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Acclaimed British artist Phyllida Barlow transforms the RA’s new galleries with entirely new work in this exhibition supported by Art Fund.

All the works have been created specifically for the exhibition which has been conceived of as an installation running across the three interconnected spaces. There will be changes of pace and emphasis across the galleries as Barlow seeks to interrogate and challenge the spaces.

Throughout her career Barlow has rejected traditional notions of monumental sculpture and instead makes use of everyday materials such as cardboard, fabric, timber, polystyrene, plaster and cement. Her large-scale sculptures reject serenity, balance and beauty in favour of instability, obstruction and incongruity. They invade the spaces they inhabit, instead of neatly complementing them.

Barlow’s ambition to explore the spaces her work occupies encourages her to stretch the limits of mass, volume and height, with her invented, abstract and frequently ‘off-balance’ forms. Humour is almost always present in her works due in some part to the appropriation of the material from which they are created, as well as striking an emotional charge in their ability to change the viewer’s physical relationship with the space.

Colour is of key importance to Barlow’s work and is often the starting point for her creative process. cul-de-sac has been informed by Barlow’s encounters with daily life in an urban environment and the industrial, bright colours within Barlow’s palette are frequently seen in construction sites. The body of work within the exhibition will reveal Barlow’s exploration in the reduction of the number of elements in her work, establishing a sense of economy and leanness.

This exhibition is supported by Art Fund, and the Royal Academy is offering a special 50% off entry to visitors with a National Art Pass.


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