Claire Barclay was born in 1968 in Paisley, Scotland. She completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the Glasgow school of art in 1990 and subsequently completed a MFA at the Glasgow School of Art in 1993. She lives and works in Glasgow.
Barclay’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions including: Pale Heights, Mudam, Luxembourg (2009); Openwide, the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2009); Claire Barclay: Shifting Ground, Camden Arts Centre (2008); 'Fault on the Right Side, Kunstverein, Braunschweig, Germany (2007); Foul Play, Doggerfisher, Edinburgh (2005); Half-Light, Art Now, Tate Britain (2004); Ideal Pursuits, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee (2003); Homemaking, Project Space, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2000); Claire Barclay, the Modern Institute, Glasgow (1999); Dream Catcher, 200 Gertrude street, Melbourne (1998). Her work has also been featured as part of the following exhibitions: Material Intelligence, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (2009); Sculpture in the Close, Jesus college, Cambridge (2007); British Art Show 6, Baltic, Gateshead, Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol (2005); zenomap, palazzo guistinian-lolin, Venice biennale (2003) as well as many others.
Barclay’s practice often incorporates objects and materials which are familiar yet, when collectively assembled, resist yielding simplistically to metaphor and analogy, thus putting into crisis the very conventions through which meaning is codified. Her carefully considered compositions rely on a rigorous formality that is disrupted by the suggestive nature of the objects or materials used to construct them. The familiarity of these objects arises not only from their quotidian forms, but also from the references they make to historical styles ranging from European Modernism and American Folk Art to Minimalism and beyond.