2 July 2024 – 15 September 2024

Dominique White (b.1993, UK), winner of the ninth edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, presents a new body of work, Deadweight.

A thought-provoking exploration of rebellion and transformation, Deadweight comprises four large-scale sculptural works which continue the artist’s interest in creating new worlds for ‘Blackness’ and fascination with the metaphoric potency and regenerative power of the sea.

The title Deadweight derives from a nautical term which collapses everything on a ship into a single unit which determines the ship’s ability to float and function as intended. White deliberately inverts this, offering disruption as opposed to stability – a reckoning with the tipping point of the ship to offer the possibility of emancipation through abolition.

The works combine force and fragility: undulating angular structures formed from metals manipulated into forms evocative of anchors, a ship’s hull, mammal carcasses or skeletons – lost or abandoned material forms that, through White’s treatment, become symbols of defiance.

As part of the process, the sculptures were immersed in the Mediterranean Sea: both a physical and poetic gesture to explore the transformative effect of water on material objects. The resulting forms display the rust and oxidation of the metals, the fragmentation of organic elements, such as sisal, raffia and driftwood, as well as carrying the lingering scent of seawater.

The new commission weaves together concepts of Afrofuturism, Afro-pessimism and Hydrarchy – philosophies central to White’s research and artistic practice. Her work envisions an Afro future, located outside of traditional utopian science fiction, in an oceanic realm with the potential to offer fluid, rebellious realities, liberated from capitalist and colonial influence. White’s sculptures, or ‘beacons’, recall sea-bound, imagined worlds which prophesise the emergence of the Stateless: “a [Black] future that hasn’t yet happened, but must.”

Deadweight was developed from White’s winning proposal for the ninth edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women and realised during a six-month residency organised by Collezione Maramotti.

Specifically tailored to support, inform and help realise the work, the residency saw White travel through Agnone, Palermo, Genoa, Milan and Todi, working with academics, researchers and specialists in naval and maritime history and the Mediterranean slave trade, as well as visiting historic foundries and artisan workshops, learning new skills from experts in historic, traditional and contemporary metalworking techniques.

The biannual Max Mara Art Prize for Women was established in 2005 and is a collaboration between Whitechapel Gallery, Max Mara and Collezione Maramotti. It is the only visual art prize of its kind for UK-based emerging women-identifying artists, aiming to promote and nurture them at a crucial stage in their careers through increased visibility, and the space, time and resources to develop an ambitious new work. Previous prize winners are: Emma Talbot, Helen Cammock, Emma Hart, Corin Sworn, Laure Prouvost, Andrea Büttner, Hannah Rickards and Margaret Salmon.

The judging panel for the ninth Max Mara Art Prize for Women was chaired by Bina von Stauffenberg, joined by a panel of art-world experts comprising gallerist Rózsa Farkas, artist Claudette Johnson, writer Derica Shields, collector Maria Sukkar and Whitechapel Gallery Director, Gilane Tawadros.

Following its presentation at Whitechapel Gallery, Deadweight will travel to Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy (27 Oct 24 – 16 Feb 25).

  • The presentation at Whitechapel Gallery is curated by Katrina Schwarz, Curator: Special Projects, Whitechapel Gallery.
  • A short documentary tracing White’s experience during her six-month Italian residency will be screened during the exhibition run at Whitechapel Gallery as well as available to watch online – release date tbc.
  • An exhibition catalogue will be produced to coincide with the exhibition and features writing by Alexis Pauline Gumb, an essay by Olamiju Fajemisin, a conversation between the artist and Bina von Stauffenberg, and three poems by June Jordan.


Press Information:

For more information, interviews and images, please contact

Whitechapel Gallery:
Hannah Vitos: T: +44 203 137 5776, E: hannah@reesandco.com
Colette Downing, T: +44 207 539 3315, E: colettedowning@whitechapelgallery.org

Max Mara:
Andrea Iacopi, T: +39 02 777921,E: iacopi.a@maxmara.it
Alice Gaini, T: +39 02 777921, E: gaini.a@maxmara.it

 Collezione Maramotti:
Zeynep Seyhun, T: +39 349 0034 359, E: zeynep@picklespr.com
Maria Cristina Giusti, T: +39 339 8090 604, E: cristina@picklespr.com

Notes to Editors:  

About Dominique White

 Dominique White has a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths and a Foundation in Art and Design from Central Saint Martins.

Recent solo exhibitions and presentations include: Destruction of Order, VEDA (Florence, Italy, 2024); Dominique White and Alberta Whittle: Sargasso Sea, ICA Philadelphia (Philadelphia, USA 2024);  When Disaster Strikes…, Kunsthalle Münster (Münster, Germany 2023-4), May You Break Free and Outlive Your Enemy, La Casa Encendida (Madrid, Spain, 2023) and Statements, Art Basel (Basel, Switzerland, 2022).

Recent group exhibitions include: Afterimage at MAXXI L’Aquila (Italy, L’Aquila, 2022-2023); Love at Bold Tendencies (London, UK, 2022); Techno Worlds at Art Quarter Budapest, commissioned by Goethe-Institut (Travelling) (2021-2025).

White was awarded the Foundwork Artist Prize of 2022 (US), has received awards from Artangel (UK), the Henry Moore Foundation (UK) in 2020 and the Roger Pailhas

Prize (Art-O-Rama, FR) in conjunction with her solo presentation with VEDA in 2019.

White was in residency at Sagrada Mercancía (Chile), Triangle France – Astérides

(France) and La Becque (Switzerland) in 2020 and 2021.


 About the Max Mara Art Prize for Women

Now in its 9th edition, the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, is a biennial award established in 2005 by Whitechapel Gallery and Max Mara with the further participation of Collezione Maramotti  from 2007It is the only visual art prize of its kind for UK-based emerging women-identifying artists, set up to identify, nurture and support them at a crucial stage in their careers by offering them the opportunity and resources to create an ambitious new work. The prize is open to women-identifying artists of any age, living and working in the United Kingdom, who have not previously had a major solo exhibition. For each edition a jury, comprising a gallerist, critic, artist and collector, and chaired by the Whitechapel Gallery Director, submits a longlist of women-identifying artists, from which a final shortlist of five is agreed. The winner, selected on the strength of their proposal for the prize, is awarded a bespoke six-month Italian residency, organised by Collezione Maramotti, as well as a dedicated exhibition at both Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti. Collezione Maramotti further acquire the work for their world-class art collection, completing the cycle of support for the artist. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women is both distinct and exceptional in recognising and supporting the creative process and was awarded the British Council Arts & Business International Award in 2007. Further details on the prize and its history can be found here.

Previous winners of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women:

  • Emma Talbot (2019 – 22) – Talbot’s (b. 1969) installation The Age/LEtà comprised animation, free-hanging painted silk panels, three-dimensional work and drawings. The work explores themes of representation and ageing, power and governance, and attitudes towards nature. For the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Talbot imagined a future environment where humankind encounters the disastrous consequences of late capitalism and must look towards more ancient and holistic ways of crafting and belonging – that rethink ancient power structures and celebrate the natural world – in order to survive. Talbot took part to The Milk of Dreams the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Cecilia Alemani.
  • Helen Cammock (2017 – 19) – Cammock (b. 1970) presented a film, a series of vinyl cut prints, a screenprinted frieze and an artist’s book interweaving women’s stories of loss and resilience with seventeenth-century Baroque music by female composers, exploring the concept of lament in women’s lives across histories and geographies in her exhibition Che si può fare. Since winning the Max Mara Art Prize for Women she was awarded the Turner Prize 2019 together with Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani.
  • Emma Hart (2015 – 17) – Hart’s (b. 1974) large-scale installation Mamma Mia! (2016) consists of a family of large ceramic heads, whose interior space is filled with vivid patterns, designed and hand-painted by Hart after researching the designs and practice of the Italian tradition of maiolica pottery. This project represents the culmination of an investigation into pattern, from visual patterns to patterns of psychological behaviour.
  • Corin Sworn (2013 – 15) – Sworn (b. 1976) created a work drawing from the Commedia dell’Arte improvised plays originating in 16th century Italy, where they continue to be of great cultural importance. Her installation titled Silent Sticks consists in a dramatic stage set with props, costumes, sound and video elements. She was awarded the Leverhulme Prize 2015 which recognises the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future carrier is exceptionally promising.
  • Laure Prouvost (2011 – 13) – Prouvost (b. 1978) created an ambitious large-scale installation for her Max Mara Art Prize exhibition Farfromwords, inspired by the aesthetic and sensuous pleasures of Italy and plays on the historic idea of visiting the Mediterranean for inspiration. In 2013 she was awarded the Turner Prize. Her project Deep See Blue Surrounding You was presented in the French pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale.
  • Andrea Büttner (2009 – 11) – Büttner’s (b. 1972) The Poverty of Riches explored the intersection of religion, art and the condition of the artist in the contemporary world. Including woodcuts, cloths, photographs and objects she transformed the exhibition space into a space of contemplation. Part of her project was included in the Whitechapel Gallery’s landmark exhibition Adventures of the Black Square in 2015.
  • Hannah Rickards (2007 – 09) – The prize enabled Rickards (b. 1979) to realise No, there was no red., an ambitious two-screen film she had been researching before winning the Prize. She was also awarded the Leverhulme Prize in 2015 and had a major exhibition at Modern Art Oxford in 2014.
  • Margaret Salmon (2005 – 07) – Salmon (b. 1975) travelled to Italy and created Ninna Nanna, a triptych of black and white films exploring themes of motherhood. She went on to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

About Max Mara

Founded in 1951 by the late visionary Achille Maramotti, Max Mara is the embodiment of Italian luxury and style. A contemporary collection of ready-to-wear and accessories designed for today’s powerful woman. Recognized for its timeless designs and luxurious fabrics, Max Mara is the epitome of elegance, known for its chic coats, sharp suiting and modern accessories. Max Mara is distributed in 2,500 locations in more than 100 countries worldwide. The Max Mara Fashion Group counts nine brands within its portfolio. The company remains privately held and managed by the Maramotti family. www.maxmara.com

About Collezione Maramotti

Collezione Maramotti is a private contemporary art collection which opened to visitors in 2007; located in the historical headquarters of the Max Mara company in Reggio Emilia. It includes a permanent collection of more than 200 works from 1950 to 2019, while regularly presenting new projects and commissions from international mid-career and emergent artists. www.collezionemaramotti.org

About Whitechapel Gallery

Whitechapel Gallery was founded in 1901 with the aim to bring great art to the people of East London.   From the outset, the Gallery has pushed forward a bold programme of exhibitions and educational activities, driven by the desire to enrich the cultural offer for local communities and provide new opportunities for extraordinary artists from across the globe, to showcase their works to UK audiences, often for the first time.

From ground-breaking solo shows from artists as diverse as Barbara Hepworth (1954), Jackson Pollock (1958), Helio Oiticica (1969), Gilbert & George (1971), Eva Hesse (1979), Frida Kahlo (1982), Sonia Boyce (1988), Sophie Calle (2010), Zarina Bhimji (2012), Emily Jacir (2015), William Kentridge (2016), Theaster Gates (2021) and Nicole Eisenman (2023) to thought-provoking exhibitions that reflect key artistic and cultural concerns, the Gallery’s focus on bringing artists, ideas, and audiences together, remains as important today as it did over a century ago and has helped to cement the East End, as one of the world’s most exciting and diverse cultural quarters.

We are proud to be a Gallery that is locally embedded and globally connected. Its vision, under the new Directorship of Gilane Tawadros, is to ensure Whitechapel Gallery claims a distinctive and radical position in the social and cultural landscape, building on its pioneering history as a place for invigorated and inclusive engagement with contemporary art.



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