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Rachel Whiteread CBE

Born, 1963 in London, England

Rachel Whiteread was one of the artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize exhibition of 1993, held at Tate Gallery, 3 - 28 November 1993. Whiteread was shortlisted along with Hannah CollinsVong Phaophanit, and Sean Scully. The jury consisted of Iwona Blazwick, Curator of exhibitions in Britain and abroad, Carole Conrad, Art historian and representative of the Patrons of New Art, Declan McGonagle, Director of the Irish Museum of Modrn Art, Dublin, David Sylvester, Art historian, and Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate Gallery and Chairman of the Turner Prize Jury.  The award was, in due course, made to Whiteread.

Whiteread, the eventual winner was shortlisted for “the continuing development of her work as shown at her retrospective exhibition at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Sydney Biennale, and Galerie Claire Burrus, Paris.” Collins was shortlisted for “her strong representation at the Third International Isanbul biennale, where she exhibited her series ‘Signs of Life’, and also for her retrospective exhibition at the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona.” Phaophanit was shortlisted for “his installation of ‘Neon Rice Field’ at the Serpentine Gallery, London and at the Venice Biennale Aperto, and also for ‘Litterae Lucentes’ (Light Writing), a compelling installation in the grounds of Killerton Park in Devon.” Scully was shortlisted for “exhibitions of his work at Waddington Galleries, London, Mary Boone Gallery, New York, and for his major retrospective at the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, USA.”

All the above quotes come from the introduction to the Turner Prize catalogue, which also contained introductions - both written and visual - to these artists’ work.

Whiteread was one of the artists included in Brilliant!: New Art From London, Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, 22 October 1995  - 7 January 1996 and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 17 February - 14 April 1996. She studied at Brighton Polytechnic and Slade School of Art. The exhibition was one of a number that featured practitioners identified with the so-called yBa grouping. The term yBa refers to certain types of practitioners who collectively, and in some instances, rather loosely, came to be known as Young British Artists, or yBas for short. The term originated in the early 1990s, centred on the work of Damien Hirst and a number of other artists. In an essay The Tate, The Turner Prize and the Art World, Louisa Buck offered a useful summary of the term’s origins. “[Charles] Saatchi had attended [Damien] Hirst’s famous Freeze exhibition in 1988, and soon began to bulk-buy this new batch of home-grown talent. He also set about applying his marketing skills to the promotion of these artists and their work, initially in a series of widely publicised exhibitions at Boundary Road [the original home of the Saatchi Gallery, in St John’s Wood, London] during 1992-5 under the collective title of Young British Artists. The acronym stuck, and soon any artist of that generation, whether or not they had been to Goldsmiths [College], was branded YBA.” Louisa Buck, The Tate, the Turner Prize and the Art World, in The Turner Prize and British Art, Tate, 2007, pp. 12 – 25 (p.19). Chris Ofili was the only Black artist included in Brilliant!: New Art From London. This was at a time when Ofili’s distinctive use of elephant dung within his work was very much in its ascendancy and his Turner Prize nomination was still several years off.

A photograph of Whiteread’s House, 1993, was included in the text, White Walls, White Skins: Cosmopolitanism and colonialism in Inter-war Modernist Architecture, by Paul Overy. The text was part of the volume Cosmopolitan Modernisms, inIVA and MIT Press, 2005. Part of the Annotating Art’s Histories series, edited by Kobena Mercer.

Related items

click to show details of Brilliant! New Art From London

»  Brilliant! New Art From London

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1995

click to show details of Cosmopolitan Modernisms

»  Cosmopolitan Modernisms

Book relating to a publication, 2005

click to show details of Pictura Britannica

»  Pictura Britannica

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1997

click to show details of Turner Prize 1993

»  Turner Prize 1993

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1993

click to show details of Who’s Shocking Now?

»  Who’s Shocking Now?

Article relating to an exhibition, 2007

Related exhibitions

»  Turner Prize 1993

Solo show at Tate Britain. 1993

Related venues

»  Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston

Houston, Texas, United States of America

»  Museum of Contemporary Art

Sydney , Australia

»  Tate Britain

London, United Kingdom

»  Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, United States of America