Not on View

Untitled (Plinth)

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Untitled (Plinth)

Artist: Rachel Whiteread (British, born 1963)
Date: 1995-1996
Medium: rubber
Dimensions:
Overall: 27 x 30 x 34 in. (68.6 x 76.2 x 86.4 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., 1997.6
Accession number: 1997.6
Classification: sculpture
Label Text Whiteread’s sculptures make visible the spaces we inhabit but disregard. She has cast space beneath chairs, inside of closets, an entire abandoned house, as well as more personal objects such as mattresses and bathtubs. Untitled (Plinth) is a deep-orange, soft rectangular sculpture made of rubber. The color and material combined might suggest the same softness and ruddiness of the human body. When we learn that the sculpture is a cast of the empty space beneath a table found in a mortuary, some viewers might find that their initial reaction to the work changes. Life and death are depicted at once. The physicality of the sculpture paradoxically represents absence and, by extension, mortality. October, 2020
Whiteread was born in Ilford, England, outside of London, in 1963. From 1982-1985 she studied painting at Brighton Polytech and then sculpture at the Slade School of Art from 1985-87, where she was introduced to casting in wax and plaster. In 1987 she cast the inside of her closet, based on fond childhood memories of the darkness and warmth of the closet. Whiteread represented England in the 1997 Venice Biennale, the youngest English artist to have had that honor. Source: News, September October 1997.
Exhibition History"Contemporary Projects: Longing and Memory," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 4 - Sept. 7, 1997
Published ReferencesDMAC News, Sept./Oct. 1997, ref. p.2, cover ill.

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.284, color ill. p.285
entirely unexpected