News Story

Yorkshire Sculpture Park announces its 2023 programme, featuring the first major UK museum exhibition by one of Austria’s most prominent artists Erwin Wurm, and solo exhibitions of new work by UK artists Lindsey Mendick and Jonathan Baldock.

YSP’s 2023 programme highlights material, process and play. The exhibitions give intriguing entry points for experimentation with sculpture, touch, and the physical processes of making that connect the body to materials. These themes will be reflected in the public and learning programmes, underpinning the fundamental relationships between people and sculpture.

Leonardo Drew has been commissioned to create a towering sculpture for the 18th-century Chapel. Made on site, it will present a powerful statement about the weight of collective experience, memory, and the cycles of life and death. Five metres high, it is made from shards of painted and violently torn materials, appearing like an explosion held in time within this contemplative space.

In April, an immersive exhibition by Lindsey Mendick in The Weston Gallery draws on physical and psychological excavation, as well as reflecting on shared experiences of TV and popular culture. Mendick primarily works with clay to create intricate ceramic works, with her elaborate mixed-media installations also including film, stained glass, textile and performance.

From June, Erwin Wurm’s absurd and seemingly playful sculptures are displayed in the Underground Gallery and adjacent garden. Wurm disrupts our understanding of the familiar and sensible, using and reimagining everyday materials and objects across a practice that spans sculpture, performance and photographic documentation.

Jonathan Baldock presents new sculpture in The Weston Gallery from September. Mining his working-class roots and queer identity, Baldock playfully addresses the trauma, stress, sensuality, mortality, and spirituality around our relationship to the body. His compelling installations, often using ceramic and clay, bring the viewer, the objects, and the spaces they inhabit together in a form of ritual or theatre that enlivens all the senses.

YSP continues supporting artistic development with its residency programme, which hosts an impressive line-up of contemporary artists including the 2022 Yorkshire Graduate Award winner Ami Horrocks. Following her 2022 residency, the New Zealand artist Deborah Rundle returns to YSP with a project exploring local histories of activism.

Opened in November 2022, Lakwena Maciver’s exhibition A green and pleasant land (HA-HA), runs through to March 2023 in The Weston Gallery. Lakwena uses her characteristic combination of vibrant colour and text to explore ideas around public speech and public space, using the ha-has in YSP’s landscape as a metaphor for markers of division and control within contemporary society.

Relics in the Landscape, an exhibition of bronze sculptures by the North American artist Daniel Arsham – including ET’s bicycle, Venus, Pikachu and Melpomene – continues to draw crowds to the 18th-century Formal Garden. This is Arsham’s first museum show in the UK.

Robert Indiana’s major exhibition of sculpture, painting and prints in the Underground Gallery and outdoors is on view until 16 April 2023. Tracing six decades of the influential artist’s career, the exhibition explores Indiana’s complex character and the darker side of the American Dream. A major new publication with in-situ photography accompanies the exhibition.

Championing the best in contemporary craft, design and making, YSP Shops present a programme of exhibitions in 2023, featuring ceramicist Florian Gadsby, whose work sells out in moments when released on Instagram; painter Simon Palmer; woodworkers Takahashi McGil; and printmaker Emma Lawrenson. Works presented in this programme are for sale at YSP and online and all proceeds support YSP’s charitable work.

Engaging participants of all ages, YSP’s diverse learning programme in 2023 is focused on play, the exploration of materials, and experimentation with making. Continuing YSP’s legacy of work engaging local communities, educational groups and informal learning groups, a programme of year-round activities will support people to fulfil their potential through YSP’s unique environment, as well as foster wellbeing and connection to the natural world.