I don’t always know what is on exhibit when I head to a museum. During one of my recent trips to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC I was lucky to stumble upon artist Rachel Whiteread for the first time. Imagine my delight when I turn the corner and see a piece that grabs my eye and realize there is an entire exhibition to explore.
When you walk through Rachel Whiteread’s exhibition; most recently on view at the St. Louis Art Museum you are brought to a place of reflection. Whiteread is a British sculptor, whose work consists of casts made of things in the world. Some of her pieces are the interior of a room, the inside of a water bottle or other household items. Her pieces are created out of a variety of materials including plastic, rubber, concrete, resin and paper.
Whiteread’s casts of these objects and memories provide an opportunity to view the changes in how we live and use these objects from the late 20th century into the 21st century. They provide an opportunity to explore the meaning of a simple object. Or opens up the space to visit a memory of your own.
This exhibition was the first comprehensive survey of Whiteread’s work bringing together almost 100 objects from over 30-years of work. While this main exhibition has ended, her works can be found in the collections of renowned museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and Tate Britain in London.