The Gagosian Gallery space on Davies Street is a single white clean rectangular room, devoid of any distractions.The cuboid gallery space sets up an interesting play with the sculptures of this exhibition which are carefully, diagrammatically, arranged inside it.We enter into a meditational space where the formal simplicity of the sculptures is given prominence and resonance.
The show presents new work by Rachel Whiteread.It is work which rethinks a theme explored in one of her best known pieces “One Hundred Spaces” exhibited in the Sensation exhibition in 1997- that is the creation of a cast of the space beneath a chair. This time, instead of using resin, Whiteread makes her casts from stone and concrete and even a plaster composite.This experimentation with material creates blocks which have a more palpable presence. One which is less ephemeral, more balanced and contemplative.
Critics often note that Whiteread’s work suggests the notion of absence; we think of the person who is suggested but missing from the sculptures created.These more recent sculptures seem to me to be more ambiguous.All of the sculptural works on show are untitled.Whiteread leaves the viewer to project their own interpretation onto the works.We walk around the pieces and our relationship with them is brought to the fore.Whiteread sets up a poetic and playful dialogue with the viewer in rendering an immaterial space concrete, playful and poetic.
Whiteread’s interest in the exhibition has moved from the individual casts to the relationship of the casts to each other.This interest is reflected in the curation of the show itself which has a successfully strong formal layout.The coloured casts are placed down the centre of the rectangular space and are neatly balanced by white casts at either end.The sculpture creates its own rhythm through the space of the gallery.
For more information see the Gagosian Gallery website.