Phyllida Barlow

17 March 2013

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery opened in 1878 in a ducal mansion built on the site of a medieval castle. The 20th century British collection includes works by Edward Burra, Ivon Hitchens, Dame Laura Knight, LS Lowry, William Nicholson, Sir Stanley Spencer and Edward Wadsworth.

Phyllida Barlow is a central figure in the development of Contemporary British Sculpture; she has not only had major exhibitions throughout the UK but through her extensive teaching career, at Slade School of Fine Art, has guided and influenced many younger artists yet, until now, none of her work has been acquired for public collections in this country. Untitled: Disaster III, a work on wheels or casters, comes from a series of small, characterful pieces formed from the ‘stuff’ of Barlow’s larger works. The curators at Nottingham are attracted to the playful and deliberately ‘non-monumental’ nature of this work which, when shown within the broader collection, makes a powerful statement.

Combining the acquisition of the small sculpture with two drawings establishes a wider context of Barlow’s work within the collection, these drawings succeed in telling, in two dimensions, all you need to know about the artist’s way of seeing and recording the world in three dimensions.

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