Untitled (Basement) | Rachel Whiteread | Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa
Past exhibition

Gerhard Richter. Lawrence Winer. Rachel Whiteread

06.22.2004 - 09.12.2004

In summer 2004 the Museum will be presenting in several galleries on the third floor works by three internationally renowned contemporary artists, Gerhard Richter, Lawrence Weiner and Rachel Whiteread, who have been creating commissioned works for the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin for some time.

In recent decades, Gerhard Richter (Dresden 1932) has consolidated his reputation as one of the most influential artists of our time, without limiting himself to any one particular style. His extraordinarily varied production includes sculptures and paintings that range from anything between landscapes to colorist abstractions or monochrome grays. Eight Gray, from 2002, consists of eight enameled glass panels evoking themes the artist has been exploring since the mid-1960s. Part painting, part sculpture and part architecture, these huge panels reflect what is going on around them, being what might almost be described as the shadow of an ever-changing image. As the spectator comes into and leaves the plane of the work, he creates scenes at random that add a further element of uncertainty.

Lawrence Weiner (Bronx, New York, 1942) is a sculptor and conceptual artist whose basic medium of expression is language. Since 1968, when he concluded that the actual physical construction of an artwork was not critical to its existence in the world, Weiner has created hundreds of works of art using language as the constant in an array of possible other materials. Commissioned by the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, Weiner created NACH ALLES / AFTER ALL, a bilingual installation comprising texts that address the multiple realities of things and their materials as they coexist and interact in the same space. The work follows from Weiner's interest in the work of explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), whose exhaustive systems of classification inspired the artist to re-examine the mundane materials of his surroundings and the ways in which they are ordered.

Rachel Whiteread (London 1963) has created a singular body of sculptures in which she transforms ordinary objects and architectural spaces into poetic, thought-provoking artworks. In the late eighties, Whiteread began to make sculptures of objects like beds, toilets, wash hand basins and cupboards to highlight the private aspects of home life and explore the human body in symbolic terms. This exhibition presents two large-scale works, Untitled (Apartment) and Untitled (Basement), both from 2001, created from a building in London that served, over the years as a synagogue, textile warehouse and, subsequently as the artist's residence and studio. Both works embody the generic nature of much of postwar architecture and reflect the aesthetic and sociological concerns that have marked this period of Europe's history.


Rachel Whiteread
Untitled (Basement) (Basement), 2001
White robust plasticized plaster
325.1 x 657.9 x 368.3 cm
Commissioned by Deustche Bank AG in consultation with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin