a photo of Phyllida Barlow
Phyllida Barlow

The University of Guelph’s College of Arts and the School of Fine Art and Music will host British sculptor Phyllida Barlow, who will present the 13th annual Dasha Shenkman Lecture in Contemporary Art on March 20.

Barlow is well-known in the contemporary art field for her massive sculptures made of layers of inexpensive and juxtaposed materials such as cardboard, plywood and cement. Imposing in their size yet often brightly coloured and fragile, Barlow’s expansive and deliberately chaotic sculptures are designed to “argue with space.”

The latest solo show of her work, called ‘cul-de-sac,’ opened in February at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

The Dasha Shenkman Lecture is an annual U of G lecture providing exposure to internationally renowned figures in contemporary art, and was created through a generous endowment from Dasha Shenkman, a Canadian art collector living in the U.K.

The lecture series allows members of the University community to interact with leading international figures in contemporary art, to hear their thoughts on the many-faceted dimensions of contemporary art, and to offer wisdom and inspiration to future artists.

The lecture will take place Wednesday, March 20 at 6 p.m., in War Memorial Hall, with a Q & A session afterward. Admission is free.

Before and after the lecture, graduate students in the School of Fine Art and Music will hold their annual Open Studios, offering the public a rare inside look at the development of new work, and a chance to chat with artists about their work in progress.

Open Studios will run from 2 to 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Blackwood Hall, Firehall and Alexander Hall. A free shuttle bus service between Open Studio buildings will be available, with volunteers providing directions and assistance.