This exhibition occurred in the past. The archival exhibition summary below describes the exhibition as it was conceived while on view.
The British sculptor Rachel Whiteread is one of the world’s leading contemporary artists. Whiteread casts the interiors of buildings, household objects, and furniture, capturing familiar but often overlooked areas of the home—the underside of a chair, the contents of a medicine cabinet, or the inside of a garden shed. Over the course of her 30-year career, she has changed the way that the world thinks about sculpture. Her reverse casts of negative spaces, made of industrial materials such as concrete, plaster, and resin, transform the ordinary and unseen into something enduring, striking, and impossible to ignore.
The exhibition Rachel Whiteread is the first comprehensive survey of the artist’s practice, bringing together more than 90 artworks that chart a course from her early career to the present. The works range in scale from the diminutive to the monumental, from casts of hot-water bottles and toilet paper rolls to doors and windows. A selection of drawings and photographs provides a view into Whiteread’s artistic practice and illuminates her complicated casting process. Whiteread memorializes the rich, human histories that are contained within modest objects: she compels us to reconsider our relationship to the material world.
In 1993 Whiteread became the first woman to win the prestigious Turner Prize, an annual prize awarded to a British artist. Since then she has received numerous awards and commissions, and 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. In 2017 the Saint Louis Art Museum acquired Whiteread’s sculpture Detached III, a cast of a garden shed, which is on view on the southwest lawn.
Enhance your Rachel Whiteread experience with a free audio guide featuring expert commentary on 10 works of art from the exhibition as well as an outdoor sculpture by Whiteread in the Museum’s collection.