Bill Woodrow: Clockswarm

13 September 2019 - 18 January 2020 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth is delighted to present Bill Woodrow's Clockswarm in The Box, a solo project space alongside the main gallery. The exhibition runs from 13 September to 19 October 2019.


Towards the end of the 1990s Woodrow began to develop a series work informed by bees and beekeeping, drawing particularly on the symbiotic relationship between a hive of bees and their human keepers. Clockswarm, the smallest of a series of bronze 'swarm' sculptures, takes the form of a mantel clock encrusted with a golden cloud of bees that obscure all but its outline. Contrasting the ephemeral, mobile structure of living creatures with a made-made marker of time, the work examines the complex relationship between human endeavour and the natural world.


Alongside the presentation in The Box, two further sculptures from the 'swarm' series are currently on view in London: Celloswarm in Regent's Park as part of Frieze Sculpture with the New Art Center and Fingerswarm at the Royal Academy as part of an exhibition of sculpture from the collection, curated by Richard Deacon.


As a pivotal figure in the New British Sculptors movement, Bill Woodrow came to international prominence in the early 1980s with his 'cut out’ sculptures. Following his first institutional solo exhibition in 1972 at the Whitechapel Gallery, London he went on to represent Britain at Biennales in Sydney (1982), Paris (1982, 1985) and São Paulo (1983). He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1986 and participated in Documenta 8, Kassel in 1987. In the early 90s, he turned to bronze in a conscious, inquisitive move to explore new materials. Regardless of History, a monumental bronze sculpture was commissioned for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square in 2000. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2002 and had a major retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2013. The Ledge, a large-scale public artwork, initially commissioned for the Folkestone Triennial (2017), was recently acquired permanently by Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban outdoor contemporary art exhibition.


Woodrow’s work is held in numerous public collections including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Tate, London; British Museum, London; British Council, London; Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal and Kunsthaus Zürich amongst many other