• Focus: Rachel Whiteread

    When Rodin was accused of having cast his St. John the Baptist, 1878, from life he is said to have answered, “But did I cast the desert, too?” There is a measure of truth to the master’s quip: casting—like doubt—knows no theoretical limits. Rodin’s words came to me during my visit to Rachel Whiteread’s exhibition at the Basel Kunsthalle (the artist’s most extensive to date), comprising 15 works—from Closet, 1988, to the three dated 1994 and never previously exhibited—all of which derive from the simple technique of casting.

    Though Whiteread began by using objects of modest dimensions as molds (

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