“Village…simultaneously encourages and thwarts voyeurism, inviting viewers to peer into one empty room after another. Eventually it turns the tables: the illuminated windows become hundreds of Lilliputian eyes.”
—The New York Times
Widely known for her public monuments, including Water Tower (1998) in New York (now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art) and Holocaust Memorial (1995/2000) in Vienna, Rachel Whiteread considers the scale and structure of familiar forms through the overlooked spaces essential to their identity. Throughout her twenty-five year career, Whiteread has created a critical body of work that addresses our presence, relationships, and the power of the past. Rich with meaning, her sculpture is also conceptually rigorous and formally evolves from the tenets of minimalism.
This exhibition features the US premiere of her most recent work, Place (Village) (2006-08) and traces the position of domestic objects through sculptures and drawings. Over several years, Whiteread has collected handmade English dollhouses and configured them into a sprawling “community” filled with haunting memories and melancholy. Place (Village), encompassing the left side of the Foster Gallery, appears as if it was discovered at night. In contrast to this installation are individual sculptures from an early floor piece cast in rubber as well as more recent “stacks” cast from the interior of tattered boxes.
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“Rachel Whiteread” is generously funded by The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, with additional support from the Catherine and Paul Buttenwieser Fund, the Robert and Jane Burke Fund for Exhibitions, anonymous donors, Irma Fisher Mann, and The Barbara Lee Family Foundation Fund at the Boston Foundation. Gagosian Gallery, London, and Luhring Augustine, New York, also generously funded this exhibition.