Artwork of the Day: House by Rachel Whiteread (1993)

House was a concrete cast of the inside of an entire Victorian terraced house completed in autumn 1993, exhibited at the location of the original house – 193 Grove Road – in East London (all the houses in the street had earlier been knocked down by the council). It drew mixed responses, winning her both the Turner Prize for best young British artist in 1993 (the first women to ever win the award) and the K Foundation art award for worst British artist. Tower Hamlets London Borough Council demolished House on 11 January 1994, a decision which caused some controversy itself.

Many of Whiteread’s works are casts of ordinary domestic objects and, in numerous cases, the space the objects do not inhabit (often termed the “negative space”) — instead producing a solid cast of where the space within a container would be; particular parts of rooms, the area underneath furniture, for example. She says the casts carry “the residue of years and years of use”. Whiteread mainly focuses on the line and the form for her pieces.