Saturday, 2 January 2016

Likes and Dislikes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, New Year's Day

The huge crowds tramping through mud to see the last days of the "Poppies Wave" exhibition were hardly conducive to a peaceful first day of 2016. Bill Viola's dark exhibition in the Underground Gallery was miserable. There were good points however. Thomas J. Price's "Network" is a striking bronze at nine feet in height, the black guy consulting his tablet phone being a very contemporary study.

Sol LeWitt's "123454321" was so bleakly minimalist on a cold grey day that the mud surrounding it somehow seemed attractive in a sticky kind of way. Sort of "tidy builders" sculpture.


The permanent-seeming exhibit of a student village returning to nature that I wrote about last January - "Bretton Hall" - did however yield two items of interest in the sculptured plaques that identified two of the crumbling halls of residence from the 1960s, "Grasshoppers" and "King's Head", the ivy gradually extending to the monarch a master touch. Those much maligned sixties architects knew a thing or two about sculpture. And speaking of the former teacher training college at Bretton Hall, there is a website with some touching reminiscences of the place, a time when "King's Head Hostel" actually accommodated young people and was not just a noble sculpture on a still modern brick wall.



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