Alvaro Barrington

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Alvaro Barrington (born 1983) is a New York and London based artist. Primarily a painter, Barrington often incorporates yarn, wood and other media into his work.

Early life and education[edit]

Alvaro Barrington was born on 1 February 1983 in Caracas, Venezuela, the son of a Grenadian mother and Haitian father. He grew up in Grenada and then from aged 8 lived in Brooklyn, New York.[1] Barrington attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and then trained at Hunter College in New York.[2] In 2015, he moved to London and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art completing his MFA in 2017.[3]


Barrington is an artist who uses a variety of media in his paintings including wood and textiles. His work often includes Caribbean motifs such as hibiscus and yams.[1] Barrington describes his work as being "concerned with celebrating communities in the way that they celebrate themselves, and the diverse cultural languages in which we celebrate ourselves"[4]

Barrington's first solo exhibition, at MoMA PS1 in 2017, was a re-creation of his whole London studio in the New York gallery.[5] His first UK exhibition was Condo London at the Emalin Gallery in January 2018.

In 2019 Barrington co-curated Artists I Steal From with Julia Peyton-Jones. It featured the works of 48 artists selected by Barrington including Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly and Katharina Grosse, alongside one of his own mixed-media pieces, Unc you the Plug (2019). Later that year Barrington collaborated with the carnival organisation United Colours of Mas, to design a float for the Notting Hill Carnival. Barrington's 2019 exhibition, GARVEY: SEX LOVE NURTURING FAMALAY, references the Jamaican political activist Marcus Garvey. It was accompanied by a publication GARVEY!.[6]

Barrington was one of six black artists selected for the 2021 The Hepworth Wakefield's School Prints, the fourth year of a project that places free art in local primary Schools.[7] His contribution was titled Grandma’s Hands (2020). Barrington's first solo show at a UK institution (non-commercial gallery) was Spider the Pig, Pig the Spider at the South London Gallery, it coincided with him being one of 31 contributors to Mixing It Up: Painting Today at London's Hayward Gallery.[8]

Individual exhibitions[edit]

A selection of Barrington's solo exhibitions:

  • Spider the Pig, Pig the Spider, South London Gallery, London, UK (2021)[9]
  • You don't do it for the man, men never notice. You just do it for yourself, you're the fucking coldest, Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France (2021)[10]
  • Garvey 2 –They eyes were watching God, Corvi-Mora, London, UK (2020)[10]
  • The Shop at Sadie Coles, London, UK (2020)[10]
  • Garvey: Sex Love Nurturing Famalay’, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK (2019)[10]
  • Artists I Steal From, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, London, UK (2019)[10]
  • A Taste of Chocolate, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London, UK (2018)[10]
  • Condo London, Emalin, London, UK (2018)[10]
  • Alvaro Barrington, MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2017)[10]

Group exhibitions[edit]

A selection of exhibitions that Barrington has contributed to:

  • Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2021)[11]
  • 'Trust Ur Global Stranger' video work commissioned by CIRCA and curated by Norman Rosenthal London, Piccadilly Circus (2021)
  • School Prints, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, UK (2021)[7]
  • Tempest, Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Germany and Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK (2021)[10]
  • No horizon, no edge to liquid, Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK (2020)[10]
  • Landscapes of the South, Mendes Wood DM, New York, USA (2020)[10]
  • 100 Drawings from Now, The Drawing Center, New York, USA (2020)[10]
  • Natura Naturans, Mendes Wood DM, New York, USA (2018)[10]
  • Hog's Curve, Halsey McKay, East Hampton, USA (2018)[10]
  • The Way Things Run (Der Lauf der Dinge) Part 1: Loose Ends Don't Tie, PS120, Berlin, Germany (2018)[10]
  • Woven, Rental Gallery, East Hampton, NY, USA (2017)[10]
  • The Sleeping Procession, Cass Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex, UK (2017)[10]


  1. ^ a b Lloyd, Joe (2019-07-19). "Alvaro Barrington – interview: 'When you look at my paintings, you're encountering parts of my identity'". Retrieved 2021-03-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Nayeri, Farah (2019-06-26). "The Painter Alvaro Barrington on the Art He 'Steals' From". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-03-12.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Buck, Louisa (2019-06-06). "Great artists steal: Alvaro Barrington's new show reveals eclectic range of influences". Retrieved 2021-03-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Barrington, Alvaro. "Press Release: GARVEY: SEX LOVE NURTURING FAMALAY". Sadie Coles HQ. Retrieved 2021-03-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Abrams, Matthew J (2017-12-04). "Studio Visit: Alvaro Barrington at MoMA PS1". Retrieved 2021-03-12.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Barrington, Alvaro (2019). Alvaro Barrington. Garvey. London: Sadie Coles HQ. ISBN 978-0-9926556-9-3. OCLC 1151892371.
  7. ^ a b Bakare, Lanre (2021-03-05). "Black artists send works to inspire children at school". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-03-13.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ hettie-judah (2021-09-14). "Mixing it Up at the Hayward Gallery is terrific: can we stop saying painting is dead now?". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  9. ^ "'High-end Hermès yak wool blankets covered in concrete' – Alvaro Barrington review". the Guardian. 2021-10-06. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Alvaro Barrington – Artist's Page – CV". Retrieved 2021-03-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Mixing It Up: Painting Today". Retrieved 2021-10-03.

External links[edit]