Whiteread casts the empty spaces inside and around found objects and architectural structures in plaster, resin, or rubber, making them into solid objects. Her subjects often have domestic associations, from large interiors to small everyday items such as light switches. In representing objects and buildings by the spaces around them, Whiteread memorializes not only her subjects but also their real or imagined histories. For Untitled (Nets), based on drawings of discarded lace, she inverted a traditional printmaking process: where metal plates are usually etched with acid, inked, and printed on paper, here are the plates themselves, etched through with jets of acid in a method usually confined to industrial manufacturing.
Gallery label from Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, May 5–August 16, 2010.