Phyllida Barlow RA: cul-de-sac – Royal Academy

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  • Explore acclaimed British sculptor Phyllida Barlow’s new series of space-changing installations, spreading through our new galleries.

    On the face of it, Phyllida Barlow’s vibrant, large-scale sculptures are always at the point of tipping off an edge, becoming too heavy and unbalanced to stand freely, or overrunning the places she builds them in. But this is all a brilliant illusion.

    This spring, Barlow is creating an entirely new exhibition in our Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries, which she is conceiving as her own interpretation of a residential ‘cul-de-sac’. There will be rooms where her works invade the entire floor space, creating forests of structures, as well less populated areas, inviting speculation and altering your perception. As always with Barlow, colour will be a key theme, with graffiti blues, corals and candy pinks daubed and pressed into raw materials such as cardboard and plaster, which she often chooses over traditional sculpture materials. A key highlight will be an artwork evoking the architectural form of the portal, a doorway with a thick cement shadow, which will serve as an ‘entrance’ to her creation.

    Barlow came to prominence in the UK with her installation for the Tate Britain Commission 2014, and later her installation at the Venice Biennale’s British Pavilion in 2017. She had a long and influential career in teaching, including at the Slade School of Art, where she was Professor of Fine Art and Director of Undergraduate Studies until 2009.

    With typical originality and skill, Barlow will invite visitors to explore the space between two spaces and encourage multiple interpretations with her adventurous structures.

    Extended hours on Friday until 10.00pm

    Tickets are £12.00 with concessions. Under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free.

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