Words by Christina Sanders Rebecca Warren is best known for her abstracted female forms, hand crafted from unfired clay, left, almost looking unfinished – they are raw and show the process of the artists work, with fingerprints and hand marks left in. She was nominated for the Tuner Prize in 2006 and is known for her humour and crude (sometimes rude) approach to her work. Her new show, recently opened at the Serpentine is her first major solo show in a public gallery. Included are works both old and new, as well as some pieces created especially for the show, to give a complete overview of her career so far. However, the selection has been done carefully. Instead of trying to cram everything in, the artist’s cannon has been edited carefully, with choice pieces selected. Giving each sculpture room to breathe and have the impact it deserves – something that can easily be lost when too many bits of art are crammed into one space. Warren’s most famous work is her series of female figures, whether literal or deconstructed, sometimes paired down to the simplest of sexual forms – all strong legs and vaginas. This style is most obvious in one of the most famous pieces on display in the show - Helmut Crumb, offers two opposing views of the ideal form of female sexuality, both just showing the legs, inspired by Robert Crumbs buxom cartoon characters and a famous fashion photograph by Helmut Newton, showing a tall, thin supermodel with her underwear round her ankles. Also included are several blocks of unfired, half worked clay, where any actual form is harder to spot, however like when looking at clouds, if you spend enough time looking you will eventually see something – although inevitably it is all heaped with sexual innuendo. There are also several of Warren’s vitrines, which hold collections of found objects from the artist’s studio. These seemingly insignificant things are given a new and higher status by being selected to be shown in a gallery setting. Normally vitrines are the kind of display cases used in museums to hold priceless artefacts, however Warren’s have a decidedly handmade feel to them, which jars with and questions that notion of worth. Warren creates work that subverts the very foundations of the art world, the value places on the materials and the long running tradition of depicting the female form. She plays with what we think about the tradition of art. Creating works that look unfinished, yet hold within them such a great energy and intelligence that it is impossible not to be won over. For more information on Rebecca Warren and the Exhibition please visit www.serpentinegallery.org