Annual Public Art Exhibition
Commissioned by City of London Corporation
Delivered with Lacuna since 2011
Opened June 2023
On view until Spring 2024
Sculpture in the City 12th Edition presents 18 artworks by 17 established and emerging artists from over 10 countries. New works on view range from digital art (Mika Rottenberg) and applied graphics (Arturo Herrera) to free-standing sculpture (Larry Bell, Phyllida Barlow, Isamu Noguchi, Simeon Barclay, Rafael D'Aló).
A new family-friendly initiative was introduced to the programme called SculptureFest, alongside London Sculpture Week. The facade of 33 Creechurch Lane also becomes a new venue and the screen at Fenchurch Avenue returns as a projection site. The Gherkin rejoins as a Programme Partner and Foster + Partners became a new Project Patron.
Muamba Grove, 0 Hue #1, 2019
Steel, fibreglass, resin, UV paint
177 x 255 x 85 cm
Muamba Grove, 0 Hue #2, 2019
Steel, fibreglass, resin, UV paint
188 x 320 x 126 cm
Movement and the body lie at the centre of the Muamba Grove series and the sculptures are strongly linked with choreography and transformation. The series continues da Silva’s investigations of scale, colour and interactions between the human body, sculpture and nature. The artist identifies each of the sculptures as ‘unrooted bodies’, genderless, neither human nor part of nature but as hybrids that are in a constant state of flux, metamorphosing into something still unknown.
Da Silva's process often involves carving sculptures concurrently and reacting intuitively to the forms as she works into the surfaces of the materials. This process offers an indication of the inseparable link between the body and the sculpture - the artist's own body becomes entwined within the making of the forms. Da Silva's use of colour and carefully considered scale contributes to the sense of dynamic and fluid movement.
Location: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Churchyard, London EC2M 3TL
150 x 220 cm
Emma Louise Moore’s piece, carved from Carrara marble, becomes translucent when penetrated by the sun, making the passing of time tangible.Deep within the landscape of the city, sunlight bounces endlessly between reflective surfaces. The surrounding buildings create passing shadows and moments of inactivity, allowing the illumination of the work to be ephemeral, its activation by the sun a momentary phenomenon.
Moore’s sculptures create a space that asks us to pause and observe. Taunting our instantaneous expectations. The sun becomes the artist, dictating when the work is activated and dormant. These pieces are created in a place of servitude, a return to sun-worship, a deeper notion of time.
Location: Corner of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street, London EC2M 3XD
Nest Series, 2022
Enamel and epoxy resin on 3D printed PETG
Taking the form of imagined phantasmagorical fruits, these artworks by Victor Lim Seaward function simultaneously as aesthetic sculptures and functional bird nests. The nests are sculpted using digital software and fully 3D printed in a durable material called PETG, before being painted in enamel.
Conceived to attach to trees and blend in with the seasonal foliage, the sculptures have been designed in accordance with RSPB guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for nesting. The internal cavity is insulated to provide warmth during cold snaps, drainage holes have been incorporated in case of heavy rain, and sustainable coconut hemp is used as nesting material.
Location: Tree outside 99 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3XD
Pacific Red (IV), 2017
Red poppy with blush leminated glass
182.9 x 244.5 x 244.5 cm
Pacific Red (IV), 2017 encapsulates the mesmerising metamorphosis and innovation that characterises Larry Bell’s Pacific Red nesting box glass sculptures, which mark a turning point in the artist’s extraordinary practice and were a celebrated highlight of the 2017 Whitney Biennial in New York. Bell’s nesting boxes are one of the most important examples of the artist’s freestanding glass wall sculptures, a subset of Bell’s practice which he began in 1968 in which the artist combines panes of glass in varying scales and configurations. These large, colourful outdoor works respond intuitively to the dynamics of space and are transformed by the particular conditions of natural light at different times of the day. Capturing the distinctive properties of the colour red, Pacific Red (IV) exemplifies what Bell described as its ‘emotional input’. Combining cubes made with Red Poppy and Blush laminated glass sheets, the sculpture’s luminous reds, transparency and reflectiveness shift and morph in response to the sun, at times emitting an ethereal glow, which transforms into a red-hot blaze at other moments. An extraordinary sculpture, Pacific Red (IV) epitomises the unique magic of Bell’s lyrical experimentation with glass.
Location: 100 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 1GT
Rain Mountain, Duo and Neo-Lithic, 1982–1983 (2019–2020)
Hot-dipped galavanised steel
243.8 x 79.4 x 63.5cm
222.3 x 67.3 x 61cm
183.5 x 71.8 x 41.3cm
Isamu Noguchi’s galvanised-steel sculptures Rain Mountain, Duo and Neo-Lithic, 1982–1983 (2019–2020) express his lifelong engagement with sculpture, the landscape and the bodily sensorium. Drawing inspiration from ancient forms and modern technologies, as well as his own Japanese and American cultural inheritances, Noguchi sought to create works offering an experience of space and presence, stating “I want sculpture equal to myself walking”.
Over the course of his long career, Noguchi experimented with paper, stone, wood, slate, ceramics, and iron, choosing materials appropriate to the sculpture’s environment. He associated metal and industrial fabrication with America, writing “It seemed to me absurd to be working with rocks and stones in New York, where walls of glass and steel are our horizon, and our landscape is that of boxes piled high in the air.”
Location: St Helen's Churchyard, Bishopsgate, London EC3A 6AT
In Loving Memory, 2020
Seven etched brass plaques
100 x 50 cm
This project focuses on the everyman, the natural environment and memories to place and memory itself. A series of engraved brass bench plaques have been installed to existing benches around the City of London. The plaques have been created to mimic the plaques that often adorn benches to memorialise or pay homage to a specific person. These, however, are fabricated: in loving memory of a ‘made up’ person or place or abstract idea.
Some of them are optimistic for a better future others long for a forgotten past. Some are more fantastical, abstract and others are more direct and perturbing or prescient. Many rely on humour as a way of communicating the idea.
Following inclusion in the 10th Edition of Sculpture in the City (2019–2021), the artwork was aquired and remains on permanent display in the City of London at seven locations:
06a. Undershaft, EC3A 8AH (next to St Helen’s Church) 06b. Fen Court Garden, EC3M 5DL
06c. Plaza outside Fenchurch Street Station, EC3M 4AJ
06d. Aldgate Square, EC3N 1AF
06e. Mitre Square, EC3A 5DH
06f. Bury Court, EC3A 8EX
06g. Jubilee Gardens, EC2M 4WD
Summer Moon, 2011
Cast aluminium, white enamel
600 x 550 x 550 cm
Ugo Rondinone’s Summer Moon, 2011 belongs to a long-running series of sculptures of trees. From the mid-2000s Rondinone has embarked on a series of life-size sculptures of ancient olive trees in white-painted aluminium.
The artist noted in 2006: "Through a cast olive tree you can not only experience the lapse of real time, that is lived time, frozen in its given form, but through this transformation also a different calibrated temporality. Time can be experienced as a lived abstraction, where the shape is formed by the accumulation of time and wind force."– Ugo Rondinone
Location: Undershaft, London Ec3A 8AH
Steel, timber, plywood, wirenetting, sand, polyurethane foam, polystyrene, paint, varnish
600 x 235 x 290 cm
Phyllida Barlow’s sculpture Untitled: Megaphone (2014), towers six metres high and stands to the viewer as to announce a performance that has yet to begin.
The sculpture resembles a tall megaphone. However, Barlow herself described it as an approximation or substitution for the actual object. As part of its making, the sculpture has been hacked and reinvented into a new form. A closer inspection reveals the materials: its texture, the colours, and the absence of technical functionality have left it with very little in common to a functioning megaphone.
"It interests me what sculpture is, its playing around with substitution, and where do those substitutions lead one?" – Barlow noted. By being at first suggestive to reality while depriving a relation to a real object, sculpture acts as a trigger, stimulating the imagination of the viewer to new creative forms, to memories and undiscovered fantasies.
Location: Undershaft, London EC2N 4AJ (in front of Crosby Square)
Pittu Pithu Pitoo, 2022
Fibreglass and garden ornament
300 x 200 x 360 cm
Pittu Pithu Pitoo, a large-scale rock sculpture made of fibreglass and a garden ornament, literalises the state of being on the periphery, or on the other side – as both a source of agitation, and a means of perceiving the world. The architectural intervention, typical of Barclay’s installations, is driven by this state of anxiety. The viewer is invited, or perhaps forced, to consider how objects can determine our experience in space. Pittu Pithu Pitoo is about negotiating barriers, whether structural, psychological, or both.
Commissioned by South London Gallery.
Location: Undershaft, London EC3P 3DQ (next to St Helen's Building)
1160 x 80 x10 cm
A neon text work highlights the precarious nature of relationship and the easy slippage between states of togetherness and isolation. The artwork reads WE ARE ALL ONE. The first letter "L" in the word "ALL" is set to flicker as if faulty, meaning the work is in constant flux between the statements "WE ARE ALL ONE" and "WE ARE ALONE". While offering two seemingly contrasting texts through the same sign the work also offers a paradox: that if we are all "one", one is a multitude, and if "we" are alone, to be alone is a shared experience.
The artwork is inspired by Jean-Luc Nancy’s suggestion that we come into being through relationship and his counter proposal of "we are" to the assertion "I am". Commissioned by The Fitzwilliam Museum in 2019, the piece was developed following a year-long project working with Cambridge residents to reflect on what it means to be a "we". The poignancy of the work shifts with its social and political context building layers of association and resonance.
Location: The Leadenhall Building, London EC3V 4ABR
Untitled reflects the dynamic movement of people using the space and the mechanic stairs. Both escalator designs energise the area under the stairs with an all-over composition that mimic the traffic and activity of this large urban space in the City of London.
Location: The Leadenhall Building, London EC3V 4AB
Untitled Ceiling Projection, 2018
Single-channel video installation, sound, colour (6:07")
In this multimedia work, a woman smashes colourful lightbulbs. Filmed from beneath a clear table, the smashed bulbs become a kaleidoscope of colour. The title as well as the placement above the viewer’s head allude to the idea of smashing the proverbial glass ceiling, while the incadenscent lightbulbs represent an antiquated invention—once a scientific breakthrough, but that is now becoming obsolete as more energy efficient options become available.
On view in July, September and November in 2023 and in January, March and May in 2024.
Location: 120 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 5BA
Stone, painted Jesmonite, bronze, steel
310 x 148 x 180 cm, 133 x 70 x 70 cm
Earthing is a tactile public sculpture and the first Sculpture in the City Aldgate Square Commission. It acts like a fantastical magnifying glass to explore interconnections between the synthetic and organic worlds in urban spaces, with the human body as the conduit between the two. The title references activities that reconnect you with the earth, and the form and materials are inspired by a crumbling mountain-top dry-stone shelter inhabited by imagined animal/human hybrids.
The Sculpture in the City Aldgate Square Commission is delivered in partnership with Aldgate Connect BID and the City of London Corporation’s Destination City programme. It launched as part of Sculpture in the City 11th edition and this artwork remains on view for the duration of the 12th edition.
Location: Aldgate Square, EC3N 1AF (next to St Botolph without Aldgate Church)
265 x 250 x 72 cm
Habitat is a word that describes an ecological system that is in balance – where an animal, plant or other organism inhabits. It was important for the artist to choose a title that could guide the viewer to look at the sculpture in an ecological, environmental and sustainable context.
The artist seeks to address the ecological imbalance that exists in our ERA, which began with the industrial revolution, that has been becoming more complex in the last century and which continues to worsen in the beginning of the 21st century. The decline of this balance is ongoing and, in the future, could have a final impact on our species and the planet itself.
Location: Mitre Square, London EC3A 5DH
Untitled is based on a collage which is made to contrast with the severity of the granite surroundings of Creechurch Lane. Activating the façade with fragmented shapes and colour fields, including a Cezanne reference and dripping paint, create a complex stage curtain on the flat surface of the building. This juxtaposition encourages a dialogue between architecture and the visual image that is open to a variety of readings.
Location: 33 Creechurch Lane, London EC3A 5AY
The Granary, 2021
Powder coated steel
353 x 275 x 265 cm
The Granary is a life-sized sculpture of a traditional English grain store. Still in use in countryside locations such as the artist’s hometown in Faversham, Kent, granaries are an archetypal structure of agrarian and pastoral life.
Towering at an unusual height, The Granary is finished in pearlescent candy orange, chosen to represent the desire to return to an idyllic, rose-tinted past. Despite its indulgence to this fantasy, The Granary is also a beaten, forced and frustrated product. It reflects a brutal reality of material hardship, discord, class division and racism, as well as the fear and uncertainty of what we have lost or stand to lose from crises affecting rural life today. The Granary speaks as much to a need to overcome these crises as it does to the vexed rhetoric that underpins established visions of the nation, its heritage and our place within it.
Location: Cunard Place, London EC3A 5AR
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, 2020
165 x 145 x 8 cm & 158 x 106 x 8 cm
A two-part metal sculpture, the work borrows its name from the Gill Scott Heron song of the 1970s and The Black Panthers slogan, depicts profiles of two abstracted figures facing one another, frozen in a perpetual stand-off. Their bent lines, which mimic the 2D aspect of a drawing, stand upright, creating this thin wall-like sculpture that echoes a city gate, which one can walk around and through. When the artist made them right before the pandemic, he desired to create a public reminder of the constant oppression exerted on minorities and indigenous peoples and yet a call for resistance against social injustices everywhere.
Location: 70 St Mary Axe,London EC3A 8BE
The Garden of Floating Words, 2017
Clear acrylic and blue neon glass
50 x 50 cm base x 200 cm
The Garden of Floating Words is a neon poem that appears to be floating in the darkness from within the foliage of the garden planter. During the daytime, the words are revealed to be on tall rectangular clear acrylic stands, their structure echoing the tall glass buildings surrounding the garden space, but at night the words alone become the main feature. Using neon, a light source traditionally associated with the city, Artesero creates something ephemeral to make a space for quiet contemplation within the busy complex.
The work was first commissioned by Canary Wharf Group for the Winter Lights Festival 2017. Following inclusion in the 9th Edition of Sculpture in the City (2019–2020), the artwork was pruchased and remains on permanent display.
Location: 70 St Mary Axe, London EC3A 8BE
Sculpture in the City 12th Edition teamed up on Saturday 16 September 2023 with the City of London's annual SculptureFest, a one-day festival of family fun in the Square Mile. It also partnered on London Sculpture Week with the Fourth Plinth, Frieze Sculpture and The Line to celebrate the best of London's public art with free public events between 16 and 24 September 2023.
Sculpture in the City provides exciting opportunities for young people, aged 10 to 14, to engage with the City of London through an extensive educational programme delivered by Urban Learners. Each calendar year, 200 local students – many from under-represented communities based in neighbouring boroughs – work with artists, architects and volunteers from sponsor-companies to discover new places in the city, to learn about public art and to consider architecture and urban design as possible career paths.
In 2022 Sculpture in the City’s Education Programme won the Thornton Education Trust 2022 Inspire Future Generations Award.
MSCTY x Sculpture in the City invites visitors to experience architecture-inspired music and sound art in the very place that sparked their creation. The programme launched in 2018 to invest in the digital transformation of Sculpture in the City. To date, thirteen commissioned audio tracks – ranging from modern classical and electronic to globally inspired soundscapes, provide soundscapes to artworks exhibited across Aldgate, Shoreditch and from Leadenhall Market to St. Botolph’s-without-Bishopsgate. The tracks are available free of charge 24/7 here.
Sculpture in the City 12th edition is celebrated with a new track by MSCTY Studio, called Stepped Back and located at The Leadenhall Building.
Bloomberg Connects offers access to exhibitions, collections and renowned artists at over 200 museums, galleries, gardens and cultural spaces worldwide. From behind-the-scenes guides, to artist and expert-curated video and audio content, Bloomberg Connects makes it easy to discover arts and culture, anytime, anywhere. Sculpture in the City features on the app since 2018.
Aon, Foster + Partners, Generali / Munich RE, Merchant Land, Mtec, Price & Myers
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