Rachel Whiteread, one of the UK’s most accomplished contemporary artists, is the subject of a new exhibition at the Tate Britain. Showcasing sculptures from over 25 years worth of her work, the exhibition is a stunning celebration of Whiteread’s practice.
Rachel Whiteread, Due Porte,2016.© Rachel Whiteread. Photo © Tate
Born in London in 1963, Whiteread shot into the public eye when she became the first woman to be awarded the Turner Prize in 1993. The sculpture that ensured her win was, the now iconic, House. The first of her “negative space” sculptures, the interior of a house in Bow was cast in concrete before the outer layer was peeled away, leaving the shell to become a monument to the everyday domestic sphere.
Rachel Whiteread, House, 1993 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo © Tate
This was one of those rare artistic ideas that can be replicated, almost infinitely, to allow new ways of looking at the seemingly commonplace. Whiteread has gone on to explore various structures and materials in her sculptures, many of which are on show at the exhibition. From wardrobes to chicken heads to the spaces underneath chairs (captured in different coloured resins), Whiteread asks us to reconsider spaces that usually go unnoticed
Rachel Whiteread, Stairs, 1995 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo © Tate
These sculptures, which include her best-known works exhibited alongside brand new pieces, are located throughout the museum and around the site. The result is a wonderfully generous survey of Whiteread’s work. And the opportunity to wander among her creations is an immersive and often awe-inspiring experience not to be missed.
Rachel Whiteread, Amber bed, 1991 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo © Tate
Rachel Whiteread, One Hundred Spaces, 1995 © Rachel Whiteread. Photo © Tate
Rachel Whiteread is at the Tate Britain, London SW1P 4RG until 21 January. Find more information