Not Vital: Innerworlds and Outerworlds

Swiss sculptor and internationally acclaimed enigma Not Vital (b. 1948) has taken over the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, pushing the boundaries of spatial, economic and cultural contexts. Renowned as a nomad, his practice revolves around collaborating with other craftsmen based all over the world, from steel-chasers in, to Tuareg silversmiths in Agadez and papermakers in Bhutan. It is through this peripatetic practice that a definitive style is questioned, instead seeking value in constant movement and inspiration.

For this unique show, which runs until 2 January, multi-disciplinary works are displays within the interior gallery spaces and the picturesque exteriors of the park, ranging from monochrome portraits, to the sculptures rendered in stainless steel, stretching almost the entire length of the 18th-century Terrace.

Supported by Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, YSP have published a catalogue with 100 full colour photographs taken by Jonty Wilde, including stunning juxtapositions between the rolling Yorkshire landscape and the Swiss artist’s mirrored structures. Works depicted within the volume include Pelvis (2008), Big Tongue (2008), Moon (2015), Leading the Way (2012), Let 100 Flowers Bloom (2008) and House to Watch the Sunset (2005) amongst many others.

Following on from a foreword by Peter Murray CBE, Clare Lilley, Director of the Programme at YSP, expands with critical analysis and curatorial insight on the various pieces acquired by the park for the exhibition, and draws up connections with painter Giovanni Segantini (of whom Not Vital’s mother was an avid collector).

As well as interviews, artists Alma Zevi and Richard Long, and writer Gore Vidal provide their insightful perspectives on the dynamism of Not Vital, drawing closer to the imagination of such a man: “Since an early age I have been interested in not only looking at objects but also to enter them if possible. To borrow Peter Handke’s words ‘die Innenwelt Der Aussenwelt der Innenwelt’, which translates as ‘the innerworld of the outerworld of the innerworld.’ In real life we also need both sides. A bird in a cage, a man in prison or a person without a home misses the other part and can end up in despair.”

This well-presented text is a testament to the artist in his first major UK exhibition (and largest museum project to date.)

Not Vital: Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2016).  Published by YSP in association with Galerie Thaddeus Ropac. 
ISBN: 978-1-908432-23-0
Find out more:

1. Not Vital, Let 100 Flowers Bloom (2008). Courtesy Jonty Wilde.
2. Not Vital, House to Watch the Sunset (2005). Courtesy Jonty Wilde.
3.  Not Vital, Moon (2015). Courtesy Jonty Wilde.