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Phyllida Barlow & Louisa Buck



Phyllida Barlow took part in a conversation with Louisa Buck as part of this series brought to you in partnership with Yorkshire Sculpture International, aiming to celebrate sculpture in all its forms.

Phyllida Barlow (b. 1944, 1944 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England) studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Slade School of Art. Invited to be the ‘provocateur’ for the first Yorkshire Sculpture International, Barlow proposed a series of thought-provoking statements. The 2019 event will explore one of the most compelling of these - ‘Sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms’ - responding to the idea that there is a basic human impulse to make and connect with objects.

Phyllida creates tactile, seemingly precarious structures that resonate with emotional intensity and the urgency of their creation, taken inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful. Often recycling her materials, Phyllida recontextuatlises detritus and found matter in unexpected ways, creates anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim and cement. Her installations redefine the spaces they inhabit. They are abstract works that seem to allude to representation and some sort of contingency purpose. 

In 2017 Phyllida Barlow represented Britain at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, 2017 with new commission for the British Council Folly.

Louisa Buck is a leading British art critic and contemporary art correspondent for The Art Newspaper. Alongside providing regular commentary for BBC TV and radio, she has written several books and sat on the Turner Prize judging panel.