The biggest display of the Leeds Sculpture Collection in its history featuring 200 works has opened and is certainly worth a visit!

Combining everything from abstract 1.8m tall sculptures to tiny models and works on paper, it’s the most important collection of British sculpture outside of London and one of the strongest in Europe.

Henry Moore Institute (HMI) and neighbouring Leeds Art Gallery (LAG) are celebrating their longstanding partnership with this ground-breaking free exhibition spanning 14 spaces across the two world-class venues. HMI is celebrating its 25th anniversary and Leeds Art Gallery is celebrating reopening after a major refurbishment.

The largest piece, Kiss, standing at 1.8m high is exhibited for the first time ever in Leeds along with the collection’s most recent acquisition, Falling and Walking, by Anne Hardy – a former visiting research fellow at the Institute.

Hardy’s work fills an entire room and offers visitors an immersive, multi-sensory experience as they walk through and around it.

The works range from 1720 to the present day, and feature a myriad of different techniques and materials.

Godfrey Worsdale, Director of the Henry Moore Foundation, said: “This is a special moment for sculpture in Leeds. Along with our colleagues in Leeds Art Gallery we are proud to care for one of the best collections of sculpture in the world. To be able to share this as one exhibition across our two venues is extremely exciting.

“The latest acquisition by Anne Hardy is yet another wonderful example of Leeds’ ambitious commitment to making the city and the region a global force in the field of sculpture.”

Sarah Brown, Keeper of Leeds Art Gallery, said: “We’ve all been working towards this moment for some time now and we hope people will visit this unique, free exhibition. It will enchant art lovers and newcomers alike. We hope people who’ve never visited a gallery before will come and see what their city’s collection has to offer. It also gives young people the chance to see works that are critically acclaimed to inspire them to find out more.”

HMI opened its doors 25 years ago back in 1993. It evolved from the Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture within Leeds Art Gallery, which was established thanks to a partnership agreement between the Henry Moore Foundation and Leeds City Council in 1982. Henry Moore had laid the foundation stone for Leeds Art Gallery’s Sculpture Galleries in 1980, and to this day, sculpture has played a significant role in the cultural life of the city.

The Sculpture Collections can be seen until September 2 and runs across HMI and LAG.

For more on the exhibition see www.henry-moore.org and www.leeds.gov.uk/leedsartgallery

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