folly: Phyllida Barlow


folly: Phyllida Barlow


28 × 23 cm | 9 × 11 in
70 ills | 128 pages

Authors: Phyllida Barlow, Emma Dexter

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She has called this, her latest and greatest work, folly. With its emptied-out columns, bashed-up stacks of shapes resembling grand-piano lids, and heaps of debris seemingly left over from some mass protest, you could read it as a vision of the wreck of modern Britain. She has, she said, always made her art "as if a storm were coming". Now, perhaps, is truly her time.
—Charlotte Higgins, The Guardian

folly presents the British Council’s new commission created by Phyllida Barlow for the British Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Best known for her colossal sculptural projects, for over five decades Barlow has employed a distinctive vocabulary of inexpensive materials such as plywood, cardboard, plaster, rubber, cement, fabric and paint to create striking sculptures and bold and expansive installations that confront the relationship between objects and the space that surrounds them.

Drawing on memories of familiar objects from her surroundings, Barlow’s practice is grounded in an anti-monumental tradition, characterised by her physical experience of handling materials in an expedient and direct way.

Phyllida Barlow was born in 1944 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Barlow studied at Chelsea College of Art, 1960–1963, and the Slade School of Art, 1963–1966. Her recent solo exhibitions include: demo, Kunsthalle Zürich, 2016; tryst, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, 2015; dock, the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain, London, 2014; HOARD, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, 2013; scree, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, 2013; siege, New Museum, New York, 2012; Cast, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, 2011; and in 2010, she was in the critically acclaimed two-person show at the Serpentine Gallery, London with Nairy Baghramian. In 2011 she became a Royal Academician, and she was awarded a CBE in 2015.

Phyllida Barlow is represented by Hauser & Wirth.