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Nairy Baghramian/Phyllida Barlow - Serpentine Gallery

Nairy Baghramian, Butcher, Barber, Angler & others 2009 (detail), Mixed media installation, Courtesy of the artist and Studio Voltaire, London. Photograph Andy Keate. © 2010 Nairy Baghramian

Exhibition preview

THE Serpentine Gallery is presenting an exhibition of the work of artists Nairy Baghramian and Phyllida Barlow – from May 8 to June 13, 2010.

It’s an exhibition that presents two positions on sculpture in the 21st century.

Nairy Baghramian (b. Iran, 1971) is a Berlin-based artist known for her sculptural installations and photographs. Her complex work includes elements of re-worked design, minimalist and modernist architecture.

It encompasses questions of context, institutional framing and the production and reception of contemporary art. Well represented in Europe, this is Baghramian’s first exhibition in a major public institution in the UK.

Phyllida Barlow (b. United Kingdom, 1944) is a pioneering English artist whose sculptural installations are characterised by their large scale, often made quickly in the same place that they are to be shown with materials that are subsequently recycled for future use. Their often rough appearance conveys the urgency with which they are produced.

Phyllida Barlow, Untitled DIY 2006, Installation view, GANA Gallery, Korea, © 2010 Phyllida Barlow

In addition to being a practising artist since the 1960s, Barlow has had a long teaching career, tutoring several generations of students who have gone on to become distinguished artists.

Baghramian and Barlow’s installation will include rooms displaying solo presentations of their work as well as spaces where works are placed in dialogue with each other. This exhibition will offer a new perspective on these two artists.

Although strikingly different in their approach, a number of key concerns are addressed by both artists. For instance, central to Baghramian’s work is how art historical debates around minimalism, literature and design are translated into specific decisions about materiality, manufacture and display. Whilst Barlow’s work engages with related questions, it reaches contrasting conclusions.

Responses to context are also a shared interest; Barlow often uses a work’s location as a starting point for its dimensions and form, as well as actually constructing some works in situ, whereas Baghramian’s work deals with the relationship between sculptural forms and the spaces they inhabit.

The exhibition is curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Director, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, and Kathryn Rattee, Curator, Serpentine Gallery.

Admission: Free.

Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm.

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA