Extensive Bill Viola Exhibition Opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Around London

Featuring rarely seen early works, and a world premiere of a new video installation.

Bill Viola, The Talking Drum (For Herman Heins) (1982) Photo: Kira Perov, courtesy Blain / Southern
Bill Viola, The Talking Drum (For Herman Heins) (1982)
Photo: Kira Perov, courtesy Blain / Southern
Bill Viola <i>The Trial</i> (2015) © Kira Perov<br> Photo: courtesy Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola The Trial (2015)
Photo: © Kira Perov courtesy Bill Viola Studio

The most extensive exhibition of Bill Viola’s work in the UK in 10 years, opened this past weekend at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).

The exhibition surveys twenty years’ worth of Viola’s artistic production, including a new, previously unseen work entitled The Trial (2015)Viola describes the new piece, which features a man and woman going through a dramatic cycle, as being “five stages of awakening through a series of violent transformations.”

Bill Viola <i>The Trial</i> (2015) © Kira Perov<br> Photo: courtesy Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola The Trial (2015)
Photo: © Kira Perov courtesy Bill Viola Studio

“Bill Viola at Yorkshire Sculpture Park aims to be especially meaningful to the Sculpture Park’s intergenerational audience, with works selected to relate to the thresholds of life and the questions they raise, across cultures and geographies,” said director of program at YSP, Claire Lilley.

“The exhibition is a journey through time and landscape, presenting both intimate and dramatic experiences in one of the most powerful and singular exhibitions of Viola’s career,” she added.

Bill Viola, <i>Fire Woman</i> (2005) <br> Photo: © Kira Perov, courtesy Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola, Fire Woman (2005)
Photo: © Kira Perov, courtesy Bill Viola Studio

Eight works, including, The Veiling (1995) are displayed in the Underground Gallery. Across the park, in the 18th century Chapel, Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) (2005) are on view. Created as part of Peter Sellars’s production of the Richard Wagner opera, Tristan und Isolde, the two works are shown in an ongoing loop.

Alongside this survey are two London exhibitions focusing on rarely seen early works: At Blain|Southern, Viola is showing Moving Stillness (Mt. Rainier), (1979) for the first time since its inauguration at Media Study in Buffalo, New York; he also has a sound compositions installed at the Vinyl Factory Space at Brewer Street Car Park.

Bill Viola, <i>The Talking Drum (For Herman Heins) </i> (1982) <br>Photo: Kira Perov, courtesy Blain / Southern

Bill Viola, The Talking Drum (For Herman Heins) (1982)
Photo: Kira Perov, courtesy Blain|Southern

Viola also has a permanent video installation at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and this is a good opportunity to revisit the work, for a quite respite from the frenzy Frieze Week.

“Bill Viola” is on view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park from October 10, 2015 – April 10 2016, and at Blain|Southern from October 13 – November 21, 2015.


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