Six unmissable sculpture shows

  • 28 January 2015

From Victorian statues in London to Louise Bourgeois in Southampton, we've rounded up this season's must-see sculpture shows.

1. Henry Moore: Back to a Land, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Free to all

One of the 20th century's greatest artists, Henry Moore created sculptures that were often marked by their relationship with the landscape. Moore was one of the founding patrons of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and he was committed to showing his work in the open air at a time when displaying sculpture within the landscape was still considered radical. The exhibition takes its title from a Jacquetta Hawkes book of the same name, which Moore provided illustrations for. (From 7 March)

2. Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art, British Museum
50% off with National Art Pass

From the relative simplicity of Cycladic sculpture to the realism of Hellenistic statues, Greek sculpture underwent a stunning transformation. Defining Beauty tracks 2000 years of Greek experimentation in depicting the human body, including the revolutions of the Classical period, when a dramatic increase in technical skill allowed sculptors to produce realistic representations of human forms. (From 26 March)

3. Sculpture Victorious, Tate Britain
50% off with National Art Pass

The 19th century was a golden age of British sculpture, as artists capitalised on a period of unparalleled technical and industrial innovation. With the backing of Queen Victoria, who was personally passionate about the medium, sculptors drew on new materials and methods to create ever-greater and more magnificent works. Focusing on works created during Victoria's reign, this show explores the unprecedented explosion of sculptural creativity in the 1800s. (From 25 February)

4. Louise Bourgeois, Southampton City Art Gallery
Free to all

Part of Artist Rooms on Tour 2015, an Art Fund-supported series of exhibitions held across the UK, this show explores the range and scope of Louise Bourgeois' sculptures. An intensely personal artist, Bourgeois creates works that often draw on her own life experience: her vulnerability and fear, and the mystery and beauty of human emotions. The works on display show Bourgeois's interest in exploring ideas of womanhood through recurring motifs, from spiders to spirals. (Until 18 April)

5. Cornelia Parker, Whitworth
Free to all

To mark the grand reopening of the Whitworth – formerly Whitworth Art Gallery – this exhibition celebrates the innovative career of Cornelia Parker. Since coming to prominence in the 1990s, Cornelia Parker has continued to push the boundaries of contemporary art; from her installation of Tilda Swinton asleep in a vitrine to the famous 'exploded shed', Cold Dark Matter. For this project, Parker has teamed up with Nobel Prize-winning scientist Kostya Novoselov to create new works that make use graphene, one of the most remarkable materials in existence. (From 14 February)

6. Jacob Epstein: Babies and Bloomsbury, Foundling Museum
Free with National Art Pass

‘To work from a child seemed to me the only work worth doing... I plan some day to do only children. I think I should be quite content with that, and not bother about the grown-ups at all.' Distinguished and controversial, Jacob Epstein was variously criticised during his career for being too explicit, too modern, and too radical. Yet he was also fascinated with an often-neglected subject in sculpture: the portrayal of infants. The Foundling Museum show brings together many of Epstein's sculptures of babies and children for a unique exhibition. (Until 10 May)

Tags: ExhibitionsWhat to see