Whiteread was born in London and studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic from 1982-1985, and later sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, London from 1985-1987. She participated in the DAAD Artist’s Programme, Berlin in 1992 and was awarded the Turner Prize at the Tate Gallery, London in 1993. That same year she confirmed her position as one of the most important artists of her generation and gained international fame with House, a sculpture cast from the interior space of an entire condemned Victorian terraced house. The resulting sculpture was left in the location where the original house had once stood, on Grove Road in London’s east end. House stood for three months before being demolished by Hackney Council to clear a communal park; the sculpture stood on one edge.
Whiteread casts directly from the negative space around and inside familiar utilitarian objects using plaster, resin and rubber. What remains is a reminder, ephemeral space and time made solid and tangible. Her work traces memory and absence, the cast sculptures bearing evidence of the original object; colour from wallpaper seeping into casting plaster, or imperfections in the underside of a cast iron bath tub faithfully recorded in resin. In addition to her sculpture, Whiteread uses photography as part of her practice: photographs of structures, buildings under construction or demolition, furniture abandoned in the street, empty rooms.
Whiteread had her first solo exhibition in 1988 at the Carlyle Gallery, London and two years later showed Ghost, a plaster cast of a room in a Victorian house at the Chisenhale Gallery, London. In 1996, the Tate Gallery Liverpool mounted a major solo exhibition, and an exhibition quickly followed at the Palacio de Velazquez, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid the following year. She was selected to represent Britain for the XLVII Venice Biennale, for which she won the coveted Golden Lion. Her major commission for the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna was inaugurated in 2000. Her work is represented in major international collections
De la Moore la Hirst 60 de ani de sculptura Britanica (From Moore to Hirst: Sixty Years of British Sculpture), The British Council and the National Museum of Art, Bucharest 2004