Bill Woodrow RA

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Bill Woodrow RA

born 1948

Born near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England in 1948

English Sculptor and printmaker.

Bill Woodrow attended Winchester College of Art (1967–1968) before studying at London schools, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (1968–1971) and Chelsea School of Art (1971–1972). In his sculpture Woodrow uses found objects and a variety of raw materials taken from everyday life, including car doors and bonnets, musical instruments, ironing boards and other domestic appliances - often salvaged from local streets and junk yards. Woodrow's sculptures fall into a category of art called 'assemblages', artworks that bring together a range of found items and bric-a-brac but importantly reinvents them whereby they acquire alternative meaning. Woodrow's sculptures address the consumerism and throwaway culture in western society but, while such found objects remain identifiable, Woodrow imaginatively creates new sculptural forms and meaning by playfully reusing such discarded items.

Woodrow is associated with a movement called New British Sculpture. This was a group of young British sculptors who emerged during the 1980s and whose work made a conscious shift away from conceptual and minimalist sculpture of the 1970s and, instead, favoured more traditional techniques as carving and construction. Other members include Barry Flanagan, Antony Gormley, Richard Deacon, Anish Kapoor and Julian Opie. Woodrow has been a finalist for the Turner Prize (1986) and is an elected a Royal Academician for sculpture (2002).

Woodrow is represented by public collections including Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, British Council, Arts Council England, and the Henry Moore Institute, among others. International collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art (USA).

(Benjamin Angwin - September 2014)