the gentlewoman

Rachel Whiteread

The artist Rachel Whiteread is probably best known for her monumental sculpture “House”, constructed in 1993 and destroyed 11 weeks later. She has devoted her career almost entirely to the making of casts – of spoons, hot water bottles, mattresses, sinks, staircases, houses. Rachel was one of the Young British Artists championed by Charles Saatchi in the 1990s; she won the Turner Prize in 1993; was the first woman (and youngest person ever) to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1997; and has had solo shows round the world. She has been described as a “poet of the past”, her sculptures ghosts of the objects from which she has cast them. Rachel grew up in Muswell Hill, north London. She studied painting at Brighton and did a postgraduate degree in sculpture at the Slade, where she met her husband, the artist Marcus Taylor. They live with their two sons near Hampstead Heath.