Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread was born in 1963 in London, and studied at Brighton Polytechnic and then at the Slade School of Fine Art. Rachel Whiteread’s practice is principally in the creation of monumental sculptures made of plaster, resin, polyurethane and rubber. These materials, like the casting technique, are usually used in the preparatory phases of making sculptures, but Rachel Whiteread uses them in her final pieces. She is interested in giving form to the void, which she translates materially: over the course of the years, she has given form to the interiors of cupboards, baths and the empty space beneath a bed, creating true monuments in the gap and ‘empty spaces’. These shells remain only as weak imprints on the surface of her sculptures. House (1993) is typical of her work: a cast of a Victorian house which she made by filling its interior with cement, revealed only when the outer walls were demolished. She thus offered a tangible reflection on the speculative building practices affecting so many London neighbourhoods.