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.