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Rachel Whiteread Biography

English sculpture artist Rachel Whitebread was born in 1963 in Essex, and was the first woman to win the esteemed Turner Prize, in 1993. She primarily produces casts, a technique that involves pouring liquids such as plaster or molten metal into a mould and allowed the piece to set. During the 1980s she studied at the Slade School of Art in London, graduating with an MA in 1987. She began to exhibit in that same year, with her first solo exhibition coming in 1988. Whitebread was one of the acclaimed Young British Artists that were part of the Royal Academy’s 1997 Sensation exhibition.

Many of her sculptures are representations of the empty space – or negative space – around everyday objects. One of her most famous pieces is House, a depiction of the interior of a British Victorian house cast in concrete. She is also well known for the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna, which is a sculpture of library shelves with the book splines turned inwards. The inability to read these books represents the lost lives of 65,000 Austrian Jews to the Holocaust. Whitebread was selected out of a number of artists to create this moving piece for the Mayor of Vienna.

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