Phyllida Barlow review – Venice invaded by loo rolls and brilliant buffoonery

By Adrian Searle

British Pavilion, Venice Biennale
The 73-year-old sculptor’s most significant show yet is a crowded game of associations, where skeletal megaphones spar with concrete clods. But is there space for us to play too?

Baubles greet the visitor to the British Pavilion at Venice. These misshapen lumps of concrete and cardboard around the steps of the building are like a very stupid horticultural border, or boulders wearing makeup. Phyllida Barlow’s decorative clods, both jolly and somehow ghastly, infest the pavilion’s portico, threatening to invade.

Related: Bish-bash-bosh: how Phyllida Barlow conquered the art world at 73

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