Rachel Whiteread


Rachel Whiteread : biography

20 April 1963 –

The work turned out to be Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial (2000; also known as Nameless Library) and is located in the centre of the Judenplatz in Vienna. It is a work in cast concrete, with the walls made up of rows of books, with the pages, rather than the spines, turned outward; this can be regarded as a comment on Jews as a "people of the book" and the Nazi book burnings."". Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin. Retrieved on 28 March 2007. On one of the walls is the negative cast of double-doors.

Untitled Monument (2001)

With Untitled Monument (2001), (also variously known as Plinth or Inverted Plinth), Whiteread became the third artist to provide a sculpture for the empty fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square. Her sculpture was an 11 ton resin cast of the plinth itself, which stood upsidedown, making a sort of mirror-image of the plinth. It was said to be the largest object ever made out of resin, taking eight attempts to produce due to the resin cracking.O’Grady, Carrie. "". The Guardian, 1 November 2003. Retrieved on 28 March 2007. The work was produced in two halves and surface blisters of the cast repaired by picking them off and filling the small craters with a syringe of resin. Unusually for a public work, she raised the funds for the piece herself by selling maquettes (small preparatory models); this was no small gesture with the mold alone costing over £100,000 and the total cost estimated at £225,000

The critical response included:

"This dazzling anti-monument monument looks like a glass coffin, but its watery transparency relates to the large fountain that dominates the Trafalgar plaza. Following the aquatic theme, Whiteread’s Monument evokes the scene of the 1805 naval battle for which the square is named."Ebony, David. "". Artnet, 2006. Retrieved on 28 March 2007.

— David Ebony, Artnet

"It’s a simple trick, but an effective one, and the associations it conjures — heaviness and lightness, earth and heaven, death and life — are thought-provoking and manifold […] Whiteread’s Monument, as light and gleaming as the plinth is dark and squat, is the only one of the four commissioned pieces to allude directly to the plinth’s defining emptiness. She sees it not as a space to be filled, but as an absence to be acknowledged, and she does it well."

— Ned Denny, New Statesman, 9 July 2001.

Snow Show (2004)

"The challenge has been to work in collaboration with an architect [Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa] in a completely unfamiliar material. At this point, there is a 3-dimensional model of an actual stairwell space in East London, electronic imagery and a wooden mould that is being constructed in Rovaniemi, Finland. I know that the piece will be made from snow and will have a feeling of solidity; the viewer will be able to walk into it. The form is based upon a simple stairwell space that has been turned by 90 degrees. The exterior of the piece is a pragmatic solution simply reflecting the complex geometry of the interior. The new space should feel familiar and domestic. I hope that it will disorientate the viewer and make one think of other places."

— Rachel Whiteread

Embankment (2005–2006)

Embankment In spring 2004, she was offered the annual Unilever Series commission to produce a piece for Tate Modern’s vast Turbine Hall, delaying acceptance for five to six months until she was confident she could conceive of a work to fill the space.http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1593080,00.html Throughout the latter half of September 2005 and mid-way into October her work Embankment was installed and was made public on 10 October. It consists of some 14,000 translucent, white polyethylene boxes (themselves casts of the inside of cardboard boxes) stacked in various ways; some in very tall mountain-like peaks and others in lower (though still over human height), rectangular, more levelled arrangements. They are fixed in position with adhesive. She cited the end scenes of both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Citizen Kane as visual precursors; she also spoke of the death of her mother and a period of upheaval which involved packing and moving comparable boxes.The Culture Show, BBC2, 13 October 2005 It is also thought that her recent trip to the Arctic is an inspiration, although critics counter that white is merely the colour the polyethylene comes in, and it would have added significantly to the expense to dye them. The boxes were manufactured from casts of ten distinct cardboard boxes by a company that produces grit bins and traffic bollards.Barber, Lynn. "". The Observer (UK), 16 October 2005. Retrieved on 28 March 2007.