One of the artist's most ambitious exhibitions in the UK to date, Barlow's show features immense, new sculptures constructed in situ that respond to the architecture of the gallery. Inspired by the everyday objects of the city, Barlow has created a group of works that brings the cacophony of the gallery's external surroundings inside.
'Things aren't just visual. They are sensations of physicality.'
– Phyllida Barlow
Hauser & Wirth is proud to announce Phyllida Barlow's debut show with the gallery. One of the artist's most ambitious exhibitions in the UK to date, Barlow's show features immense, new sculptures constructed in situ that respond to the architecture of the gallery.
Inspired by the everyday objects of the city, Barlow has created a group of works that brings the cacophony of the gallery's external surroundings inside. The urban congestion is 'captured like something wild or feral', says Barlow, and is evolved into a purely physical object, stripped of any symbolic context and resituated within the gallery. The verticality and mass of the sculptures, broken up by the staccato application of brightly coloured paints and draped fabrics, takes over the entire building from the basement to the attic.
Like the urban environment from which they are drawn, Barlow's sculptures are not passive emblems, but instead active objects that swallow their surroundings. These new works are precariously positioned and obstruct the viewer's path, forcing them to look around, underneath or above their great mass and imposing position.
For over four decades, Barlow has created anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim and cement. Barlow's sculptural practice is centred on her experimentation with these materials and the process of re- contextualising them to create large-scale, three-dimensional collages. Her constructions are often crudely painted in industrial or synthetic colours, resulting in abstract, seemingly unstable forms: the seams of their construction left completely visible, revealing the dynamics of their making.
Phyllida Barlow was born in 1944 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. She lives and works in London. In the late 1960s, Barlow began teaching at the Slade School of Art as Professor of Fine Art. In 2009, she stopped teaching in order to focus on her own work.
Barlow's recent solo exhibitions include 'Cast', Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany (2011); 'STREET', BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria (2010); and in 2010, she was in the critically acclaimed two-person show at the Serpentine Gallery, London, England with Nairy Baghramian. Recent group shows include 'Displaced Fractures', Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2010). Barlow's forthcoming exhibitions include 'Sculptural Acts' a group show at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (November 2011); 'Before the Law' at Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (December 2011); and a solo show of her drawings at the Henry Moore Institute (April 2012). In 2011, Barlow was elected a Royal Academician.
Press Contact: Kristina McLean
+44 207 183 3577
Installation view, 'Phyllida Barlow. STREET', BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria, 2010
© Phyllida Barlow
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Photo: Oliver Ottenschlager
Opening: Thursday 1 September 6 - 8 pm
Hauser & Wirth
196A Piccadilly - London
Gallery hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm