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British Council commission for the British Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale 2017: Phyllida Barlow
Portrait of Phyllida Barlow ©David Levene, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.


LONDON.- Phyllida Barlow has been selected by the British Council to represent Britain at the 57th Venice International Art Biennale. She will present a major solo show in the British Pavilion, which will run from 13 May to 26 November 2017. The Artistic Director of the 57th International Art Biennale will be Christine Macel.

Best known for her colossal sculptural projects, for over five decades Phyllida Barlow has employed a distinctive vocabulary of inexpensive materials such as plywood, cardboard, plaster, 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 said: “It is an extraordinary privilege and honour to be invited to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale 2017. I am astonished, thrilled and, of course, hugely excited. It is going to be a remarkable experience to begin to consider the work for the imposing architecture of the British pavilion. I cannot imagine a more invigorating and wonderful challenge. The international diversity for which the Biennale is so renowned within the particular context of Venice is a unique and stimulating creative opportunity beyond my wildest dreams.”

Emma Dexter, British Council Director, Visual Arts and Chair of the Venice Biennale Selection Committee, said: “I am truly delighted that Phyllida Barlow has been selected to represent Britain at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Barlow’s imposing sculptures and installations have enthralled and intrigued audiences around the globe in recent years. Her work combines physical impressiveness with intricate and highly considered details with regard to materials and techniques, allowing questions of making and experimentation to be at the core of her work. Barlow transforms and dynamically alters every exhibition space she encounters. I am hugely excited at the prospect of seeing what she will bring to the neo-classicism of the British Pavilion.”

Barlow's recent solo exhibitions include: ‘demo’, Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (2016); ’tryst’, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas TX (2015); ’set’, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2015); ‘dock’ the Duveen Commission at Tate Britain, London (2014); 'HOARD', Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach FL (2013); ‘scree', Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines IA (2013); 'siege', New Museum, New York NY (2012); 'BRINK', Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany (2012); 'Phyllida Barlow: Bad Copies', Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England (2012); '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.

Phyllida Barlow is represented worldwide by Hauser & Wirth.






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