Rachel WhitereadUntitled (Stairs) 2001

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Artwork details

Rachel Whiteread (born 1963)
Untitled (Stairs)
Date 2001
MediumPlaster, fibreglass and wood
Dimensionsobject: 3750 x 220 x 5800 mm
Acquisition Purchased from funds provided by the Art Fund and Tate Members 2003
Not on display


Untitled (Stairs) is a very large free-standing sculpture made up of ten cast elements bolted together to form a unit. As its title indicates, it is the cast of a staircase, including three square-shaped landings as the stairs zigzag down the stairwell. The artist cast the surface of the stairs and the space above them. She made a 1:10 scale model before the casting in order to envisage the form of the solidified space and to work out how the final sculpture should be positioned. It has been rotated by 90 degrees so that it stands on an edge which would have been a wall in the original space. Whiteread cast the sections making up Untitled (Stairs) using a durable polymer reinforced plaster, known as Jesmonite, combined with layers of fibreglass matting, painted directly onto the surfaces of the stairs, the walls and the enclosing panels which had been fitted against the stair railings to make moulds. The casts are approximately 80mm thick. Although the assembled sculpture has the appearance of a solid block, it is in fact a shell… (read more)

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