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The hierarchy of materials

Phyllida Barlow RA: cul-de-sac


Friday 10 May 2019
11am — 12pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

Phyllida Barlow RA

events programme
Go to exhibition page

Phyllida Barlow in her studio, 2018

© Royal Academy of Arts. Photo: Cat Garcia

Professor Ann-Sophie Lehmann examines the meaning behind materials both historically and in contemporary art, exploring how artists use materials to inform their practice.

Phyllida Barlow RA makes imposing, large-scale sculptural installations using inexpensive, everyday materials such as fabric, timber, polystyrene and plaster. To celebrate the exhibition, Phyllida Barlow RA cul-de-sac, we investigate the impact and meaning that material has on sculpture.

Does the material or medium the artist chooses to work in determine the value of the work? Does the popularity of a material during certain time periods make a difference? Can we look past the grandeur or simplicity of a material and simply see the sculpture? Does the artist choose the materials or do the materials choose the artist? How have artistic materials been related to questions of gender? In her talk, Professor Ann-Sophie Lehmann discusses how materials make meaning in works of art.

Ann-Sophie Lehmann is professor for Art History at the University of Groningen. Her research has a process-based, transhistorical approach and asks how materials, tools, and practices partake in the meaning making of art; how images and texts represent and reflect creative practices; and how knowledge about making engenders material literacy. Lehmann studied art history in Vienna and Utrecht and has received fellowships from the Warburg Institute, the Getty Research Institute, the Max Planck-Institute for the History of Science, and the IKKM Weimar. She is editor of the forthcoming series Studies in Art & Materiality (Brill) and serves on the editorial boards of the Netherlands Yearbook for History of Art.

This event is part of London Craft Week.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 10 May 2019

11am — 12pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£10, £6