Whitechapel Whiteread voted favourite work

  • 14 December 2012

Rachel Whiteread's Tree of Life has been voted the favourite Art Fund-supported work of 2012, overcoming stiff competition from the likes of Titian, Manet and Turner.

The glittering frieze across the Whitechapel Gallery facade led a top five dominated by British art from the last five years. The exception was Titian's 16th-century masterpiece Diana and Callisto, bought for the National Gallery and National Galleries of Scotland following a lengthy fundraising campaign.

1. Rachel Whiteread, Tree of Life, 2012
Whitechapel Gallery – 18%

This is Whiteread’s first permanent UK public work. Cast in bronze and plated in gold leaf, the Whitechapel’s stunning facade is now emblazoned with shimmering foliage.

2. Titian, Diana and Callisto, 1556–9
National Gallery and Scottish National Galleries – 13%

Titian’s masterpiece along with its companion painting Diana and Actaeon were described by Lucian Freud as ‘simply the most beautiful paintings in the world’.

3. Yinka Shonibare, MBE, Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, 2011
National Maritime Museum – 11%

Shonibare’s iconic Fourth Plinth sculpture was bought with funds raised by our public campaign to give the work a fitting permanent new home in Greenwich.

4. Grayson Perry, The Vanity of Small Differences, 2012
Arts Council Collection – 11%

Bursting with colour, cultural references and Perry’s trademark wit, the six tapestries narrate the story of social mobility and cultural taste in contemporary British society.

5. Roger Hiorns, Seizure, 2008
Arts Council Collection – 9%

Hiorns’ entrancing blue crystal sculpture, made from 75,000 litres of liquid copper sulphate, will go on display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park next year.