Stonehenge comes to Wakefield

Today we had to go to Wakefield. We stopped off at The Hepworth Wakefield gallery to look at the art and get ourselves some lunch. It so happened they had two exhibitions on, one of the work of the Austrian artist, Franz West, another of the Independent Group.

First, the Franz West. I’d not come across him before. His work ranges from the tiny to the spectacular. It struck me as being both imaginative and witty. Take Epiphanie an Stuhlen (2011). Two chairs are arranged for the observation of what appears to be a giant virus. Very topical, in my case, as I’m wandering around with a particularly unpleasant cold:



Then there was  Parrhesia (2010). Parrhesia, it said, is a Greek word often translated as “free speech”. A parrhesiastes is a “truth-teller”. Bound up in the concept are the ideas that telling the truth is not without risk and that one is sometimes compelled to tell it. Multicoloured shapes suggestive of heads, or perhaps views of the world,  are mounted on rods. The arrangement of the shapes suggests a discussion.



Then there was Stonehenge. I really liked the way Franz West’s work manages to be playful and serious at the same time:


Franz West was a new discovery for me. What originally lured me out of the coffee-shop, though, was the room devoted to the work of the Independent Group. The bad news is you weren’t allowed to take photos in there. The good news is that the Hepworth Wakefield have made a Youtube video about it. Since they know a lot more about it than I do, I’ll refrain from reinventing the wheel and let the video speak for itself:

And finally, for no better reason than it’s a good song I’ve been listening to recently, there’s Patti Smith:



8 thoughts on “Stonehenge comes to Wakefield

  1. In the same way that J Alfred Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons, it seems to me that your life is measured out in cake in coffee shops around various galleries and N.T properties!

  2. Hi, a few months ago Patti Smith was in Berlin, in the bookstore Dussmann, signing her biography. One was not allowed to talk with her – but of course I did, just for a few minutes, and that was great.
    As to the Franz West art: interesting, but not my cup of tea. The virus would have worsened an arriving cold. Stonehenge looks funny – the last time I saw ‘the real thing’ there was a lot of tape around it, prohibiting us to come nearer. I miss the tape here 🙂

    1. Thank you on both counts. Just googled Wurm. Playful in a way not unlike West. Cold getting better slowly – although I’d probably just start a coughing fit if I tried to go for a run. I’m chafing at the bit as there’s a fell race I want to run in in August.

  3. Hello sackerson and thank you for your comment on our blog New Dharma Bums. Always love seeing new people stop by and then following them back to their blogs for a good look around and a good read. Interesting art work here. We don’t often get out to art galleries, so it’s a pleasure taking a look at what you’re seeing. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for the return visit! This is a pretty rural spot so there’s aren’t many big art galleries near here. If I’m travelling and I get a chance to go to one, I go. I was lucky in that Hepworth Wakefield allows photography.

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