Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) is now home to the first major UK exhibition and largest museum project to date by the extraordinary and enigmatic Swiss artist, Not Vital.
New works, specially developed for YSP’s indoor and open-air spaces, are being shown alongside a selection drawn from the last thirty years of Vital’s career. The artist’s work is inextricably linked to his native Sent, a tiny village in the lower Engadin valley in the Swiss Alps, yet his practice is crucially fed by a life made rich through global travel and an enduring sense of enquiry and wonder.
The experience of walking between gallery spaces along a full-height concourse brings together indoors and outdoors, something that is so symbolic in the artist’s work. From the gallery a series of HEADS (2014) can be seen against the dark green of the historic yew hedge. Other works in the open air resonate with YSP’s rolling 18th-century estate. Let 100 Flowers Bloom (2008), comprising 100 stainless steel lotus buds on three-metre long stems, stretches almost the entire length of the 18th-century terrace.
Having spent time exploring Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s landscape, Vital has created a site-specific work in the form of an aluminium bridge that will stand as a long-term legacy of the exhibition. In the far reaches of the historic Bretton Estate, the bridge will draw visitors deep into the lakeside area, echoing the tradition of 18th-century follies and marking key viewing points. The second in the series of seven bridge projects by the artist (the first can be seen in Vital’s sculpture park in Sent), it joins other commissions at YSP by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and James Turrell. Models of all seven bridges are displayed in the Project Space as part of the exhibition. The vast display runs until January 2017, providing a rare opportunity to draw in culture and fresh air at the same time.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park; ysp.co.uk
Not Vital; notvital.com
Photography © Jonty Wilde