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Modern and Contemporary Art

Biography for Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread is one of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors. Born in London in 1963, she studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic and sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art. She shot to public attention in 1993 with her sculpture, “House,” a life-sized replica of the interior of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End which provoked intense public debate until it was eventually demolished in 1994.
Over the last decade she has developed a significant international reputation, creating major public works in both Europe and the United States. Her winning proposal for the Holocaust memorial at the Judenplatz in Vienna was one of the most prestigious sculptural commissions in Europe in the 1990s. This piece involved placing the cast interior of a library, including imprints from the books on their shelves, into the centre of the square. It was unveiled in October 2000.
In 1997 Rachel represented the UK at the Venice Biennale and created “Monument” for the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2001. Her “Water Tower” (1998) was just reinstalled on the roof of the Museum of Modern Art, New York this autumn. She lives and works in London and her work is represented in many private and public collections worldwide.