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YSP presents Transparency, curated from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners programme

15 Apr 2016

25 June–4 September 2016
Chapel


Responding to the exceptional environment and light qualities of Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th-century Chapel, Transparency shares significant works from the Arts Council Collection that explore the condition of transparency, and features pieces by artists including Yelena Popova, Mark Titchner, Rachel Whiteread and Cerith Wyn Evans.
 
Comprising of fifteen sculptures, installations and films, made between 1978 and 2014, Transparency considers how artists have investigated subjects such as truth to material, the everyday or ordinary, and material and psychological transparency. Produced during a period when the demand for truth and openness from politicians, corporations and other institutions is especially evident, the exhibition reflects a shift in British culture.
 
The notion of transparency is extended by considering the multiple meanings of the word: from the property of transmitting light, being diaphanous and having clarity, to being free from pretence or deceit, of being readily understood, and characterised by visibility or accessibility of information.
 
The exhibition includes three works by Yelena Popova, whose practice is informed by her upbringing in a secret settlement – an unnamed place – dedicated to nuclear research. Unnamed (2011), the artist’s first film, made as part of her MA at the Royal College of Art, recounts the story of the ‘secret town’ she grew up in and its part in both the development of the Soviet Union’s first atomic bomb and a major nuclear disaster in 1957. Two paintings from Popova’s Evaporating series (2014) are beautiful ‘transparent images’, delicate and fragile, which seem to recede into the raw fabric of their construction and are described by the artist as ‘the counterpoint to our media-saturated lives’.
 
Leading contemporary artist Cerith Wyn Evans makes sculpture, installations, photographs, film and text works that consider how ideas are shared through form. The installation "Diary: How to Improve the world (you will only make matters worse) continued 1968 (revised)" from 'M' writings '67-'72 by John Cage (2003), features a captivating and imposing chandelier at eye level and pays homage to a work by John Cage. The chandelier flashes on and off to convey a Morse code translation of Cage’s writings, which is then converted back into text on a nearby monitor.
 
St Mary’s No.1 (1978) by the important British sculptor Garth Evans is part of a series begun by the artist in 1969–70 in which he sought to make something that could be defined as sculpture yet was not an ‘object’. Inspired by a pool of water in the artist’s chapel studio, the delicate, almost weightless piece accrues greater resonance in the context of YSP’s historic chapel.
 
Transparency is the second in a series of exhibitions curated from the Arts Council Collection as part of the National Partners Programme marking the Collection’s 70th anniversary. The first exhibition, At Home, is presented in YSP’s newly refurbished Bothy Gallery until 3 July 2016. Both exhibitions offer a connection to Roger Hiorns’ installation Seizure (2008/2013), an extraordinary crystal-covered flat first created in a condemned property in Elephant and Castle and removed and preserved by the Arts Council Collection. Seizure is on long-term loan to YSP where it is presented within an award-winning concrete structure, commissioned from Adam Khan Architects, near the Bothy Garden.

Notes to Editors
About the Arts Council Collection’s 70th anniversary

The Arts Council Collection, the UK’s most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art, is celebrating its 70th anniversary during 2016. The celebrations include eight new commissions that will go on display across the UK throughout 2016; two new touring exhibitions, Night in the Museum, curated by Ryan Gander, and Drawn from Life: People on Paper; and the National Partners programme, which will deepen the Collection’s longstanding relationship with key museums and galleries around the country and enable many more people to visit Collection exhibitions. The National Partners are the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, Birmingham Museums Trust and The Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool alongside YSP. The programme will see 24 exhibitions over three years. More information about the Arts Council Collection’s 70th anniversary celebrations can be found at artscouncilcollection.org.uk
 
About the Arts Council Collection
In a challenging economic landscape, the Arts Council Collection provides important artistic support to England’s gallery infrastructure, through its extensive loans programme, touring exhibitions and Select, a programme that invites galleries and museums to select exhibitions and displays from the Collection. It also provides curatorial support to a wide range of galleries and museums. With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, the National Partners fund will enable works from the Collection to be seen in new, imaginative displays, whilst celebrating England’s world class galleries. More about the National Partners Fund can be found online: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/media/uploads/Guidance-for-applicants_ACC_National-partners-fund.pdf
 
The Arts Council Collection began when the Arts Council of Great Britain was founded in 1946. It took over a small group of paintings from the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) and its aim was to promote and encourage the appreciation of contemporary art through touring exhibitions. The Collection has continued to grow, acquiring innovative works each year and includes paintings, sculptures, original works on paper, prints, photographs, film and video and installation works.
 
The Collection includes important, often early, work by many of the most influential British artists from the mid-twentieth century to the present day, including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Victor Pasmore, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Patrick Caulfield, Gilbert & George, Richard Hamilton, Richard Deacon, Antony Gormley, Mark Wallinger, Peter Doig, Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread, Chris Ofili, Steve McQueen, Mona Hatoum, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, Glenn Brown, Jeremy Deller, Keith Coventry, Roger Hiorns and Wolfgang Tillmans.
 
Since 1986 the Arts Council Collection has been managed by Southbank Centre, on behalf of Arts Council England. It is now based at Southbank Centre, London and at our Sculpture Centre at Longside in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The centre at Longside enables the Arts Council Collection team to extend its sculpture conservation and research programmes and to increase public access to the sculpture collection through increased lending and exhibition initiatives. A diverse and stimulating range of exhibitions from the Collection, including displays of some of the most recent acquisitions, can be seen in the adjacent Longside Gallery, a unique space used on an alternating basis by the Arts Council Collection and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. artscouncilcollection.org.uk
 
The Arts Council Collection in numbers
–The Collection was formed in 1946 and currently consists of nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists
–The collections currently has over 550 works on long term loan to universities (including their libraries), medical research centres and charitable organisations throughout the UK
–Since 2012, 3,905 loans have been made to 327 venues representing 50% of the Collection.
–Since 2005, 7,984 loans have been on public display 

About Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. artscouncil.org.uk

About YSP Chapel
Built in 1744 and dedicated to St Bartholomew, the chapel served the various families and workers of the Bretton Estate before de-consecration in the 1990s. It was launched as a unique space for special projects in 2009, with a particular focus on meditative and experiential artworks that included installations by James Lee Byars and Shirin Neshat. The chapel underwent essential and extensive restoration in 2013 enabled by English Heritage, Country Houses Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, The Headley Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, the Holbeck Charitable Trust, The Leche Trust, The John S Cohen Foundation, Sir George Martin Trust, Kenneth Hargreaves Charitable Trust, Linden Charitable Trust, Jill Franklin Trust, and generous visitor donations. The chapel reopened with a highly significant exhibition of work by Ai Weiwei in 2014 and continues as an exceptional gallery space.

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Transparency Press Release

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Camilla Low, 7, 2004. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist

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Cerith Wyn Evans, “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) Continued 1968 (Revised)” From ‘M’ Writings ‘67–’72 by John Cage, 2003. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. © the artist

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Christine Borland, SimBodies Choking Charlie, 2009. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © the artist. Courtesy YSP. Photo © Jonty Wilde

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Transparency installation view. Photo © Jonty Wilde

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Transparency installation view. Photo © Jonty Wilde

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