The creation and interpretation of art remains an anchor and a refuge, a sanctuary for vanishing ideals.
Barlow’s sculptures may be abstract, but they feel rife with heads, teeth, legs, and orifices of every stripe.
As my colleague Thomas Micchelli pointed out in his review of siege, Phyllida Barlow’s exhibition of sculpture at the New Museum earlier this year, she has something in common with Hans Hoffman. Both were teachers who have an impressive roster of distinguished students. In Hoffmann’s case, it included Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Alfred Jensen and Red Grooms. Barlow’s students include Douglas Gordon, Steve Pippin, Tacita Dean and Rachel Whiteread. However, whereas Hoffman’s students eclipsed their teacher, this is hardly the case with Barlow.
Phyllida Barlow’s installation at the New Museum, siege, doesn’t waste any time telling you who’s boss. Post-industrial, post-modern — post-everything but post-sculptural — it all but pushes you back inside the elevator.