Thursday 25 January 2018

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread

at Tate Britain.

Even though I have been a fan of Rachel Whiteread's work for a long time, this is the first exhibition  dedicated entirely to her work that I have seen. I was not disappointed...

Whiteread's spare sculptures are made using the technique of casting, with materials such as plaster, rubber, resin, concrete and metals. Unlike traditional cast sculpture, which is intended to replicate objects, Whiteread's works instead cast the space inside or around everyday forms - such as furniture or boxes - or architectural structures - such as floors, staircases or entire rooms - recording their surfaces and allowing their shapes to determine the form of her sculpture. In this way she explores the human imprint on our everyday environment.

Untitled, (One Hundred Spaces), 1995

This installation is made up of 100 component parts arranged in a grid, the configuration depending on the location. In the Duveen Galleries at Tate  Britain, the parts are placed in a five by twenty formation. Each piece is the cast of the underside of a found chair, made in coloured resin, a material Whiteread began to use early in her career. The process of casting retains the imperfections of the wear and tear of the original objects. As with much of Whiteread's work, the casts are the result of a time-consuming, labour-intensive and technically ambitious method of casting.

Untitled Tiles, 1005, 2017 (lithographic print screen with printed spot varnish on Somerset satin)

Room 101, 2003

Room 101 is a plasticised plaster cast of a room in Broadcasting House, the British Broadcasting Company's headquarters when novelist George Orwell worked there during WWII. The room is believed to have inspired Room 101, the chamber of horror in Orwell's dystopian masterpiece 1984. Whiteread's cast of the room is all that remains of this literary artefact. Every element of the room's surface, including the cracks in a wall or the space between skirting boards and floors, was painstakingly prepared before the room was cast in sections, and the original walls removed.

Untitled (Floor), 1994-95, (polyester resin)

Untitled (White Slab), 1994-2017 (rubber)

Table and Chair (Clear), 1994, (resin)

Ghost, 2009, (polyurethane)

Untitled (Air Bed), 1992, (polyurethane, rubber)

Untitled (Hive), 2007-8, (resin)

Untitled  (Stairs), 2001, (plaster, fibreglass and wood)

Due Porte, 2016, (resin)

Untitled Floor (Thirty Six), 2002, (cast aluminium)

Torsos, 1998, (concrete, resin, dental plaster)

Torsos, 1998, (concrete, resin, dental plaster)

Maquette for Holocaust Memorial, 1995, (mixed media)

You can see more about the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna, here

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