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Rachel Whiteread


Rachel Whiteread | England b.1963 | Twenty-five spaces 1995 | Cast resin | 25 blocks: 43 x 30 x 30cm (irreg., each) Purchased 1996. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Rachel Whiteread

Twenty-five spaces 1995

Rachel Whiteread is regarded as a key figure in contemporary British sculpture. Her work takes its point of departure from objects and structures that we encounter every day: tables, light switches, staircases and terrace houses. She makes casts of the spaces displaced (or contained) by these objects, revealing the shape of their interior volumes.

The geometric and simple forms of Whiteread's work call to mind the work of minimalist artists such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Robert Morris, who came to prominence in the 1960s.

Whiteread has employed a range of different materials including plaster, concrete and rubber since her first cast sculptures in the late 1980s. In Twenty-five spaces 1995, the artist has cast the spaces underneath twenty-five chairs with a translucent blue resin.

The grid-like arrangement of the resin blocks alludes to minimalist sculpture, but also evokes the layout of a school classroom. The spaces between the blocks and their translucency have the effect of inviting the viewer to move between and around them, encouraging a physical relationship with the work