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: