Yorkshire Sculpture Park: Five of the best exhibitions from the Museum of the Year 2014

By Ben Miller | 14 July 2014

Museum of the Year 2014: See what our critics and the artists said about five of the best exhibitions held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A photo of a fox standing up in a colourful shirt holding a golden gun
Yinka Shonibare, Revolution Kid (Fox) (2012). Courtesy the artist and Collection Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag-Scheveningen (The Netherlands). Acquired with the generous support of the BankGiro Loterij© Courtesy YSP
Yinka Shonibare MBE – Fabric-ation, 2013

A fox fashionista sporting a flowery shirt, toting a replica of Colonel Gadaffi’s revolver and a BlackBerry featured in Shonibare’s subversive exhibition, joined by flying machines, aliens, toy paintings, food fairies, revolutionary children, spacemen and ballerinas. The British-Nigerian artist also arranged a carnival celebration day as part of his largest ever show in Britain.

We said: “As if it were not enough to enjoy his largest ever UK show and get the chance to display work in both the galleries and grounds of YSP, Yinka Shonibare is having his cake and eating it.” Full preview.

A photo of various small white circles with figures drawn on them
© Rachel Goodyear. Photo: Jonty Wilde
Rachel Goodyear, 2012

Perhaps her nomination for the 2009 Northern Art Prize enticed Goodyear back to the county where the gong is decided. Casting a seductive shadow across her plains of the Sculpture Park, Goodyear imagined a ghostly storyboard where psychosis and animal magnetism met.

We said: “Nature is ever present at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and is a powerful force within Goodyear’s imaginary worlds. This exhibition is an opportunity to view the developing work of this fascinating artist within the stark beauty of the winter landscape of Yorkshire.” Full review.

A photo of a large curved black sculpture on grassland under a blue sky in a park
© Jonty Wilde
David Nash, 2011

An artist occasionally aiming to make audiences recoil, Welsh artist Nash blackened, charred and chopped through dead timbers. One work, made of four trees, weighed 12 tons.

We said: “With more than 200 works, this is the largest ever show by this artist, filling both the Underground and Longside Galleries. And, yes, these labour-intensive works should fit well with the landscaped grounds of YSP.” Full preview.

A photo of a pock-marked silver surface
© Jonty Wilde / Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Peter Randall-Page, 2009-10

Two dark limestone monoliths stood at the centre of this show, huge and still appearing to be growing. Walnuts resembling brain tissue also tricked the eye, although the smaller works were no less impactful.

He said: “Our most intimate understanding of three-dimensional form comes from our own and other people’s bodies. When we look around the world we see the outside of something and wonder what might be inside. I try to tap into this, implying from the modulations of a surface what may be happening inside – a delicate balancing act. The illusion has to be consistent, just like a fictional world."

A photo of a man looking at a large black sculpture within a park
© Jonty Wilde
Miró – Sculptor, 2012-13

As a home for the works of revered Catalan surrealist Miró – an asserter that sculpture “must stand in the open air, in the middle of nature” – the Park was perfectly placed to highlight the decadently grand sculptors of an artist who had been most recently admired for his colourful paintings at Tate Modern.

We said: “Certainly few could take a tonne of bronze and make a buoyant threesome like Oiseau Solaire, Oiseau Lunaire and Femme Debout. Liquid forms and a reflective finish give these an immediacy, which belies their material and their age. Their presence is as benign as it is powerful.” Full review.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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