David Frankel


RACHEL WHITEREAD’s spring show may or may not have been the year’s best (given the variety of competing and even incompatible criteria that would have to be juggled when making that selection); let’s just say it was a favorite of mine. Making a career out of an idea Bruce Nauman invented and abandoned thirty years ago, Whiteread, as is well-known, casts objects’ and architectures’ insides and undersides in various materials—plaster, resin, rubber, concrete—to make sculptures touched with the familiar yet often hard to place. In this show, a sequence of semitranslucent blue-green resin blocks on the floor turned out to mold the space beneath a corridor’s floorboards; a ridged plaster array on the wall marked the negative space of eight bookshelves, complete with books. Whiteread, apparently, has tried to distance herself from the elegiac tones her audience has found in her

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