Rachel Whiteread

Untitled (Pair) (1999)

About this artwork

The two elements of this work are cast from a mortuary slab. One part has a slightly hollowed surface, designed to capture bodily fluids and channel them towards the foot end. The second part is a direct cast of the other. This makes them like male and female partners, as they would fit together if one were turned upside-down and placed on top of the other. Standing side by side like a knight and lady in a medieval tomb, they refer to death and companionship.

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread

Whiteread was born in London. In 1988 she began making casts of the space in and around domestic objects, such as under a bed. These casts produced a ghostly world in negative form, evoking the history of the objects. In 1993 she made a concrete cast of an entire house in the east end of London. Like all of Whiteread's casts, the house was a monument to memory and mortality. It was demolished in 1994 amid controversy. Whiteread won the Turner Prize in 1993 and in 1997 became the first British woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale.