untitled: broken shelf 2, 2011
Timber lengths, plaster, scrim, fabric
45 x 90 x 40 cm / 17 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 15 3/4 in
Photo: Mike Bruce
Opening: Thursday 1 September 6 - 8 pm
'Things aren't just visual. They are sensations of physicality.'
- Phyllida Barlow in 'Modern Painters', Summer 2011
Hauser & Wirth is proud to announce Phyllida Barlow's debut show with the gallery, 'RIG'. One of the artist's most ambitious exhibitions in the UK to date, 'RIG' features immense, new sculptures constructed in situ that respond to the architecture of the gallery.
Inspired by the everyday objects of the city, Barlow has created a group of works that brings the cacophony of the gallery's external surroundings inside. The urban congestion is 'captured like something wild or feral', says Barlow, and is evolved into a purely physical object, stripped of any symbolic context and resituated within the gallery. The verticality and mass of the sculptures, broken up by the staccato application of brightly coloured paints and draped fabrics, takes over the entire building from the basement to the attic.
Like the urban environment from which they are drawn, Barlow's sculptures are not passive emblems, but instead active objects that swallow their surroundings. These new works are precariously positioned and obstruct the viewer's path, forcing them to look around, underneath or above their great mass and imposing position.
For over four decades, Barlow has created anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim and cement. Barlow's sculptural practice is centred on her experimentation with these materials and the process of re-contextualising them to create large-scale, three-dimensional collages. Her constructions are often crudely painted in industrial or synthetic colours, resulting in abstract, seemingly unstable forms: the seams of their construction left completely visible, revealing the dynamics of their making.