18 May – 29 August 2021
Exhibition in Galleries 1, 2 and 3
We're delighted to present this new group exhibition exploring sculptures that are deliberately designed to fold up, or pack down, or that have been made while on the move.
Do Ho Suh, Hub, Wielandstr. 18, 12159 Berlin, 2015, polyester fabric, stainless steel
© Do Ho Suh. Courtesy the artist, Lehmann Maupin and Victoria Miro
Andrea Zittel, A-Z Escape Vehicle Owned and Customized by Bob Shiffle, 1996. Steel, electronics, climate control, insulation, wood, glass, water and salt. 152.4 x 101.6 x 213.36 cm
© Andrea Zittel, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London.
Charles Hewlings, Valley Suitcase, 2002. Wood, aluminium and mixed media. 100 x 196 x 92cm
Photo: John Riddy
Portable Sculpture brings together work from 1934 to the present day. Featuring fifteen artists, including Hannelore Baron, Walead Beshty, Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchamp, Liz Ensz, Barry Flanagan, Mohamad Hafez, Romuald Hazoumè, Charles Hewlings, Do Ho Suh, Veronica Ryan, Andrea Zittel and presenting new work made for the exhibition by James Ackerley and Claire Ashley.
The word ‘sculpture’ is often associated with large, immobile objects that are weighty and permanent, but sculpture is not always fixed in place: sculpture can be mobile, agile and endlessly adaptable.
The long history of portable sculpture dates back to the small, carved stones made by nomadic tribes during the Ice Age. A combination of unstable geopolitics and sweeping economic change during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has made questions about home and identity, migration and travel, or stability and impermanence ever more pressing. The exhibition explores a variety of responses to circumstances in which permanence is difficult to achieve.
Book your visit
Entry is free, but to ensure we stay Covid-19 safe, we are limiting the amount of visitors we welcome. Please book your visit in advance. We are accepting walk-in visitors, but there may be a short wait.
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Meet the artists
This series of six films sees artists from the exhibition discussing their work and why they've chosen to make portable sculpture.
Hear from Mohamad Hafez, whose intricately detailed scenes are a powerful illustration of the aftermath of the conflict in Syria; and Claire Ashley, whose inflatable artworks sit somewhere between painting and sculpture. James Ackerley talks about how his works were designed for swift disassembly when moving studios, while Liz Ensz tells us about their sustainable practice and nomadic approach to making art. Veronica Ryan discusses the use of embroidery in her pillow case pieces and the inspiration behind them, and Charles Hewlings reveals the very practical reasons for making sculpture in a suitcase.
|Watch all episodes here|
A series of research events and activities accompanies the exhibition. Including speakers Professor T. J. Demos (University of California, Santa Cruz), Dr Heather Diack (University of Miami), Dr Jo Melvin (University of the Arts London / Barry Flanagan Estate) and artists Claire Ashley and Mohamad Hafez.
By Alice Morby
“A new show at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds is challenging the monolithic, immovable preconceptions associated with sculpture by presenting works that, by design, can be packed up, taken down and moved on.”
Henry Moore Institute
T: 0113 246 7467
Galleries: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 5pm
Research Library: Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm; Sunday, 1 - 5pm
Archive of Sculptors' Papers: Tuesday to Friday, by prior appointment