned by the Royal British Society of Sculptors, London, UK, 2017;  Portal, 12 Hay Hill, London, UK, 2015; Platonic Spin, Lumiere London Festival, Regents Place, London, UK, 2015; Black Shed Expanded, Village Royal, Paris, France, 2014;  Black Cube, DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2013; Platonic Spin, Lumiere, Light Festival of Durham, Durham, UK, 2013; Spin, Lima Peru, 2010; Government Art Collection commission for 50 Queens Anne's Gate, London, UK, 2008; RP3, Economist Plaza with the Contemporary Arts Society, London, UK, 200) and LP4, Victoria Station, London, UK, 2006.


His works are in notable public and private collections including Ventes Privées, Paris, France; Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania, Australia; CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation), Miami, FL, USA; Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum of Modern Art, Lima, Peru; LVMH Collection, Paris, France; David Roberts Collection, London, UK; UK Government Art Collection, London, UK; Hauser & Wirth Collection, London, UK; Ernst & Young Collection, London, UK; VR d’Affaux Collection, Paris, France; Patricia Marshall, Private collection, Paris, France; Marc Blondeau, Private collection, Geneva, Switzerland; Almine-Rech-Picasso, Private collection, Paris, France; Salama Bint Hamdan Foundation, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Hussam Otaibi, Private collection, and sculpture park, UK; British Ambassador to Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon and Rafic Said, Private Collection, Dubai, UAE & Switzerland.


Rackowe currently lives and works in London.