British sculptor Dame Phyllida Barlow dies aged 78
The renowned artist, known for her large-scale installations made from everyday materials, can look back on a career spanning almost six decades.
Dame Phyllida has been described by her gallery Hauser und Wirth as “a remarkably original, powerful and generous artist” who “playfully guided audiences to become bold explorers”.
“Phyllida Barlow has uniquely redefined a language of sculpture, consistently breaking convention, challenging old notions of monumentality and beauty,” reads a statement on the gallery’s website.
“Over the course of almost 60 years, she used humble materials to create sculptures and installations that defied the rules of gravity, balance and symmetry.
“Her work disrupts and invades the space around her, a strategy through which Barlow playfully guided audiences to become daring explorers.”
Dame Phyllida was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1944 and studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art, both in London.
Phyllida Barlow uniquely redefined a language of sculpture, consistently breaking convention by challenging old notions of monumentality and beauty.
She joined the staff of Slade in the late 1960s and taught there for more than 40 years before retiring from academia in 2009.
Dame Phyllida’s “large-scale but anti-monumental sculptures” were made from inferior and cheap materials such as cardboard, cloth, plywood, polystyrene, cotton cloth, plaster, and cement.
The constructions were often painted in industrial or bright colors, sometimes leaving the seams of their construction visible.
Dame Phyllida’s breakthrough as an artist came in 2004 when she was shown at the Baltic, Gateshead, after which she was represented by Hauser and Wirth.
She was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the arts in the 2015 New Year Honors.
She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the Birthday Honors 2021, also for services to the arts.
“There’s something about walking around sculptures that has an opportunity to be thoughtful, like walking through a landscape,” Dame Phyllida previously said.
“The size of the sculpture has this infinite possibility of opening up to other realms of experience beyond the object itself.”
Throughout her career, Dame Phyllida has exhibited extensively at international institutions including Tate Britain and represented Britain at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/phyllida-barlow-british-gateshead-slade-school-of-fine-art-newcastleupontyne-b1067025.html British sculptor Dame Phyllida Barlow dies aged 78