Annual Public Art Exhibition
Commissioned by City of London Corporation
Delivered with Lacuna since 2011
Opened June 2013
On view until Spring 2014
The project became formally known as 'Sculpture in the City' and the 3rd Edition presented eight artworks by leading contemporary artists, including Robert Indiana, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Ryan Gander, Richard Wendworth and Antony Gormley. It was the seminal year that set the tone for all future curatorial ambitions. Open City continued to expand the Education Programme. The geographic area expanded and Brookfield and British Land joined as new Project Partners.
Love, 1966 /1999
Polychrome aluminium on steel base
243.8 x 243.8 x 121.9 cm
One of the preeminent figures in American Art since the 1960s Robert Indiana has played a central role in the development of assemblage art, hard-edge painting and Pop art. A self proclaimed “American painter of signs,” Indiana has created a highly original body of work that explores American identity, personal history and the power of abstraction and language, establishing an important legacy that resonates in the work of many contemporary artists who make the written word a central element of their oeuvre. Indiana created his first LOVE sculpture in 1966 in carved aluminium, which was displayed in his celebrated LOVE show at the Stable Gallery in New York. Soon thereafter, Indiana’s distinctive combination of word and image permeated the wider popular culture, and became a symbol of the new “Love generation.” Even after his rendering of LOVE was hailed as an icon of modern art, Indiana returned to the subject at various points throughout his career to explore different formal variations, each with its own distinct power of expression. Indiana has emphasized that his primary interest in the subject of love has been spiritual, although his iconic renditions of the subject have been taken to signify a vast range of meanings. Today, examples of the monumental LOVE sculpture can be found in cities throughout the world.
Location: 99 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3XD
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, 2007
396.6 x 651.3 x 178.5 cm; 682 x 838.7 x 286 cm; 396.6 x 866.5 x 208 cm
Originally entitled The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth, but not the Mineral Rights, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (2007) are three individual pieces that continue the theme of Jake and Dinos Chapman’s earlier work, Hell Sixty Five Million Years BC (2004-5), which also featured models of prehistoric creatures. Measuring more than eight metres in length and towering up to seven metres high, the three corten steel dinosaurs were the Chapman’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture project.
Location: 30 St Mary Axe, London, EC3A 8BF
More Really Shiny Things That Don't Mean Anything, 2011
275 cm (diameter)
This sculpture is made up of thousands of objects to form a large ball: it’s as if the core is magnetic and has attracted all the shiny useless objects that fill a city. The work plays on ideas of public sculpture which normally have a historic legacy or represent the fortitude of an institution or person. In this case, the sculpture has the scale and materiality of a work of ‘significance’ but in actual fact is simply an assortment of things that don’t really mean anything.
Location: 1 Undershaft, London EC3A 6HX
Twenty-Four Hour Flag, 1992
Steel and laminate
Working with ready-mades and often incongruous found items, Richard Wentworth transforms, juxtaposes and manipulates them into arrangements that subvert their intended use and undermine their supposedly routine and ‘fixed’ nature. These displaced everyday objects are brought to the viewer’s attention casting a light to the surrealistic quality of the mundane.
Such is the case of Twenty-Four Hour Flag (1992) where an assemblage of kitchen chairs are inexplicably suspended from the edge of the building drawing the viewers attention to the sky in the City of London. As the artist puts is “The best place in cities is the skyline. It’s where ‘we’ meet ‘nature’. Look up!”.
Location: 1 Great St Helen's, London EC3A 6HX
Bench/Mare Street E8, 1996
75 x 190 x 45 cm
Coventry’s works engage with the utopian ideals of Modernism which have been physically manifested in architecture, design, town planning and the fine arts since the beginning of this century. His resulting works conflate the aspirations of a cultural, political and social past with the realities of the present day. His sculpture explores the wasted parts of town; taking the junk of urban life and casting it in bronze. Bench is the skeleton of a park bench, and was one of the objects Coventry encountered during years of wandering through London thinking about art.
Location: 1 Great St Helen's, London EC3A 8HX
Parallel Field, 1990
192 x 46 x 35 cm (each)
This is one of Gormley’s first castings in iron and indicates an objectified space, subject to gravity and to atmospheric pressure. These two exclusive, heavy, void, hermetic vessels are a foil to the flow of human bodies on the street.
Location: St Mary Axe, Lnodon EC3A
String Quintet, 2011
Cast stainless steel
500 cm high
Houshiary’s sculpture ‘String Quintet’ comprises five spiralling stainless steel ribbons that appear to unravel from the ground, rising at different wavelengths, intertwining and weaving gently upwards. The changing daylight animates and dissolves the sculpture’s fluid ascent. The sculpture exceeds the limits of its material form by replicating itself in shadows: spidery boughs mimicking metallic limbs in an endless dance of light.
Location: St Helen's Square, London, EC3V 4QT
ONE through ZERO (The Ten Numbers), 1980 / 2001
Polychrome aluminium on steel base
198.1 x 188 x 96.5 cm (each)
The Numbers sculptures are a monumental example of Robert Indiana’s long-held fascination with the power of numbers, a subject which stands as one of his most important iconographic themes. Indiana has famously credited his enduring interest in numbers to the formative experience of moving households multiple times as a child – moving between twenty-one different homes by the age of seventeen – while he has also emphasized his embrace of the variety of meanings and associations that numbers can generate. Describing his enduring attraction to numbers, Indiana has emphasized that “each one [is] loaded with multiple references and significances.” Every number has a specific personal resonance for Indiana, relating either to events in his own life (such as highway routes and buildings where he lived), or to the cycle of life itself. For Indiana, the number one represents birth, with the numbers ascending through adolescence to maturity, ending with the number zero, which stands for death. Like his sculptural interpretation of his originally two-dimensional subject of LOVE, the Numbers suggest that the printed form has been extruded into space. Their depth, which is about half their width, gives the forms a monumental solidity that underlines the way the sculptures stand as a poetic condensation of Indiana’s multifaceted engagement with the symbolic, allegorical and formal aspects of numbers.
Location: 51 Lime Street, London EC3M 7NP
Sculpture in the City offers exciting opportunities for young people, aged 10 to 14, to engage with the City of London through an extensive educational programme delivered by Open City. Each calendar year, 200 local students – many from under-represented communities based in neighbouring boroughs – work with artists, architects and sponsor-company volunteers to discover new places in the city, learn about public art and and consider architecture and urban design as possible career paths.
Mtec and Searcys
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