In Conversation: Phyllida Barlow and Sharon Johnston
On the occasion of the first ever solo exhibition in LA for British artist Phyllida Barlow – 'Phyllida Barlow. glimpse' – we joined the artist and renowned architect and partner of Johnston Marklee & Associates, Sharon Johnston, for a discussion moderated by founder of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles and KCRW commentator, Lindsay Preston Zappas.
The exhibition features all-new large-scale works within the Neoclassical South Gallery in Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown Los Angeles complex. Barlow and Johnston will discuss the ways in which the works on view dialogue with the existing space, and how sculpture and architecture create new and different realms of experience.
About Phyllida Barlow
For more than 50 years, British artist Phyllida Barlow has taken inspiration from her surroundings to create imposing installations that can be at once menacing and playful. She creates anti-monumental sculptures from inexpensive, low-grade materials such as cardboard, fabric, plywood, polystyrene, scrim and cement. These constructions are often painted in industrial or vibrant colors, the seams of their construction left at times visible, revealing the means of their making.
Barlow’s restless invented forms stretch the limits of mass, volume and height as they block, straddle and balance precariously. The audience is challenged into a new relationship with the sculptural object, the gallery environment and the world beyond.
About Sharon Johnston
Sharon Johnston, FAIA, is a founding partner of Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee. Since its establishment in 1998, Johnston Marklee has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 50 major awards. A book on the work of the firm, entitled House Is a House Is a House Is a House Is a House was published by Birkhauser in 2016. Monographs include: 2G N. 67, El Croquis N. 198, and A+U N. 614.
Sharon is Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; has taught at Princeton University and the University of California, Los Angeles; and has held the Cullinan Chair at Rice University and the Frank Gehry International Chair at the University of Toronto.
Projects undertaken by Johnston Marklee are diverse in scale and type, spanning fourteen countries throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recent projects include the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, Texas; a renovation of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the new UCLA Graduate Art Studios campus in Culver City, California; and the design of the new Dropbox global headquarters in San Francisco. Upcoming projects include: a renovation of the UCLA James Lawson Jr. Worker Justice Center; and the renovation of the Hauptbau at Kunstmuseum Basel, in collaboration with Christ & Gantenbein.
The firm’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Menil Collection, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Architecture Museum of TU Munich. Together with partner Mark Lee, Sharon was the Artistic Director of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.
About Lindsay Preston Zappas
Lindsay Preston Zappas is an L.A.-based artist, writer, and founder and editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles. Founded in 2015, Carla is an online art journal and quarterly magazine, committed to providing an active source for critical dialogue surrounding LA’s art community. Zappas is also an arts correspondent for KCRW, where she contributes regular on-air segments and produces a bi-monthly newsletter called Art Insider. She received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She has contributed texts to Flash Art, ArtReview, SFAQ, Artsy, Art21, and others. Recent solo exhibitions include the Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art (Buffalo, NY), Ochi Projects (Los Angeles), and City Limits (Oakland) and Zappas has taught at Harvey Mudd, Cal State Long Beach, Oregon College of Art & Craft, Fullerton College, and California State University, Northridge.