In 1992, Cuban-born Felix Gonzalez-Torres used the vernacular of seaside bars and street parties to create a sculpture memorialising his partner. "Untitled" (A Love Meal) is a ribbon of 42 illuminated light bulbs. Radiant and festive, the bulbs will eventually extinguish. Combining joy, mourning and renewal, the motif of the lit bulb suggests the transient nature of relationships and of the body itself. This deceptively simple work became an iconic sculpture of the 1990s and is the centrepiece of this display.
Everyday objects as visual metaphor continues with Modello di Campo 6 (1996) by German artist Tobias Rehberger. 15 handmade vases each contain a type of flower as a portrait of a fellow artist. In 120 Days (2002) by Mexican born Damian Ortega, cola bottles have been turned into extravagant vessels by Murano glass blowers, transformed from disposable, mass-produced objects into desirable expressions of individualised craftsmanship.
Other artists include Pawel Althamer, Dafne Boggeri, Riccardo Giacconi, Sabina Grasso, Antonio Guiotto, Domenico Mangano, Diego Marcon, Patrizio Di Massimo, Patrizia Monzani, Maria Domenica Rapicavoli, Gianluca and Massimiliano de Serio and Cerith Wyn Evans. The Turin-based Collection Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is a definitive collection of international contemporary art. The display is part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s ongoing programme showing rarely seen public and private collections.