Bill Woodrow (British, b.1948) is a sculptor well-known for using materials found in scrap yards and dumps for his installation pieces. Woodrow was born on November 1, 1948 in Oxfordshire, England. He was educated at Winchester College of Art, St. Martin's School of Art, and Chelsea School of Art. Woodrow held his first solo exhibition in 1972 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1972. Since that time, Woodrow has exhibited his art at galleries and shows around the world. One of his most important shows took place in 1991 at the XXI São Paulo Biennia. He has also held shows at the South London Gallery and the Tate Gallery. In 1986, Woodrow was a finalist for the Turner Prize. Woodrow won the Anne Gerber Award from the Seattle Museum of Art in 1988.

Woodrow incorporated materials he found in used car lots and dumps into his early work; in these pieces, he always retained the original identity of the item. The scavenged materials were often made to appear as though they had been excavated from plaster in his works. Woodrow then moved on to using larger consumer goods, including cars and refrigerators, in his works. By collecting a wide variety of items and converting them into an entirely new context, Woodrow was able to incorporate a narrative element into his art. This is the case with Life on Earth. During the late 1980s, Woodrow began to work with welded steel. He later began to create sculptures from bronze. One of his most well-known works from this period is In Awe of the Pawnbroker. He often utilizes a recurring theme in much of his work. Such themes frequently include the destruction of the planet and nature triumphing over man.

Woodrow has the honor of being one of the select few artists chosen to create a sculpture to appear in Trafalgar Square. Between 1996 and 2001, Woodrow served as Trustee of the Tate Galleries. Woodrow currently lives and works in London, England.

Timeline

1948
Born near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK
1967–1968
Winchester School of Art, Winchester
1968–1971
St. Martin's School of Art, London
1971–1972
Chelsea School of Art, London
1988
Anne Gerber Award, Seattle Museum of Art, USA
Lives and works in London

Exhibitions

2012
Revelator, Lullin + Ferrari, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2012
Alice in Wonderland, MART, Rovereto, Italy; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
2012
Postmodernismo: Stile e Sovversione 1970-1990, MART, Rovereto, Italy
2011–2012
Alice in Wonderland, Tate Liverpool
2011–2012
Camulodunum, Firstsite, Colchester, UK
2011–2012
Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990, Victoria & Albert Museum London
2011
United Enemies: The Problem of Sculpture in Britain in the 60’s and 70’s, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
2011
Sculptures 1981–1988, Waddington Custot Galleries, London (solo)
2011
Modern British Sculpture, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2010
Forms of Reason, Lullin + Ferrari, with Mamiko Otsubo and Isabel Nolan
2010
British Council Collection: Fall Out: War and Conflict, Whitechapel Gallery, London
2010
Das Fundament der Kunst, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen, Germany
2010
Le Meilleur des Mondes, MUDAM, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2010
Sculpture after 1960, Tate Britain, London
2010
From Floor to Sky, Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London
2010
What Happens if...?, Storey Gallery, Lancaster
2010
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Bottega Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine
2010
The Future Demand your Participation: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2009
Selected Sculpture and Drawings, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts, Knokke, Belgium (solo)
2009
DLA Piper Series: This is Scuplture, Tate Liverpool
2009
Im Blick des Sammlers, Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany
2009
Birdland, Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury, England
2009
British Council Collection: The Third Dimension, Whitechapel Gallery, London
2009
Passports: In viaggio con l’arte, Padiglione d’Arte contremporanea, Milan, Italy
2009
Art in Public Places, Henry Moore Institute/Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, England
2008
Sculptures and Drawings, Lullin + Ferrari, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2008
Oscillator, New Sculpture and Painting, Waddington Galleries, London (solo)
2008
On the Rocks, shared sculptures with Richard Deacon, Bloomberg SPACE, London
2008
Punk. No one is Innocent, Kunsthalle Vienna
2008
British Sculptors’ Drawings: Moore to Gormley, British Museum, London
2008
Alice, son miroir et ses merveilles, Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle, Calais, France
2007
Part 2: Drawings from the nineties, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Knokke
2007
Part 1: New drawings, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Knokke
2007
Lead Astray, shared sculptures with Richard Deacon, Château Musée, Dieppe, France
2007
Panic Attack! Art in the Punk Years, Barbican Art Gallery, London
2007
Drawing from Turner, Tate Britain, London
2007
St Martin’s Sculpture Department 1966-71, Tate Britain, London
2006
Eldorado, MUDAM, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
2006
Domestic Incidents, Tate Modern, London
2006
Sculpture, Waddington Galleries, London (solo)
2005
Lead Astray, shared sculptures with Richard Deacon, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield
2005
Raised Awareness, Tate Modern, London
2005
In Print: Prints from the Paragon Press, National Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2004
Turning Points: 20th Century British Sculpture, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran
2003
Blast to Freeze: British Art in the 20th Century, Les Abbatoirs, Toulouse, France
2002
Blast to Freeze: British Art in the 20th Century, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany
2002
The Beekeeper, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea (solo)
2001
The Beekeeper, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield (solo)
2001
Field Day, Sculpture from Britain, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2001
Natural History, Yongsan Family Park, Seoul, Korea (permanent)
2000
Regardless of History, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London (solo)
2000
Monographic Room, Tate Modern, London (solo)
1999
Forjar el Espacio, Ivam Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain
1999
Forjar el Espacio, Musée des Beaux-Arts et de la Dentelle, Calais, France
1998
Toxic Drawings, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Brussels Stalingradlaan
1998
Forjar el Espacio, Centro Atlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
1997
Sexta Bienal de la Habana, Havana, Cuba
1997
Sculptures, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Brussels Bosquet
1997
In awe of the pawmbroker, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Brussels Stalingradlaan
1997
Sculptures 1981-1997, Mestna Galerija, Ljubljana, Slovenia (solo)
1997
About this Axis, Drawings 1990-1995, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland (solo)
1996
Un Siècle de Sculpture Anglaise, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
1995
From Picasso to Woodrow: Recently Acquired Prints and Portfolios, Tate Gallery, London
1994
Arte Amazonas, Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany
1994
Drawings, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Brussels Stalingradlaan
1993
Arte Amazonas, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Berlin; Technische Sammlungen, Dresden, Germany
1993
’Only the Lonely’ and other Shared Sculptures with Richard Deacon, Chisenhale Gallery, London (solo)
1992
The little Saints - small bronzes and watercolors on paper, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Knokke
1992
Sculptures, Sabine Wachters Fine Arts Brussels Bosquet
1991
Sculpture, XXI Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (solo)
1989
Point of Entry, Imperial War Museum, London (solo)
1989
Eye of the Needle, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre, France (solo)
1988
Christmas Tree, Tate Gallery, London (solo)
1988
Sculpture, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA (solo)
1987
Sculpture, Kunstverein, Munich, Germany (solo)
1987
Ship of Fools’, Discovery of Time, Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, USA (permanent) (solo)
1985
culpture, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
1985
Currents, I.C.A., Boston, MA, USA (solo)
1972
Sculpture, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (solo)