Annual Public Art Exhibition
Commissioned by City of London Corporation
Delivered with Lacuna since 2011
Opened June 2017
On view until Spring 2017
Sculpture in the City 7th Edition showcased 16 artworks in 18 locations. The highlight was an artwork installed on the Lloyds Building and the surrounding lamp-posts (Mhairi Vari). Other new artwork locations included Cunard Place (Fernando Cassasempere), Creechurch Lane (Daniel Buren), 22 Fenchurch Street (Bosco Sodi) and the Cheesegrater (Kevin Killen). Open City continued to lead the Education Programme and Generali joined as Project Partner. The virtual exhibition guide was provided by Smartify.
229 x 103 x 66 cm
As a reference to the painting ‘La Victoire’ by Rene Magritte, Ajar is a surreal gateway: a spiritual journey through the imagination, an interactive sculpture that children will enjoy as much as adults. It is a key to the imagination: unlocking ideas of the infinite as mused on by Aldous Huxley quoting Blake, “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”
It simultaneously references both Duchamp’s work ‘11 Rue Larrey’, a corner door that is always open and shut and a Bugs Bunny sketch, where a door in a frame freely stands on a cliff in a landscape. Ajar is placed without walls and is permanently half open encouraging the choice to go around, or go through.
Location: St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Churchyard, London EC2M 3TL
The Black Horse, 2015
Bronze, resin, stainless steel
196 x 273 x 67 cm
The sculpture was made with the help of advanced technology, scanning a racehorse, part owned by the artist, named Rivera Red. The horse is a subject with deep emotional and historical meaning. As the artist notes, ‘people still have an atavistic love of horses.’ Though bent to our will the thoroughbred represents unfathomable instincts. The thoroughbred could perhaps stand as an exemplar of this country’s identity and our relationship with the natural world. It was first developed at the beginning of the 18th century in England, when native mares were crossbred with imported Arabian stallions. Every racehorse in the world is descended from these animals.
Location: Corner of Bishopsgate and Wormwood Street, London EC2M 3XD
Work No. 2814, 2017
Merging art and life, Martin Creed uses ordinary materials and everyday situations to create multimedia works that have confounded and delighted viewers and critics for nearly 30 years.
In Work No. 2814 a tree ‘blossoms’ with plastic bags caught amongst the branches. This accentuates what some might see as a common ‘everyday’ occurrence, until it becomes something more absurd, yet humorous and strangely beautiful at the same time.
Creed approaches art making with humour, anxiety, and experimentation, and with the sensibility of a musician and composer, underpinning everything he does with his open ambiguity about what art is.
Location: Tree outside 99 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 2XD
Never has there been such urgency, or The Eloquent and the Gaga – (Alchemy Box # 45), 2014
Conical parachute, polythene barrels, nylon webbing, aluminium fixings, items from the artist's collection, stainless steel etched plaque
Dimensions vary, 75-100 kg
An air-dropped aid parcel suspended from a tree by it’s parachute. The parcel contains items relating to the subject of the ‘disparity between research based practices and production based practices; the polarity between the conceptual significance of the object as carrier; and the gulf between learning to speak with great articulation and eloquence and the incoherency of stuttering and stammering a chain of unrelated words at great volume’. The contents of the aid parcel are listed on an etched, metal plaque placed nearby.
Location: 1 Great St Helen's, London 2014
Apple Tree Boy, Apple Tree Girl, 2010
525 x 208.3 x 189.2 cm (boy); 546.1 x 290.8 x 213.4 cm (girl)
Paul McCarthy’s ‘Apple Tree Boy Apple Tree Girl’ (2010) belongs to the artist’s Hummel series, executed on a monumental scale. The kitsch mid-century German figurines depict rosy-cheeked children in idyllic repose. In McCarthy’s world, this Aryan naïveté becomes a target for parody, and ultimately, defilement and disfigurement. The figures deformed innocence suggests the conditioning of children, from Hitler youths to contemporary, TV-addled teen consumers. The miniature Adam and Eve find themselves reborn as 18 foot Überkinder; they remain only a suggestion of their former selves, sweetly deformed to the point of abstraction. The implicit naïveté of the Hummel motif is materially deconstructed, portraying a sophisticated fall from grace for these darling figures, in simultaneously literal and metaphorical terms.
Location: 1 Undershaft, London EC3A 6HX
Black Shed Expanded, 2016
Timber shed, fluorescent lights and fittings, bitumen, paint, steel
240 x 220 x 220 cm
Nathaniel Rackowe’s large-scale urban shed structure is installed, seemingly mid-explosion, upside-down, its contours wrenched apart, exposing its illuminated interior. The wooden shed, painted with black bitumen, emanates an eerie acid-yellow glow from the white strip-lighting inside it reflecting off the painted walls of its interior. The structure appears to be exploding, split apart by the force of the light within. Rackowe says, ‘I thought it interesting to take the humble shed and elevate it so it can rise up and challenge architecture, deconstructing it to the point where you are forced to re-read it.’ Referring to garden sheds throughout the suburbs of London, the work has an equally universal impact in its depiction of such a familiar, domestic structure.
Location: Bury Court, London EC3A 8EX
4 Colours at 3 Metres High Situated Work, 2011
Clear acrylic sheets, coloured self-adhesive filters, wood, screws, white paint, self-adhesive black vinyl
300 x 300 x 300 cm
4 Colours at 3 metres high situated work is a variation on the theme of the pergola or ‘attrape soleil’, which Daniel Buren has explored in several public works, which play with outdoor light, the movement of the sun, architecture and coloured shadows. All of Buren’s interventions are created ‘in situ’, appropriating and colouring the spaces in which they are presented. They are critical tools addressing questions of how we look and perceive, and the way space can be used, appropriated, and revealed in its social and physical nature. In his work life finds its way into art, while autonomous art is able to reconnect with life.
Location: One Creechurch Lane, London EC3A 5AY
135 x 135 x 115 cm, 950 kg
Fernando Casasempere (born 1958) is a sculptor working with ceramics, the traditional material of pottery, and his work explores ideas relating to landscape and the environment. Conceptually his use of earth/clay and his concern with nature and ecological issues connects him to artists associated with the Land or Earth Art movement, but Casasempere works out of a very different cultural tradition, being profoundly inspired by the Pre-Columbian art and architecture of Latin America. Reminiscence (2017) evokes not only geology but the remains of a once-grand ruined structure or even a construction site. Placed in the heart of the City of London it is a powerful statement about the relationship between nature and culture.
Location: Cunard Place, Londom EC3A 5AR
Tipping Point, 2016
Neon and plastic sheet
240 x 120 cm
"In this series of work, my role has been to observe and photo-document, studying the outlines created by city lights. Walking the city photographing and recording, the non-stop nature of the city is documented through endless small events and incidents. Long-exposure photographs capture objects and people as black marks obstructing the lights of the city. I later 'translate these images into three-dimensional neon installations, with the city sounds correlated to match the sequence of the neon as it turns on and off." – Kevin Killen, 2017
Location: The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London EC3V 4AB
Support for a Cloud, 2017
Outdoor television aerial, wire coat-hangers, greenhouse/poly-tunnel repair tape
approx 150 x 75 x 65 cm each (3 pieces)
Support for a Cloud plays across ideas of macro and micro – referencing concepts rooted in the natural sciences from cosmological formation to that of the insect cocoon. The artwork which is hung in three different locations is intended to inhabit the urban environment with its alien, nest-like structures that play on synthetic/organic forms. The visibly complex surface of these cocoon-like structures is generated by loops of agglomerated tape. The surface is alluring, even seductive and gently catches both daylight and artificial light, which animate the work further. These works are like small pieces of architecture inhabiting the manmade environment like nests or protective cocoons.
Location: One Lime Street & 51 Lime Street, London EC3M 5AD
Dreamy Bathroom, 2014
Aluminium, bronze, automotive grade paint and laquer
350 x 150 cm, 1900 kg
Gary Webb’s whimsical, texturised tower of joyful abstraction is composed of a number of individually crafted components. The use of bronze, which lends Dreamy Bathroom a sense of sculptural gravitas, is pitched against the colourful, aesthetic playfulness of the shapes. The reflective, brightly coloured surfaces allude to, or parody, the kitsch appropriations of Pop Art, whilst the forms themselves are a nod to the post-industrial rigours of Modernism. Webb’s practice focuses on the formal interplay between contrasting shapes, lines, materials, fabrication techniques and points of art-historical reference. Rendered in a combination of industrial, organic and classical materials, Webb combines traditional craft methodologies with modern technologies, in order to create work that evades categorization, and tends towards the inscrutable.
Location: 51 Lime Street, London EC3M 7NP
Falling into Virtual Reality
400 x 100 cm
Recycle Group reflects on what our time will leave behind for future generations, what artefacts archaeologists will find after we are gone, and whether these artefacts will find their place in the cultural layer. As their name suggests, the duo is concerned about the rising level of material waste as a by-product of widespread consumerism, creating work through the use of recycled materials. Their works also “recycles ideas”, drawing upon classical Western traditions such as narrative relief carving and Christian iconography to compare contemporary times with other histories – social media with religion, corporate leaders with kings, and online existence with mausoleums.
The artists’ installation created for Sculpture in the City features a scene of a person falling into the virtual world executed in traditional saint-like image in mesh bas-relief. The mobile gadgets act as an emphasis that technology has on the modern world and questions yet again the idea of virtual archaeology. The work draws inspiration by the futurist novel, Simulacron 3 (1964).
Location: Leadenhall Market, London EC3A 6HX
Laquered paint on bronze
657.9 x 327.7 cm (object size), 55 x 222 x 340 cm (plinth)
‘Temple’ is a 21-foot painted bronze sculpture that weighs over three tonnes. Made in 2008, it presents a male torso whose partial exposure reveals the underlying musculature and organs. The artwork illustrates Hirst’s long-standing interest in anatomical models, which were initially featured alongside pharmaceutical packaging and specimen jars in his early ‘Medicine Cabinet’ series. ‘Temple’ succeeds other monumental anatomical models made by Hirst, including ‘Hymn’ (1999-2005), which was inspired by a model belonging to Hirst’s son, Connor.
The artist explains: “I loved it that it was [like] a toy […] similar to a medical thing, but much happier, friendlier, more colourful and bright.” – The artist cited in Damien Hirst and Gordon Burn, On the Way to Work’(Faber and Faber, 2001), p.147.
Location: Cullum Street, London EC3M 7J
Untitled x3, 2012 / 2015
Ceramic glaze over volcanic rock
120 x 70 x 72 cm, 120 x 80 x 100 cm, 105 x 75 x 45 cm; 478 - 540 kg each
Sodi’s rocks are, for all intents and purposes, excerpts from the natural world transformed through a highly physical process. Extracting dried volcanic magma from the Ceboruco volcano in Mexico, and selecting each rock for its formal qualities, he glazes the brittle surface before firing the sculpture at extremely high temperatures for three days. Each stone, having been subjected to variable elements, such as atmospheric pressure, humidity and temperature, reacts in unique, sometimes destructive ways. By altering the surface texture and the context in which these rocks exist – in this case the streets of London – he reflects on our perception of value and antiquity. The artist creates an incongruity between the setting and the course, and the exterior and core, of each piece.
Location: 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF
Envelope of Pulsation (for Leo), 2017
160 x 140 x 110 cm; 6750 kg
Shown for the first time in its Fenwick Street location for Sculpture in the City, Randall-Page’s most recent sculpture, Envelope of Pulsation (For Leo) 2017, is carved from a rare block of granite from Blackenstone quarry on Dartmoor.
This new sculpture is the latest in a series of works exploring the way in which subtle modulations of the stone’s surface can evoke a sense of internal structure in the imagination of the viewer.
‘Envelope of Pulsation’ is a tantric aphorism describing form. The dedication is for Peter’s late friend, Leo, who owned the quarry.
Location: London Street, London EC3R 7JP
Epoxy, fibreglass, paint, Styrofoam, timber, steel
330 x 400 x 310 cm
Karen Tang’s Synapsid (2014) is a large, vividly coloured sculpture which seems to morph between abstract, alien and animal forms. With its radioactive hues and blobby segments, Synapsid evokes sci-fi invasion scenarios where monsters rampage through the built environment. The sculpture takes its title from the scientific name for proto-mammals which evolved to have skulls distinct from those of reptiles; the structure of Synapsid hints at a cranial enclosure and eye-sockets. Viewers are drawn into Synapsid’s apertures and interior spaces, which are designed to be immersive, interactive and playful. Synapsid was originally commissioned by Vitrine Gallery for Sculpture at Bermondsey Square.
Location: Plaza outside Fenchurch Street Station, London EC3M 4AJ
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 for the seventh consecutive year 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.
Secondary Schools (art and design students)
•City of London Academy: Southwark: Year 7 (11-12 year olds)
•City of London Academy: Islington: Years 7 + 8 mixed group (11-13 year olds)
•Mount Carmel School, Islington: Year 9 class group (13-14 year olds)
•Swanlea School, Tower Hamlets: Year 8 class group (12-13 year olds)
•Sir John Cass & Redcoat School, Tower Hamlets: Year 8 class group (12-13 year olds)
•Green Spring Academy, Tower Hamlets: Year 8 class group (12-13 year olds)
Primary Schools (Year 6 groups, 10-11 year olds)
•Sir John Cass’s Foundation, City of London
•Christ Church Primary, Tower Hamlets
•Moreland Primary, Islington
Helical Plc, Leadenhall Market, Mtec, Price & Myers
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