William Pye Exhibition

Charioteer, 1963. Photo Maurice Elstub Image 1 of 3
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Hambalt, 1967. Photo Maurice Elstub Image 2 of 3
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Mirage (Diana's Abode), 1971. Photo Maurice Elstub Image 3 of 3
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24.09.78 - 22.04.79
Formal Gardens
William Pye, an artist with a good understanding of making sculpture for the outdoors, provided the second one-man exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in 1979. This was held in the Formal Gardens where the abstract elegance of his work related to the formal surroundings; his tubular pieces set along the terrace provided a stunning visual spectacle.

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The exhibition provided a unique opportunity to see a significant group of William Pye’s works together. The works were all of medium size when compared against Pye’s full range of works. However, he had continued to work on the smallest scale, on pieces only a few inches in any dimension, whilst also being engaged increasingly on extremely large environmental installations.

‘William Pye can probably lay claim to more experience of working out of doors than any of our younger sculptors. He began attracting the attention of major sponsors in 1968 and the excitement of his gleaming, complex forms reflecting and transforming all around them, has kept a steady flow of commission coming his way. He has worked on a wide variety of sites – many of them very difficult – and seen his work set up in concrete cityscapes and lush gardens throughout the country. Yet he still regarded this exhibition at YSP challenging. He has not previously gathered together as large a group of his work in the open air, and making an exhibition is clearly a different exercise from carrying out an individual project.’ – Michael Diamond


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