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Josephsohn

Courtesy Josephsohn Estate, Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn/Galerie Felix Lehner

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Courtesy Josephsohn Estate, Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn/Galerie Felix Lehner

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Courtesy Josephsohn Estate, Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn/Galerie Felix Lehner

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Hans Josephsohn © Josephsohn Estate. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deér

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Courtesy Kesselhaus Josephsohn

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Permanent installation Kesselhaus Josephsohn (3) © Josephsohn Estate. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deer

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Permanent installation Kesselhaus Josephsohn. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deer

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Hans Josephsohn, Untitled (Ruth), 1970 © Josephsohn Estate. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deer

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Permanent installation Kesselhaus Josephsohn. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deér

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Installation view 'Josephsohn' Lismore Castle Arts, 2012 © Josephsohn Estate. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn and Galerie Felix Lehner. Photo Katalin Deer

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Courtesy Josephsohn Estate, Hauser & Wirth, Kesselhaus Josephsohn/Galerie Felix Lehner

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11.05.13 - 27.04.14
Bothy Gallery (until 03.11.13) & open air
This exhibition is a poignant survey of sculpture with drawings by the late Zurich-based artist, Hans Josephsohn (1920–2012), whose career spanned more than 60 years before his death in August 2012. Josephsohn sought to capture the intimacy, experience and presence of the human form and this exhibition traces the evolution of his bold, immediate and highly physical way of working, from slim abstracted forms, reminiscent of ancient stone steles, to large half-figures and reclining sculptures, cast in brass and left unpatinated.

 

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Josephsohn

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Recently the subject of attention from Thomas Houseago and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and featured by curator Massimiliano Gioni in 2013's Arsenale at the Venice Biennale, the exhibition offers a timely opportunity for assessment of a remarkable artist. Sited on the 18th century Formal Terrace and adjacent garden with small works and drawings in the historic Bothy house, this unique environment draws out the extraordinary sensuousness and vitality of Josephsohn’s work. 

Hans Josephsohn was born in 1920 in what was Königsberg, East Prussia. At 17 he studied art in Florence but was forced to flee because of his Jewish heritage. He settled in Zurich in 1938 where he established a studio in 1943. Here he made sculptures, drawings and reliefs until shortly before his death last year, aged 92. Throughout his career Josephsohn drew on a 30,000-year-old tradition of figurative representation to establish his style and a powerful body of work through which he captures intimacy, experience and presence. The standing and reclining figures, half figures and reliefs demonstrate Josephsohn’s sense of the human form. Each is inspired by a particular person, a fleeting portrait of their individual features. Josephsohn conceived his sculpture for architectural environments; at YSP they respond to both the linear stone architecture and softer Arcadian landscape.

Josephsohn made his sculptures by adding and taking away wet and dry plaster until satisfied with the form. This physical and instinctive way of working is reflected in the metal casts with their dynamic surface qualities, where the imprint of the artist’s fingers can be seen; his hand, his touch, is part of the substance of the material. Also unusual is the surface of the brass which, being unpatinated, keeps the finish as formed during the casting process. These are earthy, sensual, intimate sculptures made with great integrity.

With thanks to Kesselhaus Josephsohn. This exhibition has been made possible by the provision of insurance through the Government Indemnity Scheme. Yorkshire Sculpture Park would like to thank H M Government for providing Government Indemnity and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England for arranging the indemnity.

Comments
If you love Hans Josephsohn's sculpture have a peek at Herman van Nazareth - Belgian/South African sculptures!
Peter van Laeren on Josephsohn | See all (2) comments
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The Josephsohn sculptures are intriguing and evocative, and the abstraction from and erosion of the human form draws out a profound comment on time and human frailty.
Stephen Ripley on Josephsohn
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