in Bruton / Somerset / United Kingdom
25.05.2024 - 05.01.2025 00:00
Phyllida Barlow - unscripted

The work of Phyllida Barlow (1944 – 2023) will take over Hauser & Wirth Somerset in a celebration of the British artist’s transformative approach to sculpture, marking the 10th anniversary of the arts center that was inaugurated by Barlow’s solo exhibition ‘GIG’ in 2014. The landmark exhibition, curated by Frances Morris, draws on her close working relationship with the artist during her lifetime. ‘Phyllida Barlow. unscripted’ will explore the evolution of Barlow’s formal and expressive vocabulary, bringing together singular sculptures, installations, studio maquettes and drawings from her extensive career, some of which will be on public view for the first time.

‘Over the last 10 years, Phyllida Barlow kept her fans and followers on the edge of their seats as she brought new and ever more audacious projects to life in venues across the world. Unfolding as a running commentary on the tragedies and absurdities of our time, each work formed part of an ongoing and intensely experimental investigation into the techniques and materials of art making, seeking visual equivalents to her own personal experience of living and looking.’ (Frances Morris)

Over a career that spanned six decades, Barlow took inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful. Barlow’s restless invented forms stretch the limits of mass, volume and height as they block, straddle and balance precariously. The audience is challenged into a new relationship with the sculptural object, the gallery environment and the world beyond. Barlow exhibited extensively across institutions internationally, including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada (2023); Public Art Fund, New York NY (2023); Chillida Leku, Hernani, Spain (2023); Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany (2022); ARTIST ROOMS, Tate Modern, London, UK (2021); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2021); The Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2019); La Biennale di Venezia, British Pavilion, Venice, Italy (2017); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland (2016); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas TX (2015); Duveen Commission at Tate Britain, London, UK (2014). In 2022, Barlow was awarded the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung’s Kurt Schwitters Prize.

Alongside the exhibition, Hauser & Wirth Learning will launch a new Education Lab, ‘Open Art School’, in partnership with Bath Spa University. Taking Barlow’s life-long engagement with arts education and notably her ethos of there being ‘no right or wrong way’ to be creative, the Education Lab will draw on the latest thinking within creative pedagogy and experimental learning. ‘Open Art School’ will provide an interactive space for new ideas, experiments and working methods, inviting a multitude of voices and communities to engage through making. In addition, the gallery’s summer artist residency program will welcome guest artists, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Young In Hong, Jack Killick and Hamish Pearch, to spend time living and working in Somerset. Selected by curator Frances Morris, and in the spirit of Phyllida Barlow, the artists will be invited to seek inspiration from the exhibition, landscape and architecture of Somerset, as well as conversations that develop between the group.

Gallery hours Tue-Sun 10 am – 4 pm

Exhibition Duration 25 May 2024 – 05 January 2025


Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Durslade Farm / Dropping Lane
BA10 0NL Bruton / Somerset
United Kingdom


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