Simple Shape's 'What We Saw' Review: 4. Rachel Whiteread, Tate Britain, London

I was a student in Manchester in the late '90s. One weekend, we went to Liverpool for the day and visited the Tate, probably to get coffee, if I'm honest. It was here that I first came across Rachel Whiteread's work, by accident. I absolutely loved it. I was captivated by the idea of registering, claiming, the invisible space.
This is a show that is so very worth seeing.

Rachel Whiteread
Tate Britain, Westminster, London, SW1.
until 21 January 2018

Untitled (Book Corridors), 1997

Untitled (Book Corridors), 1997

Whiteread has used her casting technique to record the underneath, the in-between, the shadows, the gaps, the splinters, notches, scratches and folds of everyday life. Chairs, tables, book cases, floors, doors, stairwells and whole houses are recorded in plaster, resin and papier mache. Whiteread is able to work at huge scale (her controvertial House cast in 1993 won her the Turner Prize), but also to preserve the human detail and to somehow capture something just passing. 

Untitled (Hive), 2007-2008

Untitled (Hive), 2007-2008

Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) 1995

I love the colours of the Untitled (One Hundred Spaces) casts. The jewel like tones and jelly like appearance make them seem playful even though they stand in lines that at the same time feel solemn, grave and serious.  

Untitled Floor (Thirty-six) 2002, Untitled (Stairs) 2001 (left) and Untitled (Room 101) 2003 (right). Looking across the room at these vast pieces it felt as thought the architecture of the gallery had been designed around the objects, the ceiling seemed to be totally sympathetic to the pieces resting underneath.

Untitled Floor (Thirty-six) 2002, Untitled (Stairs) 2001 (left) and Untitled (Room 101) 2003 (right). Looking across the room at these vast pieces it felt as thought the architecture of the gallery had been designed around the objects, the ceiling seemed to be totally sympathetic to the pieces resting underneath.

The breathtaking central hall of Tate Britian.  I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I haven't been to Tate Britian for so many years but, my god, it is such a wonderful building. Even if art isn't really your thing, go for the building. The sheer scale and space is wonderful. 

The breathtaking central hall of Tate Britian. 
I'm a little bit ashamed to admit that I haven't been to Tate Britian for so many years but, my god, it is such a wonderful building. Even if art isn't really your thing, go for the building. The sheer scale and space is wonderful. 

Imprints of imprints. Close up of Untitled (Book Corridors), 1997

Imprints of imprints.
Close up of Untitled (Book Corridors), 1997

And then...as I walked back towards Westminster I passed the Houses of Parliament just as the sun touched the roof lighting the gilded tops of the turrets. I had never noticed them before. It's good to be a tourist in your own city sometimes.

Houses of Parliament, Westminster

Houses of Parliament, Westminster