Engagement with the physicality of their materials combined with a strong painterly essence is the terrain shared by Phyllida Barlow and Fiona MacDonald. The dialogue created between their two practices raises thoughts of weight, space, movement, gesture,theatricality and un-monumentality, both physically within the context of the space and also within a 2D surface.
There is an immediacy to Barlow’s installations, highlighted by a rough aesthetic that often reveals motions and gestures evident throughout the making. Known for responding to the spatial aspects of a building, her works will be made especially for the exhibition at TAP gallery. Although Barlow’s works are often immense, their temporary nature brings an unusually playful austerity to her practice, as these objects not only occupy, but also manipulate the architecture of this old waterworks, opening up sections of the floor in the winch room and reaching high up into the rafters.
MacDonald makes people aware of the possibilities of paint as a medium and her love of paint is contagious. A sense of movement is built and transfers freely between the 3D forms of her sculptures and the flexibility of gesture evident in her paintings. She has refined a very fluid yet intelligent language where forms appear to evolve under the gaze - morphing into new variations. MacDonald’s work operates across many layers – both literally and conceptually. In recent works she uses elements from the art historical canon to re-investigate the boundaries of her disciplines of painting and sculpture. For TAP, MacDonald presents new works referencing tableaux from works by Tintoretto and Bernini.
A limited edition publication was produced to document the exhibition including essays by the artists on each other's work.