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The Henry Moore Institute is closed for refurbishment until Summer 2024.

Henry Moore Institute announce 2024 programme after major refurbishment

A sculpture of a table tennis on a stand which appears to be made from upright bottle corks

After a major refurbishment, the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, the city where Henry Moore began his training, will reopen in summer 2024 with a diverse programme of sculpture.

Giving a platform to artists who push the boundaries of the art-form, the programme will include the first solo exhibition in a European institution by Hany Armanious, one of Australia’s leading sculptors in Hany Armanious: Stone Soup (12 July – 3 November 2024), and a group exhibition marking the centenary of surrealism, The Traumatic Surreal (22 November 2024 – 16 March 2025). This exhibition will explore the development of surrealist sculptural traditions by post-war women artists in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg including Meret Oppenheim and Birgit Jürgenssen.

Sculpture research remains at the heart of the Institute’s work. Its forthcoming seasons of research events, discussions and conferences will dig deep into current thinking on sculpture with Brâncuşi and Britain (March – June 2024) and Beyond the Visual (October 2024 – March 2025).

Exhibitions in 2024


Hany Armanious: Stone Soup

12 July – 3 November 2024

Henry Moore Institute
Sculpture Galleries
Free admission

The Henry Moore Institute will reopen in July 2024 with an exhibition of work by Hany Armanious, one of Australia’s leading sculptors.

When he was six years old Armanious emigrated from Egypt to Australia and has spoken of his experiences of a cultural shift, relearning the world though its material language as much as its spoken one. His sculpture practice throws into question any certainty of knowing the world through its things, while unravelling the experience of encountering objects for the very first time.

Starting with modest, found objects from the domestic world, Armanious follows a convoluted process to create duplicates, or ‘distillations’ of these originals, creating a mould and then a near-identical cast of his starting subject. Presented as standalone forms or as accumulations of several different objects, his sculptures toy with the notion of originality and the dependability of the physical world to learn or be a manifestation of truth. In the era of artificial intelligence and deepfakes, this relationship is only ever becoming more unstable. Enduringly playful, Armanious’ works also prod at the legacies of modern painting and sculpture.

This will be his Armanious’ first solo, institutional exhibition in Europe and will include work from the last 20 years.

Hany Armanious, 'A Place to Cry' 2012 Courtesy the artist and Phillida Reid, London

The Traumatic Surreal

22 November 2024 – 16 March 2025

Henry Moore Institute
Sculpture Galleries
Free admission

Marking the centenary of surrealism, this exhibition brings together work made after 1960 through to the present day to explore the radical appropriation and development of surrealist sculptural traditions by post-war women artists in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

Co-curated with Professor Patricia Allmer (University of Edinburgh) and based on her book The Traumatic Surreal, the exhibition will bring together works by Meret Oppenheim, Eva Wipf, Birgit Jürgenssen, Renate Bertlmann, Ursula (Schultze-Bluhm), Bady Minck and Pipilotti Rist, to explore their potent and multiple critiques of patriarchy. In their national contexts, patriarchy is closely interwoven with and often represents a continuation of fascism and its historical traumas. Using a variety of surrealist devices and techniques such as found objects, collage and assemblage, their work demonstrates the potential of surrealism to negotiate the impacts and legacies of fascism and Nazism and their long influence over the historically shifting politics of womanhood.

These artists continue surrealist traditions, using the movement’s capacity to challenge conventions and systems of belief while redefining and reconfiguring surrealism in new directions. In a period where women’s rights are under threat across the world, and politics in many places is lurching to the right, an exploration of these powerful critiques of fascism and patriarchy seems especially timely.

A close up of an open mouth with two front teeth visible and animal fur sticking out, like a tongue
Bady Minck, still from 'La Belle est la Bête' 2005 © Bady Minck, AUT/LUX/NED 2005, sixpackfilm

Research Seasons in 2024

Brâncuşi and Britain Research Season

March – July 2024

As the Centre Pompidou prepares for an ambitious new exhibition of work by Constantin Brâncuşi (1876-1957), the Henry Moore Foundation is hosting a series of events aimed at re-examining the artist’s relationship with Britain, as well as his ongoing influence on contemporary sculpture.

Brâncuşi is one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He was born in the small village of Hobiţa, studied art in Craiova and Bucharest, before leaving his native Romania for Paris in 1904, where he joined the École des Beaux Arts. He remained in Paris, where his sculptural practice flourished and garnered vast acclaim, until his death in 1957.

This research season will encourage emerging and established scholars, and practising artists to reconsider Brâncuşi, his period, and his impact amongst British artists, writers, and thinkers. Events will pose new questions of how artists working today can respond to and challenge Brâncuşi’s legacy, with the aim of revealing fresh insights into his significance within twenty-first-century popular and academic discourses. As well as using a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to his life and work, the season will consider his exhibition history in Britain and abroad, the complicated reception of his work in Britain, and wider cross-cultural exchanges between Romania, France and Britain.

Black and white photo of five older men wearing suits. Henry Moore, Frank McEwan, Herbert Read and Paul Eluard stand to the right, with Constantin Brâncuşi to the left. He has a large beard and holds a hat in his hands.
Henry Moore meeting Constantin Brâncuşi with Frank McEwan, Herbert Read and Paul Eluard at the British Council Gallery at the Champs Elysees, Paris in 1945.

Events in the research season include:

This research season has been conceived and organised in collaboration with Dr Alexandra Parigoris (University of Leeds) and Dr Jonathan Vernon (independent).

Beyond the Visual Research Season

October 2024 – March 2025

This research season will explore how contemporary sculpture facilitates sensory engagements with art that go beyond the visual.

The Henry Moore Institute is working in collaboration with Dr Ken Wilder, University of the Arts London (UAL) Reader in Spatial Design and Dr Aaron McPeake, artist and Associate Lecturer at Chelsea College of Arts (UAL) on the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) inaugural Exhibition Fund, a major £250,000 grant supporting innovative, collaborative exhibition approaches. This ground-breaking three-year project will culminate in an exhibition at the Institute in autumn 2025.

Blind and visually impaired audiences are often excluded from exhibitions that focus on visual arts and prevent visitors from touching or interacting with artwork. In investigating the role that non-visual sensory engagements, such as touch, sound, smell, and proprioception, play in the appreciation of artworks. This series of talks, workshops and conferences will explore how other senses can play a role in the experience of art, and the ways in which we might creatively and collaboratively rethink the relationship between artwork and audience. What might blindness bring to debates around sculptural objects, audience engagement and art historical theories of the optical versus the tactile?

A splayed hand touching a bronze plate with lines of single black letters recessed into it. The letters are from a Snellen eye test chart and reduce in size from top to bottom.
Aaron McPeake, 'Once I Saw it All' 2022, bell bronze (casting of Snellen Chart).


Architect's plan of the new shop at the Henry Moore Institute as part of their 2024 refurbishment. Image courtesy Group Ginger

The Institute has been closed since November 2023 for its first significant refurbishment in its thirty-year history. Responding to a growth in audiences, changing visitor expectations of a modern cultural venue and the importance of engagement programming with young people, this development will see the creation of a new multifunctional learning and engagement facility that will host creative workshops, discussions and events and encourage people of all ages to engage with sculpture as learners, thinkers and makers.

Working with Leeds-based Group Ginger architects, the renovations focus on creating more welcoming spaces for visitors. There will be a new meeting point in the entrance, encouraging visitors to stay longer, take a seat and browse the enhanced shop. The ‘alcove’ area on the ground floor will be refreshed so audiences can enjoy free, creative drop-in activities during their visit.

For researchers, an improved Research Library reception on the first floor will have new provision for displays drawn from the library’s special collections. The basement seminar room will continue to host research events, with increased comfort, including natural light, new seating and upgraded technology.

The roof has been replaced and solar panels installed to continue the Institute’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint. As a Grade II listed building there are limitations to what can be done to the exterior of building, despite a long-held desire to improve access. While longer-term ambitions remain in place, this redevelopment has focused on making internal spaces warm, inviting and welcoming.

Architect's plan of the new public engagement workshop facilities at the Henry Moore Institute. Image courtesy Group Ginger.

Notes to Editors

Press enquiries

For further information, images or to arrange a visit please contact:

Kara Chatten, Marketing & Communications Manager
Henry Moore Institute

Emily Dodgson, Head of Marketing & Enterprise
Henry Moore Foundation

Kitty Malton
Sam Talbot

Matthew Brown
Sam Talbot 

Henry Moore Institute, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AH
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