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Belvedere 21 presents a comprehensive cross-section of Rachel Whiteread's thirty-year career
Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Clear Torso), 1993. Polyurethane resin, 100 x 180 x 255 mm. Courtesy of the artist; Photograph courtesy of the artist.

VIENNA.- Rachel Whiteread is recognised internationally as one of the leading artists of her generation. She is best known in Vienna for her Holocaust Memorial on Judenplatz. With this monument, the British artist left a lasting mark on the city and altered the discourse of remembrance. From 7 March to 29 July 2018, the Belvedere 21 is showing a comprehensive cross-section of the acclaimed Turner Prize-winner’s thirty-year oeuvre.

‘Showing this exhibition about the famous artist Rachel Whiteread at the Belvedere 21 is a milestone for us. It is the ideal situation: one of the most globally influential artists of our age who is simultaneously closely connected to the city of Vienna,’ explains Stella Rollig, CEO of the Belvedere and Belvedere 21.

Rachel Whiteread is renowned for her casts of empty spaces that range in scale from the intimate to the monumental. For her negative moulds of everyday objects, furniture and architectural elements, the British artist uses industrial materials like plaster, concrete, resin, rubber, metal and paper. With their silent yet forceful presence, Whiteread’s sculptures evoke personal as well as universal human experiences and memories.

This comprehensive retrospective of Rachel Whiteread’s oeuvre in the main exhibition space of the Belvedere 21 is the first opportunity for the Viennese public to be introduced to major works from the various periods of the artist’s career. Featuring some seventy exhibits, the show ranges from her early casts of hot water bottles to her latest reliefs made from papier mâché. The range of sculptures on view covers casts of entire rooms and architectural features such as floors, doors, and windows as well as negative casts of domestic objects such as tables, boxes, and paper rolls. Milestones in Whiteread’s career such as Closet and Mantle (both 1988) as well as Untitled (Twenty-five spaces) from 1995 will be on display.

A special emphasis of the exhibition is focused on her memorial for the Austrian Jewish victims of the Holocaust, first unveiled in 2000 at the Judenplatz in Vienna. The Holocaust Memorial in Vienna was game-changing for Whiteread’s further development as an artist.

Untitled (Room 101) is another centrepiece of the exhibition. It is a cast of the room 101 in the BBC’s former Broadcasting House, which is believed to be the model for George Orwell’s ‘Room 101’, the torture chamber in his dystopian novel 1984, a warning about totalitarianism and the loss of humanity that is extremely topical today.

‘When you see Whiteread’s Untitled (Room 101) in the context of her other monumental works such as Ghost, House or the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna, the political, social, biographical and ethical dimensions of her art become manifestly apparent,’ according to Harald Krejci, curator of the exhibition at the Belvedere 21.

The exhibition was organised by the Tate Britain, London, together with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Belvedere 21, Vienna, and the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Rachel Whiteread is one of the leading artists of her generation. Born in London in 1963, she was the first woman to win the prestigious Turner Prize in 1993 and went on to represent the UK at the Venice Biennale in 1997. Her work features in major private and public collections worldwide and has been shown in numerous international solo exhibitions, including at the MADRE in Naples, the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Museums of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Serpentine Gallery in London and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. The artist has also created a great number of award-winning projects in public spaces. Rachel Whiteread lives and works in London.

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