Sin at York Art Gallery

Part of our Exhibitions guide

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
Sin Exhibition, York Art Gallery, artist Zara Worth with Think of a Door (temptation redemption). Credit Charlotte Graham

Sin at York Art Gallery, York, 8 October 2022–22 January 2023, from £4.00 - Book now

Whether or not you give much thought to the idea of sin in your daily life, we are all aware of the concept: an immoral act, a transgression, an omission. The York Art Gallery is tackling it head on with a new show simply called Sin, using the medium of art to examine depictions of and attitudes to immorality through the ages.

Sin was organised by the National Gallery with York Museums Trust so fans of both classical and contemporary art are in for a treat.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, ‘Venus and Cupid’
Lucas Cranach the Elder, ‘Venus and Cupid’


You’ll find Tracey Emin’s signature openness in the neon work It was just a kiss, as well as the absolutely gripping sculpture of a young boy entitled Youth by Ron Mueck. Perhaps the highlight of the show though, is the work on loan from the National Gallery collection – eight stunning classical paintings including Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach the Elder and The Woman Taken in Adultery by the master – Rembrandt. A selection of works from the York Museum Trust also form part of the show, from medieval stone carvings of demons to contemporary interpretations.

Sin Exhibition, York Art Gallery, Youth, Ron Mueck. Credit Charlotte Graham
Sin Exhibition, York Art Gallery, Youth, Ron Mueck. Credit Charlotte Graham


A new work by Zara Worth was created especially for Sin: Think of a door (temptation/redemption) that combines traditionally religious imagery from artefacts and holy spaces with imagery commonly encountered on social media. The illuminated gateway references Rodin’s Gates of Hell, Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise, and York Minster’s interior with smartphone bezels and a halo selfie filter. Whether or not the artist meant to achieve this effect, Think of a door (temptation/redemption) is very Instagrammable too.


Tracey Emin, 'It was just a kiss'
Tracey Emin, ‘It was just a kiss’


The York Art Gallery holds an annual Teenage Art School. This year’s initiative focused on the concept of sin and the work has been captured in a multi-channel film installation and displayed in the exhibition. The young people’s exploration of the subject brings into focus the way that art permeates into everyday life and influences our understanding of such timeless concepts.

Don’t miss this show, filled with incredible paintings, risque modern approaches and thought-provoking musings on misdeeds.

Sin at York Art Gallery, York

8 October 2022–22 January 2023
From £4.00