Phyllida Barlow was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art and was Professor of Fine Art at the Slade. Her work incorporates an enormous range of mass produced materials including cardboard, fabric, paper, glue, paint, plastic, wood, rubber, hardboard, and adhesive tape. Barlow's work questions the nature and role of the sculptural object in contemporary culture, utilising an extensive, fluid vocabulary and immense enthusiasm for engaging with the physical 'stuff' of the world. She creates new relationships, experimenting with unexpected combinations of materials creating objects and environments, which encourage us to see the everyday world with fresh eyes.
Phyllida Barlow is representing Great Britain at the Venice Biennale 2017 in the British Pavilion, with her installation 'folly', a work which 'playfully challenges audiences to explore their own understanding of sculpture'.
Barlow's recent solo exhibitions include 'demo', Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2016); 'tryst', Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, USA (2015); 'set', Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2015); 'dock' the Duveen Commission at Tate Britain, London (2014); 'siege', New Museum, New York NY (2012); BRINK, Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany (2012); and 'Phyllida Barlow: Bad Copies', Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2012).
In addition to her teaching commitments at the Slade she has lectured extensively, at institutions including The Whitechapel Art Gallery and Tate Modern.