Whiteread created these drawings and collages in preparation for Water Tower, a sculpture commissioned in 1998 by the Public Art Fund in New York City. In developing this project—her first public sculpture in the United States—the British artist scoured the city in search of a quintessentially New York subject. Looking across the East River to Manhattan during a visit to Brooklyn, she noticed the water towers perched high above the streets. The sculpture—a resin cast of the interior of a once-functioning cedar water tower—was originally installed on a rooftop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. MoMA acquired the work in 1999 and installed it on the Museum’s roof, where it is now visible from the Sculpture Garden.
Gallery label from 2013.