Home » Festivals and Events » Sculpture in the City : City of London – July 2015 to May 2016

Sculpture in the City : City of London – July 2015 to May 2016

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One of London’s most popular public art exhibitions, Sculpture in the City, has returned this summer with a selection of contemporary art pieces in and around the City of London.

Set amongst some of London’s architectural landmarks, such as the Gherkin by Norman Foster and the Lloyd’s building by Richard Rogers, the open air exhibition provides an often surreal landscape.

The exhibition includes works from internationally renowned artists: Ekkehard Altenburger (Germany); Bruce Beasley (USA); Adam Chodzko (UK); Laura Ford (UK); Damien Hirst (UK); Shan Hur (Korea); Folkert de Jong (Netherlands); Sigalit Landau (Israel); Kris Martin (Belgium); Keita Miyazaki (Japan); Tomoaki Suzuki (Japan); Xavier Veilhan (France); and Ai Weiwei (China).

The Works :

1. Altar by Kris Martin

Kris Martin’s Altar is a metal replica of the multi-panelled, fifteenth-century Ghent Altarpiece by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. Also known as the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, the work was seminal to the development of North Renaissance painting and the landscape genre, and is still visited by countless people each day in the Cathedral of Saint Bavo in Ghent, where it is located. The artist re-presents this famous work with a twist, however: he has reproduced only the frame, leaving it bereft of its twelve folding panels.

2. Bells II by Kris Martin

Kris Martin’s work often consists of a presentation of found objects that have been altered or repositioned through minimal means. In Bells II, Martin conjoins two ornate church bells at the mouth,
locking them into a symbolic kiss that carries with it the notion of silence, as sound can no longer escape from the hermetically sealed fusion.

3. Days of Judgement – Cats 1 & 2 by Laura Ford

Laura Ford is well-known for her portrayals of animals, with which she explores aspects of the human condition. Her bronze sculptures presented here are from a recent series called ‘Days of Judgement’, for which her starting point was Masaccio’s fresco ‘The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden’ (1425) in the Brancacci Chapel, Florence.

4. Ghost by Adam Chodzko

Adam Chodzko’s, Ghost, is a kayak, a sculpture as vessel, a coffin, a costume and a camera rig. He designed the kayak, to have a paddler in the back and a passenger – a member of the public – in the front. The guest is reclined, stretched out like a body in a coffin, with their head slightly raised.

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5. Old DNA by Folkert de Jong

Dutch artist Folkert de Jong is internationally recognized for figurative sculptures that mine issues of empire, trauma and myth. Originating in a 3D scan of a suit of armour belonging to the aging Henry VIII, Old DNA (2014) is a psychological portrait of power and the way it can endure and decay.

6. Rays (London) by Xavier Veilhan

This piece is part of Xavier Veilhan’s ongoing “Rays” series. Designed for the Willis Plaza, the artwork frames and questions the views of the City opened up by recent construction activity. The artist has been working since 2011 on this series formulated as a tribute to Jesús Rafael Soto and Fred Sandback. okyo (Japan).

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7.´O my friends, there are no friends´  by Sigalit Landau

With ‘O my friends, there are no friends’ (2011), Sigalit Landau challenges the concept of monumental sculpture choosing a traditional material such as bronze to celebrate the future.
The pedestal on which the sculpture stand represents an anti-monument; real laces, soft and vulnerable, link together the pairs of bronze shoes.

8. Red Atlas by Ekkehard Altenburger

RED ATLAS is part of the on-going sculptural series ATLAS that deals with the subject of balance. RED ATLAS investigates our physical position in relation to the surrounding architecture.

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9. Carson, Emma, Takashi, Zezi, Nia  by  Tomoaki Suzuki

Japanese artist Tomoaki Suzuki’s diminutive sculptures put a decidedly contemporary twist on the millennia-long tradition of Japanese woodcarving. Drawing on his life in London, Suzuki creates painstakingly detailed portraits of diverse urban youths at one-third their actual size. The five sculptures on view demonstrate a shift in the artist’s practice—they are his first works to be executed in bronze.

10. Organisms of Control #8 by Keita Miyazaki

After witnessing the 2011 tragedy, Keita Miyazaki felt the need to create a new ‘utopian’ vision out of the ashes of the ‘dystopia’ in Japan: artworks created out of the rubble; sculptures pointing forward to a new beginning.

11. Forever by Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei’s groupings of stainless-steel bikes – configured in ever-expanding modular shapes and layers of geometrically stacked and fused individual frames, to create one larger structure – refer to the famous ‘Forever’ brand of bicycles that have been mass-manufactured in Shanghai since 1940.

12. Charity by Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and was brought up in Leeds. Since the late 1980s, he has used a varied practice of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to investigate the complexities of the human condition and the polarities of life and death. Hirst won the Turner Prize in 1995.
Charity (2002-2003) is a 22-foot bronze sculpture based on The Spastics Society’s (now Scope) charity collection box, which was commonly found outside local chemists and shops in the 1960s and 1970s.

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13. Breakout II by Bruce Beasley

Bruce Beasley’s intersecting cuboid forms are reminiscent of natural crystalline structures, with sumptuous patinas adding to their organic essence. Perhaps surprisingly, Beasley’s sculptures originate in digital three-dimensional design software, which allows him to devise his forms without the constraints of gravity; the shapes are later cast into solid bronze.

14. Broken Pillar #12 by Shan Hur

Site-specific installation Broken Pillar #12, is part of a body of work developed over the last five years, by Shan Hur.  As part of the artist’s practice, Hur incorporates found objects, usually relevant to its location within these structures, encouraging the viewer to question the world around them and the objects hidden within it.

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Unsurprisingly , Damien Hirst’s  Charity  has been the subject of considerable debate, but all the sculptures offer an interesting take on the urban setting.  Sculpture in the City, now in its fifth year is unusual that it places contemporary works from leading artists  into an area that is an intriguing mix of old and modern.

Whilst the area is very busy in the week, the weekends offer a quieter and more leisurely way to view the sculptures . The outdoor exhibition runs from  July 2015 to May 2016.

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