Space, Part 1: Giving Form to a Feeling

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How does an artist give presence to absence?

Bronze, wood, paint, and stone—classic materials for art making. But what if you're trying and struggling to convey a vast expanse, a terrible loss or a haunting presence? In this episode we'll look at two artists who turned to the material of space to express what nothing else could.


Rachel Whiteread, sculptor

Brinda Kumar, Associate Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, The Met

Shania Hall, photographer

Featured artworks:

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Three Tables), 1995/1996:

Shania Hall, Where the Vast Sky Meets the Flat Earth (unofficial title), ca. 2015:

For a transcript of the episode and more information, visit


Immaterial is produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Magnificent Noise and hosted by Camille Dungy.

Production staff includes Salman Ahad Khan, Ann Collins, Samantha Henig, Eric Nuzum, Emma Vecchione, Sarah Wambold, and Jamie York. Additional staff includes Julia Bordelon, Skyla Choi, Maria Kozanecka, and Rachel Smith.

Sound design by Ariana Martinez and Kristin Muller.
Original music by Austin Fisher.
Fact-checking by Mary Mathis and Claire Hyman.

Immaterial is made possible by Dasha Zhukova Niarchos. Additional support is provided by the Zodiac Fund.

Special thanks to Exhibition Design Manager Dan Kershaw, Associate Curator Patricia Norby, and Curator Sylvia Yount

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  1. Immaterial: 5,000 Years of Art, One Material at a Time

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Stories of the materials used in making art are often as thought-provoking and illuminating as the o 
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