Yorkshire Sculpture International: Rashid Johnson

22 June – 27 September 2019


From new work by international artists to sculpture drawn from world-class collections, this festival across Leeds and Wakefield showcases sculpture in all its forms.

Rashid Johnson (b. Chicago) makes work that explores art history, literature, philosophy, race and representation. He uses a broad range of media including sculpture, drawing and film, and materials from tribal masks and houseplants to shea butter.

For Yorkshire Sculpture International Johnson has made a new installation in response to a consideration of the responsibilities of objects and how materials both assign, and are assigned with, meaning. Three table sculptures each support a structure made entirely from shea butter, a material used in cosmetics and extracted from the African shea tree that has come to be traded in North America and Western Europe as a form of exoticism with healing properties.

Three phases of sculpture are presented: a series of portrait busts; a reimagining of Western abstract art; and finally, in a reflection upon the fundamental human need to make and leave traces, an invitation to the audience to make their own forms.

Recent exhibitions include: Rashid Johnson. It Never Entered My Mind, Hauser & Wirth, St Moritz (2019); Groundings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2019); Rashid Johnson. No More Water, Lismore Castle Arts (2918) and Michael Jackson: On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London (2018).

About Yorkshire Sculpture International

Yorkshire Sculpture International is delivered by the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle made up of the Henry Moore Institute, The Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It showcases the breadth and diversity of contemporary sculptural practice, inspiring audiences to rethink what they understand the form to be.

At the Henry Moore Institute, Phyllida Barlow’s assertion that ‘sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms’ brings together five extraordinary artists whose work looks at the relationship between material culture and an understanding of human history, present and future.

Within the trajectory and methods of anthropology lie the foundations of history and all social sciences. Objects play a pivotal role in that framework, with material culture often made to function as a form of black box recorder that can play back history, identity, belonging and difference. The exhibition at the Institute reflects upon this responsibility of objects.


Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Open 7 days a week, except Bank Holidays, from 11am to 5:30pm and until 8pm on Wednesdays.
Galleries are closed on Mondays.

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