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Weekly Watchlist: Phyllida Barlow Unravels Idiosyncrasies

To be seen and validated, especially for your art, is a powerful feeling. Unfortunately, it’s not something every artist gets the opportunity to enjoy. But as Phyllida Barlow so eloquently advocates for in today’s new film, even unseen work has value. “The novel that never gets published, should it never have been written?” muses Barlow. “Of course it should be.”

At Art21, we celebrate the transformative power of making—not exhibiting—so it’s my hope that this film resonates with our core audience of art educators and those with private art practices. Barlow made sculptures, drawings, and paintings that went largely unseen for decades while she taught and raised a family. Her work is now being widely exhibited, but she knows intimately that making art only for yourself is meaningful and worthwhile, even if it can be a bit lonely at times.

Phyllida Barlow is one of the kindest and most inventive artists I’ve had the opportunity to work with. I hope you take her sage advice to heart and are encouraged to never stop creating.

Ian Forster
July 7, 2021

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Phyllida Barlow

Deepen your connection to Art21

Four new films investigate the relationship between memory and materials

Clockwise from top-left: Phyllida Barlow, Wangechi Mutu, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Adam Milner. © Art21, Inc. 2021.

Fresh from the four-film run of our spring programming season, we are thrilled to launch into our summer season with yet another batch of new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.

Stream the first release of the season today!

This season features four artists—Phyllida Barlow, Guadalupe Maravilla, Adam Milner, and Wangechi Mutu—whose practices investigate the complex interconnectedness between artistic materials and personal experiences.

Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday in July at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org and our YouTube channel.

See the film guide.

Upcoming workshops for educators

We are proud to offer professional development opportunities to engage teachers with the work of contemporary artists. See our education calendar for upcoming sessions taking place this August.

All programs are free and take place via Zoom.

Thank you for supporting our work

More than ever, online access to the lives and stories of artists is crucial, and Art21 is proud to share them with an ever-growing number of visitors including students, teachers, parents, and art enthusiasts alike from around the globe. If you are able at this time, please consider supporting the work of Art21. Every dollar makes a difference.