Nasher Sculpture Center Announces Phyllida Barlow: tryst

Dynamic, large-scale installations by influential British artist will create multiple environments within Nasher galleries.

Nasher Sculpture Center announces a major exhibition of the work of the preeminent British sculptor Phyllida Barlow in a show called Phyllida Barlow: tryst, on view from May 30, 2015 through August 30, 2015, featuring all new commissioned works on a monumental scale.

Barlow employs commonplace materials—wood, plaster, concrete, cardboard, and strips of colorful cloth or tape—in extraordinary, monumental, ramshackle, hand-built structures that expound a dizzying array of novel sculptural forms.  Towering, bulky accumulations of matter “elbow their way into the room,” as the artist puts it, filling the space and looming over viewers.  Recent projects at the Tate Britain in London and the New Museum in New York have showcased the prodigious talents of Barlow, who, after a distinguished teaching career at the Slade School of Art in London, is finally enjoying the broad international recognition her work has long deserved. 

“From her use of found materials in the tradition of assemblage to her progressive, imaginative and uncanny use of exhibition spaces, Barlow riotously but cheerfully challenges our expectations on both what a sculptural object can look like and the way sculpture might inhabit a museum setting,” says Director Jeremy Strick. “We are thrilled to have this remarkable talent occupy and contend with the pristine spaces of the Nasher with her material wit and ingenuity.”

Barlow’s exhibition at the Nasher, selected as one of the most anticipated “Best in Show” exhibitions of 2015 by Modern Painters magazine, was organized by the Nasher’s Chief Curator Jed Morse and will feature all new works inspired by and created for the unique spaces of its galleries.  Like several of Barlow’s recent projects, these new works will challenge accepted notions of sculpture, blurring the line between constructed form (sculpture) and constructed environment (architecture), providing a powerful counterpoint to the refined surroundings of the Nasher’s Renzo Piano-designed building. “In a prestigious building designed specifically for sculpture,” says Barlow, “my aim is to make an exhibition which has the potential to argue against its powerful aesthetic and formal character.” More than simply a presentation of unique objects, the distinct sculptures in Barlow’s installations create a coherent, if varied, environment, linking to one another through materials, method of fabrication, or color pallet.

About Phyllida Barlow:

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 Fine Art as Professor of Fine Art. In 2009, she retired from teaching in order to focus on her own work. In 2011 Barlow was selected a Royal Academician.

Barlow's recent solo exhibitions include 'dock', her Tate Duveen Comission, London (2014), 'Phyllida Barlow. Fifty Years of Drawing', Hauser & Wirth London, 'HOARD', Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach FL; 'Scree', Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines IA (2013); '... later', Hauser & Wirth New York NY (2012); 'Phyllida Barlow: siege',New Museum, New York NY (2012); 'BRINK', Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany (2012); 'Phyllida Barlow: Bad Copies', Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England (2012); 'RIG', Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly (2011); 'Cast', Kunstverein Nu¨rnberg, 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 'Carnegie International 2013', Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh PA (2013); La Biennale di Venezia,'55th International Art Exhibition: The Encyclopedic Palace', Venice, Italy (2013); 'The Best of Times, The Worst of Times – Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art', The First International Kiev Biennale, Kiev, Ukraine (2012); 'Sculptural Acts', Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2011); 'Displaced Fractures', Migros Museum fu¨r Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland (2010).

In 2012, Barlow received the Aachen Art Prize and 'Award for the Most Significant Contribution to the Development of Contemporary Art' at The First International Kiev Biennale, Kiev, Ukraine. 

Phyllida Barlow, Duveen Commission, Tate Britain, London