Artist Biography: Phyllida Barlow


Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.


Studied at Chelsea College of Arts.


Studied at The Slade School of Fine Art.


Young Contemporaries, included the work Table, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (group exhibition)


Married the artist and writer Fabian Peake. Set up her first studio in London and had a part-time teaching position in sculpture at the West of England College of Art.


Secured a part-time teaching position in sculpture at Chelsea College of Arts.


Sculpture and Drawings, included the works View, Chair and Wardrobe, Camden Arts Centre, London (group exhibition).

Spectrum London, included the work Sofa & floor & drawings, Alexandra Palace, London (group exhibition).

In the 1970s Barlow tested out different methods of working, particularly low-tech construction. She began using discarded materials in bulk to build large scale works. She began to exhibit in a range of different locations rather than traditional gallery spaces.


Sculpture at the University of Surrey, All and Everything, University of Surrey (group exhibition).


Birth of daughter Florence Peake.


British Sculptors, Attitudes to Drawing, Sunderland Arts Centre (group exhibition).


Birth of daughter Clover Peake.

Drawings, Gallery 21, London (group exhibition).


Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, included the work Shedmesh, Camden Arts Centre, London (group exhibition).


Three Sculptors in the Close, included the work Four, Gloucester Cathedral (group exhibition).


Birth of daughter Tabitha Peake.

Left her teaching position at Chelsea College of Arts. Twelve Sculptors at West Surrey, included the work x2, West Surrey School of Art, Surrey (group exhibition).


Sculpture in Action, included the work Stack, South Hill Park, Bracknell (group exhibition).


Birth of sons Edward and Lewis Peake.

In the mid to late 1980s Barlow introduced new materials in her work, mostly inexpensive DIY and household materials. She did not keep work and often recycled their materials to create new pieces. Site specificity became increasingly important for her practice.


Tout Quarry Sculpture, selected by Phillip King, included the work Fill, Tout Quarry, Dorset (group exhibition).


Appointed to a teaching position in sculpture at the Brighton Polytechnic Fine Art Department, with artists Alison Wilding, Edward Allington, Peter Randal-Page and Eric Bainbridge.

Scar, abandoned house in Archway Road, London.


Wrecks, Bayfield, Norfolk.

Ghosts, Old Stocking Factory, Mare Street, London.

Strangers, school playground in Finsbury Park, London.


Left teaching position at Brighton Polytechnic and secured a part-time teaching position at Camberwell School of Art, shared with the artist Brian Catling.

Casting an Eye, curated by Richard Deacon and Alison Wilding, included the work Engulf, The Cornerhouse, Manchester (group exhibition).

Third Generation, Canterbury Festival, Canterbury (group exhibition).


Expanse, installation for Unit 7, London.

Oracle, installation for St. Peter’s Churchyard, Cambridge.

Artist in residence at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.

The Shelf Show, included the work Muscle and Bone, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (group exhibition).


Left teaching position at Camberwell School of Art and secured a teaching position in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Slope, site specific installation for The Gallery, Dean Cough, Halifax.

Houseworks, curated by Mark Dunhill, included the work Fold, 13 Clarynge Road, Bristol (group exhibition).


Crowd, Unit 1, Hermitage Road Industrial Estate, London.

Wallworks, wall sculptures, Smith Jarawala Gallery, London.

Vigil I, three site-specific sculptures commissioned for Site3, The Churchyard, Windsor Festival, Berkshire.


Fall, DEGW Offices, London.

Seam, commissioned by the National Garden Festival, Gateshead (group exhibition).

MAAD Festival Cambridge, collaboration with dancer Louise Tonkin, Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge (group exhibition).


Part-time visiting Lecturer in Sculpture at Chelsea College of Arts.

Plantation, commissioned by the Business Design Centre and the Museum of Installation for Fresh Art, London.

Deep, Museum of Installation, London.

Closed (Vigil II), RIBA Sculpture Court, London.


Part-time visiting Lecturer in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

Appointed acting Head of Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Shopping Sensation, included the work Home, Rothschild Centre, London, and Bradford City Art Gallery, Bradford (group exhibition).

Three Sculptors, included the work Up Across Around, exhibition curated by Phyllida Barlow, Diorama, Regents Park, London (group exhibition).


In Place, a series of privately commissioned site-specific objects for Objects for Objects, various locations, London.

Out of Place, installation for a County House Hallway and Installation for a Garage Leich und Luft, Die Neue Fabrik, Hamburg, Germany (group exhibition).


Elephant Trust Award for a sculpture installation at the Museum of Installation, London (award).

Depot, from the series Objects for Objects, Museum of Installation, London.

Sculptures for the Library, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.

Contemporary Arts Society Fair, Royal Festival Hall, London (group exhibition).

The Gas Station, SPAT, a work commissioned by the Laboratory, Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford University, Oxford (group exhibition).


Recall, installation with three sculptures, Marshall’s Mill, Dean Clough, Halifax.

9 Months 2 Seconds, Manhattan Lofts, London (group exhibition).

TRY, Gulbenkian Gallery, Royal College of Art, London (group exhibition).

Dean’s Fund Award, University College London, for travel to International Art Education Workshop, in Lahore, Pakistan.

Curator of the exhibition Artist for a Day, Flowers East Gallery, London.

Curator of the exhibition AD HOC, London Art Forms, London.

Selector for the Prudential awards for the Visual Arts with Cedric Price and Richard Wentworth.


Reader in Fine Art and Head of Undergraduate Studies at the Slade School of Fine Art.

EAST International, included the work Truce, Norwich School of Art, Norwich (group exhibition). An arrangement of seven works, Truce proved a turning point in Barlow’s relationship with an exhibition space. The relationship between works became as important as the relationship between the work and the space where it was exhibited.

Musée imaginaire, Museum of Installation, London (group exhibition).

Barely Made, Objects for a Dressing Table, curated by Jacqueline Poncelet, Norwich Art Gallery, Norwich (group exhibition).


Not Nothing Nowhere, After Dark, The Master Shipwrights House, London (group exhibition).

Out of Place, included the work Time and Time Again, Chapter Art Gallery, Cardiff, (group exhibition).

Touching Matters, The Gallery, Swiss Cottage Library, London (group exhibition).

The Ugly Edge (Ugly Mugs), Henry Moore Institute Gallery, Leeds (group exhibition).

Selector for New Contemporaries 1998, together with Eddie Berg, Christine Hohenbuchler and Adrian Searle.


Sculpture, Dawn till Dusk, six sculptors selected by Alison Wilding and John Maine for the Triennial Sculpture Exhibition, Royal Western Academy, Bristol (group exhibition).

O Pas La-Surprising Places, Far Away, Lieu d’art contemporain, Narbonne, France (group exhibition).

Furniture, included the work Object for a Piano, Richard Salmon Gallery, London; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (group exhibition).

Dumbfounded, Battersea Arts Centre, London, (touring group exhibition).

Selector for Kettle’s Yard Open together with Stephen Chambers.


British Art Show 5, After Dark into Black, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, (touring group exhibition).


Knives in Hens, set design commissioned by the Attic Theatre Company, Wimbledon Theatre, London.

Station to Station, Spacex 2, Exeter Maritime Museum, Exeter (group exhibition).

Mile End Park Sculpture Exhibition, Mile End Park, London (group exhibition).

Selector for New Ashgate Gallery – Contemporary Sculpture, together with William Pye and Ed Tillotson.

Nominator for the Arts Foundation Awards and the Paul Hamlyn Awards.


New Sculpture, Richard Salmon Gallery, London.

Fête, Station, Phoenix Wharf, Bristol.

Harvey’s Bodies, included the work Untitled: red coil, Metropole Gallery, Folkestone (group exhibition).

Neck: Invited Artists, Royal Academy of Arts, London (group exhibition).

Summer Exhibition, curated by Alison Wilding, Royal Academy of Arts, London, (group exhibition).


McDermott Visiting Artist to University of Texas, Dallas, Texas.

untitled: Dallas, Dallas Visual Art Gallery, University of Texas, Dallas, Texas.

Remnants, The Magnet School, and Angstrom Gallery, Dallas, Texas.

Shelf Life, 60 Minutes, Studio 1.1, London (group exhibition).

Location, Location, Location, included the work Holed up: red yellow green pink, Albury Arts, Guildford (group exhibition).

The Greatest Show on Earth, included the work untitled: metropole, Metropole Gallery, Folkestone (group exhibition).

Dean’s Award, University College London.

Henry Moore Foundation Award for Black Dog Publishing monograph.


Appointed Professor of Fine Art, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Slade School of Fine Art.

PENINSULA, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

BARRIER, Tannery Arts Exhibitions, London.

Explicit Faith, a four-sculpture installation, choreography by Gaby Agis, performed by Gaby Agis, Jo Moran, Florence Peake, Eva Mari Mukta, Marie Claire McKenna at The Jerwood Hall, St Lukes Church.

Bird House, Fieldgate Gallery, London (group exhibition).

From the mid-2000s Barlow became known for creating large scale sculptural installations that made viewers negotiate their way around the works.


untitled: demo, Studio 1.1, London.

SCAPE, Spacex, Exeter.

SKIT, Bloomberg Space, London.

A Sense of Place: A Place of Sense, an installation comprising nine sculptures, Beacon Art Project, Sleaford.

Remnants, an exhibition of small sculptures, MAC, Centre of Contemporary Art, Dallas, Texas.

Sleigh, Arts & Business, London (group exhibition).

New Acquisitions: Works on Paper, Phyllida Barlow, Cecile Johnson-Soliz, Sarah Staton, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (group exhibition).

Rough Diamond, Program, London (group exhibition).

Drawing Two Hundred, Biennial Fundraiser, Tannery Arts, London (group exhibition).

Merveilles du Monde, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Dunkirk, France (group exhibition).

Ebb and Flow, Three Colts Gallery, London (group exhibition).


Joint Acting Head of School with Professor John Hilliard at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Ebb and Flow, RAID Projects, Los Angeles, California (group exhibition).

Entre Muros (Between Walls), Tomas Chavez Morado Gallery and Atrium, Guanajuato, Mexico, and Southside, Dallas, Texas (group exhibition).

Beauty and the Beast, Fieldgate Gallery, London (group exhibition).

Wandering Star, GANA Art Centre, Seoul, Korea (group exhibition).

Please Close the Gate: Painted Sculpture at Roche Court, Royal Academy of Arts, London (group exhibition).

Summer Exhibition, courtyard commission, Royal Academy of Arts, London (group exhibition).

The Dupree Family Award to a Woman Artist, Royal Academy of Arts.


Underover, a nine-sculpture installation, Canary Wharf, London.

Untitled: ramp, tower, flags, Galería Jesús Gallardo, León, Mexico.

New Sculpture: In the Gallery and Grounds, New Art Centre, Roche Court, Salisbury.

etc …, Amagerfaelledvej Art Project, Copenhagen, Denmark (group exhibition).

An Exploration into Abstract Painting, Studio 1.1, London (group exhibition).

3things, an exhibition made by Donald Smith, London (group exhibition).

Art Rummage Sculptors’ Drawings, Winchester Gallery, Winchester (group exhibition).

Jumbo Shrimp, Woburn Slade Research Centre, London (group exhibition).

Entre Muros (Between Walls), Galeria Casa de las Manos, León, Mexico (group exhibition).

Award to an Individual Artist, Arts Council England.

Award to an Individual Artist, Paul Hamlyn Foundation.


STINT, an installation comprising ten sculptures, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick.

STACK, FENCE, Southbank Centre, London.

Untitled, a commission comprising two sculptures, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland.

Old Ideas, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (group exhibition).

Stuff, with Alison Wilding, Laura White and Bettina Buck, V22, Wharfe Road, London (group exhibition).

Prospects and Interiors Sculptors, Drawings of Inner Space, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (group exhibition).

STEW, Art Space Gallery, Michael Richardson Contemporary Art, London (group exhibition).

Entre Muros (Between Walls), CAS Gallery, Miami, Florida (group exhibition).


Retired from her position as Professor of Fine Art and Director of Underground Studies at the Slade School of Art.

BRAKE, One in the Other Gallery, London.

The Real, V22 Sculpture Exhibition, Almond Building, London (group exhibition).

Collaborators, ROOM Gallery, London (group exhibition).

Hijack Reality, Bob and Roberta Smith solo exhibition, invited artist Phyllida Barlow, Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick (group exhibition).

Phyllida Barlow/Jess Flood-Paddock, Russian Club Gallery, London (group exhibition).


BLUFF, Studio Voltaire, London.

SWAMP, V22, London.

STREET, BAWAG Contemporary, Vienna, Austria.

Nairy Baghramian and Phyllida Barlow, Serpentine Gallery, London (group exhibition).

Old Ideas, Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland (group exhibition).

Under One Umbrella, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway (group exhibition)

Phyllida Barlow & Fiona MacDonald, CoExist Galleries, Essex (group exhibition).

Displaced Fractures – Über die Bruchlinien von Architekturen und ihren Körpern, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (group exhibition)


Cast, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nuremberg, Germany.

Open Space, Art Cologne, Cologne, Germany (group exhibition).

Sculptural Acts, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (group exhibition).

Before the Law, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (group exhibition).

ARTISTS for Kettle’s Yard, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (group exhibition).

United Enemies: The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (group exhibition).

Appointed Royal Academician, Royal Academy of Arts.


siege, New Museum, New York.

Phyllida Barlow: Bad Copies, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.

Phyllida Barlow Aachen Art Prize 2012, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany.

Human Capsules. Eight Female Artists from the Ursula Hauser Collection, Lokremise, St. Gallen, Switzerland (group exhibition).

First International Biennale of Contemporary Art: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times. Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary Art, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine (group exhibition).

The 244th Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London (group exhibition).

A House of Leaves, David Roberts Art Foundation, London (group exhibition).

Encounter: The Royal Academy in Asia, Institute of Contemporary Arts of Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore (group exhibition).

Encounter: The Royal Academy in the Middle East, Katara Cultural Village Foundation, Doha, Qatar (group exhibition).

Twin Town, Korean Cultural Centre, London (group exhibition).

Collection on Display: Phyllida Barlow, Jimmie Durham, Daniel Knorr, Mark Leckey, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland (group exhibition).

Aachen Art Prize 2012.


Scree, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa.

HOARD, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (group exhibition).

55th International Art Exhibition: The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (group exhibition).

Yes, Naturally, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands (group exhibition).

Peekskill Project V, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York (group exhibition).

Slow Burn – An Index of Possibilities, Spoorzone, Tilburg, Netherlands (group exhibition).


Tate Britain Commission 2014: Phyllida Barlow dock, Tate Britain, London.

Carmen Juliá is Assistant Curator, Tate Britain.