Rachel Whiteread, YELLOW EDGE, 2007–08, plaster, pigment and resin (four units), 7 11/16 × 15 3/16 × 18 1/2 inches (19.5 × 38.6 × 47 cm) © Rachel Whiteread. Photo by Mike Bruce
Rachel Whiteread’s approach to sculpture is predicated on the translation of negative space into solid form. Casting from everyday objects, oftentimes using spaces around or within furniture and architecture, she uses materials such as rubber, dental plaster, and resin to capture every nuance. In recent large-scale works, Whiteread has replicated the empty interiors of wooden garden sheds in concrete and steel, recalling the earlier architectural works Ghost (1990), House (1993), and the imposing concrete sculpture Boathouse (2010), installed on the water’s edge in the remote Nordic landscape of Røykenviken.
Rachel Whiteread was born in 1963 in London, England. She studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic, England, from 1982 to 1985, and sculpture at Slade School of Fine Art, England, from 1985 to 1987. Whiteread’s work has been included in several solo and group exhibitions, including the British Pavilion at the 47th Biennale di Venezia (1997); “Judenplatz: Place of Remembrance,” Judenplatz, Vienna (2000); “Transient Spaces,” Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2001, traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, through 2002); Serpentine Gallery, London (2001, traveled to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh); Haunch of Venison, London (2002); “Untitled (Room 101),” Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2003); “Rachel Whiteread in Brazil,” Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (2004, traveled to Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo); “Walls, Doors, Floors and Stairs,” Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2005); “Plastiken und Zeichnungen (Sculptures and Drawings),” Staatliches Museum Schwerin, Germany (2005); “Embankment,” Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London (2005); Museo d‘Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples (2007); Centro Arte Contemporáneo, Spain (2007); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2008); Portland Art Museum, Oregon (2009); “Drawings,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010, traveled to Nasher Sculpture Centre, Dallas; and Tate Britain, London); and Tate Britain, London (2017).
Whiteread was awarded the International Medal of Arts, U.S. Department of State, and the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize in 2017.
Whiteread currently lives and works in London, England.