From 29 May 2010 Yorkshire Sculpture Park
will present a rich and extensive exhibition of work by David Nash, tracing the evolution of the artist's forty year career and offering a vivid statement of his life's work. Sculpture, installation and drawings will range across the Park and include new monumental works for the "Underground Gallery", a retrospective survey in Longside Gallery and contextual displays from the artist's archive alongside sculpture in the open air and a permanent outdoor commission. The historic landscape of the Park is a fitting backdrop chosen by Nash, the culmination of a thirty-year relationship with YSP, for this unique survey. This is envisaged to be the largest exhibition, present or future, by an internationally acclaimed artist who has developed an eloquent understanding of trees, working with their traits to create sculpture, installation, projects and related drawings.
The Underground Gallery will feature imposing new works, including huge redwood craggs and large black eucalyptus spheres, which the artist is currently making in California. The expansive Longside Gallery will present a survey of retrospective work from the artist's and international collections. The Bothy Gallery will illustrate one of the artist's most celebrated projects, Wooden Boulder, a large piece of 200 year-old oak released into a stream in the Welsh mountains in 1978, whose journey is documented through drawing, film and photography. The Garden Gallery will show works from the artist's archive, which explore the development of his practice.
Nash explores the different properties of wood as an artistic material from early tower constructions, burnt twig charcoal drawings and growing works, most famously "Ash Dome", planted in 1977. Significantly, Nash began to use the unseasoned wood of whole tree trunks and limbs after rediscovering forgotten pieces of timber that had continued to change without his intervention. This method celebrates the unique attributes of his chosen material as it continues to dry, warp and crack, changing in appearance long after the artist has finished shaping it. These works convey a wealth of expression, from enormous force to exquisite delicacy, produced by Nash's unique use of chainsaw and charring as well as natural drying.
The exhibition will be documented through a specially commissioned artist film by Pete Telfer, edited alongside archive footage, presenting a fascinating insight into the artist and his practice. There will also be a box set of four publications with texts by Ben Tufnell, Peter Murray, Dr Sabine Schlenker and the artist. The artist will also present a limited edition print and a limited edition twig sculpture.
Born in 1945, David Nash's first solo exhibition was in York in 1973. An artist of international renown, his work is held in private collections and public galleries all over the world including the Guggenheim, Tate and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. At the age of 21, Nash established a base in Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, and lives and works at Capel Rhiw, a former chapel built in 1863.