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Phyllida Barlow to represent Britain at the Venice Art Biennale


Phyllida Barlow has been selected to represent Britain at the 57th Venice International Art Biennale in 2017. The artist, known for her monumental sculptures, was chosen by the British Council to hold a solo show in the British Pavilion. The show will run from 13 May – 26 November 2017.

The 72-year-old artist, who is the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, has been practicing for 50 years and became a Royal Academician in 2011. She is known for creating large-scale assemblages using everyday materials such as cardboard, cement, plywood and plaster, though famously refers to her works as “anti-monumental”.

Her installations and sculptural works were celebrated in two major shows in 2014. At the Tate Britain she showed a series of huge pieces named dock, including a huge ascending tower of timber structures named untitled: dock: emptystaircasehoarding. At Hauser & Wirth gallery in Somerset she showed pieces named GIG including a room full of multicoloured hanging pom-poms and a seemingly precarious pile of fold-up wooden chairs.

“It is going to be a remarkable experience to begin to consider the work for the imposing architecture of the British pavilion,” Phyllida says of the Venice commission. “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.”

The British Council’s director of visual arts Emma Dexter says Phyllida’s work “combines physical impressiveness with intricate and highly considered details,” and that she “transforms and dynamically alters every exhibition space she encounters”.

Venice Art Biennale takes place from 13 May – 26 November 2017.


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: dock: emptystaircasehoarding (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: GIG (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: stackedchairs (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: dock: 5stackedcrates (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: dock: 5hungblocks (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: TIP (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: GIG (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: 100banners (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: tryst (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: stashhoarding (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)


Phyllida Barlow: untitled: stashhoarding (courtesy Hauser & Wirth)