CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Artist profile - KAWS, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:05 10 March 2016

Accomplice (2010)

Accomplice (2010)

Jonty Wilde

Giant sculptures of cartoon-like characters have arrived at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We find out more

Expressive hands, part of a giant KAWS sculpture installed at the Yorkshire Sculpture ParkExpressive hands, part of a giant KAWS sculpture installed at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

They are unlikely but most welcome companions for the long-standing classical works of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore exhibited in the landscape at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield.

Six giant sculptures measuring between six and 10 metres high grace the parkland while more sculptures including a baby pink monstrous rabbit-like figure are exhibited in the Longside Gallery, together with five paintings created especially for this show.

All this is the work of former graffiti artist KAWS, otherwise Brian Donnelly, a Brooklyn-based artist, printmaker and sculptor who has, for many, taken popular imagery to another level with his giant cartoon-like figures which were installed at YSP using heavy lifting equipment operated by men in hard hats.

Heavy lifting gear is used in the installation at Yorkshire Sculpture ParkHeavy lifting gear is used in the installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

At least 20 works created in bronze, fibreglass, aluminium and wood, alongside the bright, painted canvases make up this solo exhibition, KAWS’ first in the UK, which runs until June 12th.

KAWS, a keen collector or toys and art, entertains his 400,000 or so followers on Instagram with regular postings of his latest works. He is considered one of the most relevant artists of today, said to reach people across the generations with contemporary art and is credited with creating interest among young people least likely to step foot in a gallery or visit an exhibition.

Yet the art world continues to hold mysteries for him as he told The Independent newspaper when he said: ‘I did a series called Permanent Thirty-Three (2008): bronze heads of me in different colours that I did when I was 33 years-old. People approach the work in different ways – when it’s eight inches and plastic it’s a toy, if it’s eight inches in painted bronze it’s an artwork. I always felt that to be ridiculous.’ 

For more information go to


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Yorkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Yorkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Yorkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 00:00

Depending on wwho you ask, Hebden Bridge is a place for artists, commuters and hippies. Walkers also love this market town for its proximity to some fine West Yorskhire countryside.

Read more
Hebden Bridge
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Bizarre shapes and many different sizes of rock make this as fascinating for walkers as it is for climbers

Read more
Pateley Bridge
Wednesday, November 7, 2018

We talk to the woman charged with keeping the National Railway Museum on track

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

In recent years, Harrogate has suffered from shop closures like any other town. It’s fighting back with various initiatives designed to bring in shoppers, tourists and businesses, reports Tony Greenway

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

The time is right to claim the South Pennines as England’s first regional park, say campaigners

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle has much to offer at the turn of the season, as Tony Greenway discovers

Read more
Settle Autumn
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Is Doncaster soaring in the slipstream of success created by its award-winning airport?

Read more
Doncaster Sheffield
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thousands of people come through Ingleton every year to tackle the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks, but there are plenty of other walking options available in the area.

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore an historic North Yorkshire town and its countryside with some guidance from Richard Darn.

Read more
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A grand upland walk without too much effort

Read more

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Property Search