This first major exhibition in the UK by innovative German artists Wolfgang Winter and Bertold Hoerbelt opens at Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 26 June - 31 October. Exploiting the aesthetic and structural properties of recycled bottle crates, Winter and Hoerbelt’s international reputation was secured by their full-scale 'crate houses'; beautiful, light-filled pavilions constructed from crates which, when stacked like
building blocks, are both sculpture and structure.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park has commissioned two differently-coloured crate houses for the 500 square metre Longside Gallery. The gallery’s front wall of floor-to-ceiling windows floods the space with natural light which penetrates the houses’ translucent structure, linking the interior and exterior spaces. One crate house is bisected by the gallery window so that it can be entered from both inside or outside the gallery. These luminous and meditative environments, with seating, invite internal exploration and encourage contemplation. The interaction of visitors with the crate houses completes them as artworks.
One of the demands we make on our crate houses is that people must enjoy entering them and making use of the rooms.
‘The empire is being crushed by its own weight’, Kublai thinks, and in his dreams new cities light as kites appear, pierced cities like laces, cities transparent as mosquito netting, cities like leaves’ veins, cities lined like a hand’s palm, filigree cities to be seen through their opaque and fictitious thickness.
Italo Calvino Invisible Cities, 1972
The exhibition includes an outdoor pavilion, or Basket, sited within Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s 18th and 19th century-designed landscape. This large, two-storey steel structure with interior seating is sited at the top of a valley, acting as viewpoint, shelter and route-marker to the gallery. The Basket’s double-layered steel mesh construction challenges the viewer’s sense of perspective; when viewed against the skyline and pierced by sunlight, its solidity dissolves. A similar translucency is experienced from inside the structure which encloses and protects but also provides glimpses of the outside world and the expansive views beyond.
Other works have also been made for this exhibition: an oversized steel table which appears to be set for a meal; back-lit resin casts of a manhole cover, tram-line and water drain; a bench in which a thousand unused newspapers with the same date have been embedded in clear, coloured resin; a 4.5 metre high electric pylon made from furniture rattan. Like the pavilions, these sculptures emphasise the importance of communication, community and perception of ‘public art’ in the artists’ work.
A survey of models, photographs, drawings and film will also be shown.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication with essays by Clare Lilley, Curator at YSP, and Lewis Biggs, Director of the Liverpool Biennial and is sponsored by Genossenschaft Deutscher Brunnen GmbH. The project is financially supported by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehugen, the Henry Moore Foundation and MTEC Art Services Division, England.
Winter and Hörbelt both trained as stonemasons before attending art school in Kassel. Winter also trained as a pianist. Winter and Hörbelt live in Frankfurt and Havixbeck respectively; they began their partnership in 1992 and have completed many commissioned works internationally. Their work has been featured in the 1997 Münster Sculpture Project, the 1999 Venice Biennale, the 2002 Liverpool Biennial, and the 2003 Belgian Coastal Project.
Winter and Hörbelt
Crate House at Rice Universtity Art Museum