The sculptor Phyllida Barlow has been given a damehood by Queen Elizabeth II, as part of the monarch’s annual birthday honor’s list.
Represented by mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth, Barlow has seen her international profile rise in the past decade. In 2014, her large-scale installation dock was displayed at the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain. The following year Barlow was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
In 2017, she represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale with folly, a group of monumental baubles and metal containers that spilled out of the British pavilion. Like in much of her work, the grand sculptures were juxtaposed with everyday objects and industrial materials like concrete, plastic sheeting, and cardboard.
In a 2014 interview with the Art Newspaper, she said, “I have been asked, ‘Why is your work so big?’ And I think the answer is to do with reach and stretch and going to spaces where I can’t get to and where we don’t usually go to in terms of looking or seeking out.”
Barlow has also had an important role as a mentor to generations of British artists, as a longtime professor at London’s School of Fine Art. Over the past four decades her students have included Rachel Whiteread, Martin Creed, and Sarah Lucas.
Also commended in this year’s birthday honor’s list were writer and ceramicist Edmund de Waal and photographer Martin Parr, who were both made CBEs. The London-based gallerist Sadie Cole and sculptor Veronica Ryan were named Officers of the British Empire.