Culture: Visual Arts

Sculpture In The City

The City of London has revealed the latest edition of Sculpture in the City, the annual public realm sculpture exhibition held in the Square Mile’s insurance district.

The 2013 edition will see the largest line-up yet for the exhibition series, with works by artists including Robert Indiana, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Keith Coventry, Richard Wentworth, Shirazeh Houshiary, Jim Lambie, Ryan Gander and Antony Gormley.

At long last, the summer days and nights are here, and if you can’t get out of the city, then make the most of London’s beautiful urban landscape by following the trail of modern art nestled in the heart of the capital’s financial district.

For 12 months, located in the eastern high-rise cluster in the City of London, this free outdoor exhibition extends from St. Botolph without Bishopsgate to the north, Lime Street to the south and from Bishopsgate to around the base of 30 St Mary Axe.

 Jake & Dinos Chapman’s bronze dinosaurs, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (2007)

Participating artists have worked on site with the curatorial team to select and position their work in response to the surrounding architecture and built environment. Wander over to the Gherkin, also known as 30 St Mary Axe, one of the most eye-catching buildings of London, and you’ll find Jake & Dinos Chapman’s bronze dinosaurs, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (2007).

There’s a wonderful sense of child-like play with these monumental metal creatures, which grab your attention in this most adult of places, with millions of pounds made and lost every day. They are big, bold and brassy, and it’s a great place to stop and admire, walking around the sculptures to take in 360-degree views.

Antony Gormley, one of Britain’s best-known sculptors is also on display, with Parallel Field (1990), leaning human figures on the pavement of St Mary Axe alongside Aviva Square.

Ryan Gander’s More Really Shiny Things that Don’t Mean Anything (2011)

This is one of Gormley’s first castings in iron, made by taking a mould of Gormley’s wrapped body and then putting layer after layer of plaster over that first mould until the form becomes a smooth shell.

Best title goes to Ryan Gander’s More Really Shiny Things that Don’t Mean Anything (2011). The metallic globe shimmers in the sunlight and its ultra-modern look contrasts and complements its historical background, set against Great St. Helen’s Church, one of the oldest buildings in London.

Crane your neck skywards and you’ll see Richard Wentworth’s Twenty-Four Hour Flag, comprised of several red and white kitchen chairs perching from the top of the Hiscox Building. As the artist says: “The best place in cities is the skyline. It’s where ‘we’ meet ‘nature’. Look up!”

Words: Fiona Keating

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