Erwin Wurm Unveils New Works at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

“Trap of the Truth,” at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this summer, is not the first time Erwin Wurm has inserted ironic, thought-provoking contemporary sculptures in a centuries-old setting. He did similar while co-representing Austria in Italy’s Biennale di Venezia 2017, when visitors were invited to climb his towering upturned freight truck to view the Mediterranean Sea—and contemplate its role as a passage for refugees.

At his U.K exhibition at the YSP, which encompasses more than 100 works including 19 large-scale bronzes dotting the 500 acres of the 1700’s Bretton Hall estate, Wurm is again playful and political, using art to address conformity to society’s demands, upending cultural beliefs, and anthropomorphizing objects. His sky-blue Big Step, for instance, making its debut at 16 feet tall, personifies the Hermès Birkin bag by giving it long humanlike legs, drawing attention to ideas of entitlement and wealth, while an equally oversize, orange hot water bottle has maternal characteristics. To Wurm, the human form is sculpture in itself. “Everything surrounding me can be material for work,” he says, “absolutely everything.”

Big Mutter, a 13-foot-tall painted bronze
Big Mutter, a 13-foot-tall painted bronze from 2015, is in “Erwin Wurm: Trap of the Truth,” through April 28, 2024, at the U.K.’s Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the first British museum exhibition by the Austrian artist.

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