Yorkshire Sculpture Park welcomes you back
The wait is over: Yorkshire Sculpture Park is back and its headline 2020 exhibition should be high on your post-lockdown list. From today, the Park reopens with the largest exhibition to date in the UK by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos.
In addition to the Parkland and Formal Gardens where you can enjoy modern and contemporary sculpture in the open air, the Underground Gallery and surrounding gardens will reopen with over 25 works by the leading conceptual artist.
Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond is the latest major exhibition in Vasconcelos’ already impressive career. Born in Paris in 1971 and raised in Portugal, the multilingual artist was the first woman and youngest artist to present a solo exhibition in the Palace of Versailles, Paris in 2012 and the first Portuguese artist to present a solo exhibition at Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (2018).
YSP will bring together a selection of her playful sculptures produced over the last 20 years that examine and celebrate the creative lives of women. She frequently uses items associated with domestic work and craft to comment on national and collective identity, cultural tradition and women’s roles in society – think fabric, needlework and crochet alongside everyday objects such as saucepans. Some of the artworks presented also have sound. Her disruption of our expectations of familiar objects is central to her practice. Through these reconfigurations, her works confront important social and political issues, while maintaining some much-needed humour and joy.
Highlights of the exhibition include Solitário [Solitaire] (2018), a seven-metre-high ring made of golden car wheel rims topped with a huge diamond crafted from crystal whisky glasses. Not only is it located at one of the highest points in the Park, offering one of the best views across the landscape, it symbolises the stereotypical ambition of society to acquire wealth and material possessions – cars, jewellery and alcohol.
Marilyn (2009/2011), a pair of oversized silver stilettos made from stainless-steel saucepans, is a reference to Marilyn Monroe, an icon of female sexuality. This work pays homage to her absent figure and draws attention to dichotomies which play a significant role in Vasconcelos’ practice, including private versus public life, tradition versus modernity and ‘pop’ culture versus ‘high’ culture.
Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond will run until 3 January 2021. All visitors, including YSP Friends, need to book a ticket in advance. Get yours here.