An artist who lived on the brink of poverty left a ten-billion-dollar inheritance (4 photos)

24 May 2024

Phyllida Barlow lived with her family on the brink of poverty. The woman gained fame only in 2010. She was known for creating installations from industrial materials: plywood, cardboard, plaster and others.

UK artist Phyllida Barlow has left a legacy estimated at £91.5 million.

Barlow, who lived on the brink of poverty with her family, gained fame only in 2010, when an exhibition of her work was held in London, which received rave reviews from critics. After this, the Swiss contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth drew attention to the artist. The woman began to receive orders to create sculptures and hold successful exhibitions. It is assumed that the 90 million inheritance was the result of the last 13 years of her life.

The Briton was known for creating installations from industrial materials: plywood, cardboard, plaster and others. She loved to experiment with the form and scale of projects, deliberately making them abstract and unstable in appearance. Critics noted that her style was both "playful and scary." Barlow herself said that in sculptures she is not interested in beauty, but in such properties as time, weight, balance, rhythm and dynamics.

In 1966, the artist graduated from the Felix Slade School of Fine Arts and went into teaching. At first she was interested in working with clay, but then became interested in non-standard materials. By the 1980s, Barlow already had a husband and five children. At that time, the family was on the verge of poverty: earnings from teaching were not enough for a normal life.

In 2009, Barlow retired and decided to focus entirely on creativity. A year later, she organized a landmark exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London. This success allowed her to represent the UK at the 2017 Venice Biennale, one of the most famous forums in the world of art.

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