Barnaby Barford (b. 1977) graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2002. His work is in the permanent collections of major international museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London and the Museum of Fine Art, Houston Texas as well as the National libraries of France and Netherlands. He has had solo exhibitions in the UK and internationally. Barford has been represented by David Gill Gallery since 2005.
Barnaby Barford is an artist whose work offers an instant dialogue between the artist and the viewer. Working primarily in ceramic, in his early work Barford used original materials as well as incorporating mass-market and antique found porcelain figurines, cutting up and exchanging elements or adding to them and repainting them, to create sculptures. His visual language is inspired by a wide range of sources – from contemporary news stories to Renaissance literature and visual art. His narrative is often satirical but invariably filled with a very English sense of wit. Just like Chaucer, Swift and Hogarth before him, Barford draws a very contemporary and sardonic portrait of life, but one that is translated into an aesthetic that is also incredibly beautiful.
Barford’s work explores the human condition; his latest works include “Utopia”, based on Sir Thomas More’s 16th century book of the same name as well as the triptych “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. “Family of Foxes” references images taken from the 2011 UK riots and his 2013 solo exhibition ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’ saw him exploring the notion of sin in our contemporary world and its association with the breakdown in community. He achieved major critical success with Tower of Babel – a sixty metre tower of miniature ceramic shops, shown at the V&A during 2015. The tower charted the rise and fall of the London high street and each piece was subsequently sold, raising funds for the V&A.
In 2016 David Gill Gallery exhibited ‘ME WANT NOW’ an installation in which Barford offered a metaphorical narrative on the dominance of the ‘have more, buy more, do better, move forward, grow, succeed, win’ ideology.
The exhibition was composed of life-sized ceramic sculptures and marked the first display of Barford’s works on paper; his large-scale Word Drawings offer a departure from the meticulous planning, order and structure of Barford’s sculptural works.
Barford has worked with Paul Smith, Channel 4, Saatchi & Saatchi and Wallpaper magazine – who named him Young Designer of the Year in 2005. He has received museum commissions, private commissions and most recently created new work for Louis Vuitton.
2016 ME WANT NOW, David Gill Gallery, London, UK 2015 Tower of Babel, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK 2013 Barnaby Barford, MOCA Virginia, USA (cat) 2013 The Seven Deadly Sins, David Gill Gallery, London, UK 2011 Love Is … David Gill Gallery, London, UK (cat) 2010 The Battle of Trafalgar, OA Madrid, ES 2010 Damaged Goods, David Gill Gallery, London, UK 2007 Private Lives, David Gill Gallery, London, UK (cat) 2006 A day in the life, David Gill Gallery, Design Miami, USA 2005 Beauty of the Beast, David Gill Gallery, London, UK 2004 Dear God, Paul Smith, Floral St, London, UK 2002 Ceramic Illusions, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, UK
Courtesy of David Gill Gallery, London
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