Happy Chinese New Year from York Art Gallery
Family year of the Rooster celebrations first and then off to York Art Gallery. On the top floor great to see the Mark Hearld’s collages of animals, including roosters! Particularly enjoyed his scrapbooks. Following in the Chinese New year theme the installation 'Manifest: 10, 000 Hours' by Clare Twomey, installed 2015, responds to the Chinese saying she had heard that if you work at something for 10, 000 hours you are a master of it, so she set about working with others to make 10,000 bowls in slip clay from moulds she made. These are set on shelves that almost reach the ceiling. It’s a great example of the artist concept executed by community participatory arts.
The installation is within the nation’s Centre of Ceramic Arts that also has some lovely sculptural ceramics by Kerry Jameson, although with so much to see I didn’t spot any more roosters.
The ground floor has the temporary exhibition 'Flesh' with many great artists such as Peter Paul Reubens, Edgar Degas, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville who have painted human and animal flesh. Refreshingly the human bodies were all shapes and sizes, the contours of rippling or dimpled flesh making them all the more interesting. We all appreciate the protection of our skin, but in the 21st century do we as artists think about what is beneath our skin? In Flesh we are reminded that beneath the skin we have an amazing network of muscles that are beautiful in form, shown in amazing chalk drawings, paintings and installations. Ron Muek’s Youth was a big attraction as the 15 inch high perfectly formed and dressed model is very realistic, and draws the viewer to the shock of the discovered wound beneath the Tshirt of the young man.
York Art Gallery offers the opportunity to walk around its gardens and see outdoor installations and take a breath to process the treat of the exhibitions.