Below will be found a “hard copy” of the descriptions of the works included in Sculpture in the City 2014 published on the City of London’s Web site. I have made this copy in case the Web page disappears once the exhibition is over. Apart from this preface, the text is as per the original.
From 3 July 2014, 14 artworks will be on display in a free exhibition stretching from St. Botolph without Bishopsgate to the north and Leadenhall Market to the south, and encompassing the area around Great St Helen’s and 30 St Mary Axe.
Visit the City to discover exciting installations from some of the world’s most high-profile artists.
1. Secret Affair by Jim Lambie
Secret Affair (Silver) is one of seven keyhole-shaped portals forged from stainless steel and finished in different colours. The work invites viewers to pass through it, and responds to its environment by creating a free-standing doorway or ‘frame’ in space, and by literally reflecting – through its mirrored silver coating – the area in which it stands. In certain lights the keyhole blends into its environment and channels viewers’ attention towards its wider context, whether urban or rural.Lambie’s works traverse an eclectic range of media and styles, deriving inspiration from sources as diverse as Pop Art, rock music and the readymade. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2005.
2. Stairs by Lynn Chadwick
Stairs, 1991 is an example of Lynn Chadwick’s unwavering preoccupation throughout his career with human relationships; standing groups, seated, reclining, walking, the spaces between them and the subtlest indications of body language or their ‘attitude’ as he called it. In the later part of Lynn Chadwick’s career he moved away from the representation of seated and standing figures from the 1970s and set himself the new challenge of capturing figures in motion. Stairs, 1991 shows two female figures ascending and descending a flight of stairs caught in contrary motion. While their bodies and legs are naturalistically modelled, their polished triangular faces remain ciphers. They pass each other without acknowledgement.
3. Deadly Nightshade by Julian Wild
Deadly Nightshade is part of a series of works inspired by perennial plants that are found readily in the British countryside, and applying to them the angular forms and manmade materials of the contemporary cityscape. Deadly Nightshade takes its title from the colloquial name of a poisonous plant. Like a colourful creeper it grows across the surface of a building from a central point. Its acid colours, from deep red transitioning through to dark green, remind us that in nature the most brightly decorated are often the most deadly.
4. Flow; Edge; Flux; Within; Fall by Paul Hosking
The work is pure and elegant with its references to Modernism and Minimalism, but it is neither utopian nor realist. The work is humorous raw, self-deprecating (about structure while hiding its own), and unnerving. It is simultaneously grand, absurd and moving. Using simple line drawings, to create hollow linear sculptures without a definitive mass. On first view Paul Hosking’s sculptures present fascinating independent forms and at the second view well-known schematics, for instance the profiles of faces. Hosking develops his language of forms by the repetitive, varying fusion of Identical motives into one single great shape. In that way he succeeds to place his works exactly at the cutting point of freeform and unconscious recognition in perfect balance.
5. Salvia by Julian Wild
Salvia is part of a series of works inspired by perennial plants that are found readily in the British countryside, and applying to them the angular forms and manmade materials of the contemporary cityscape. Salvia takes it bright colour from the small flowering plant of the same name, but Wild has chosen not to echo its form. Instead he has welded the lower section of the sculpture into a confusion of bright purple steel from which extends a single polished stainless steel arm reaching towards the open air above.
6. Shapes in Cloud I; IV; V by Peter Randall-Page
For over 30 years Peter Randall-Page’s work has been inspired and informed by a study of natural phenomena. In these new works entitled ‘Shapes in the Clouds I, IV & V’, Randall-Page combines geometric order with geological chaos to produce something both visceral and sensual. By stacking spheres together systematically he has produced curvaceous variations on three of the five platonic solids. In his words “These fundamental regular forms have been known since antiquity and are the geometric building blocks of our universe.” The highly figured Rosso Luana marble introduces a cloud like and poetic quality in contrast to the structural discipline of the forms themselves.
7. Box Sized DIE featuring Unfathomable Ruination by João Onofre
This is the first time that João Onofre’s work, Box sized DIE featuring Unfathomable Ruination, 2007 – 2014 has come to London, having toured extensively through Europe at venues including Palais de Tokyo and MACBA. Influenced by Tony Smith’s pioneering minimalist sculpture Die (1962), the steel box serves as a mobile location for performance. In each location the sculpture travels to, Onofre invites a local Death Metal band to play, on this occasion Unfathomable Ruination. The box is soundproofed, determining and restricting the performance’s duration to the length of time in which the oxygen is expended. Outside the cube, viewers observe its strange vibrations, only viewing the band’s entrance and exit to the performance space.
Performance times: 3 July at 6 & 7pm, 4 July-1 August 2014 at 6pm Wed-Fri.
8. Work Scaffolding Sculpture by Ben Long
Ben Long’s evolving series of Scaffolding Sculptures examines the value of hard graft associated with manual employment and describes the process of work as a methodical, cumulative endeavour. In a direct reference to Robert Indiana’s iconic artwork Love, Work Scaffolding Sculpture re-assesses the idealistic spirit of the 1960s. Conceived for a time of financial and perhaps emotional austerity, Long’s sculpture serves to reflect life in a rapidly evolving 21st century metropolis. By utilising Indiana’s colour palette and typographic style, Long invites comparison between the two concepts, LOVE and Work, both essential aspects of daily existence and survival. Yet it is in the stylistic differences between Indiana’s voluptuous form and the skeletal complexity of Long’s riposte that the possible meanings of Work Scaffolding Sculpture may lie.
9. High Wind IV by Lynn Chadwick
In the late 1970s and early 1980s the movement of material began to capture Lynn Chadwick’s imagination. What had begun as an exploration of drapery over the human form developed into a focus on the effects of wind in a series of works called High Wind. High Wind IV is the last in this series. It explores the physical possibilities of a single female figure, frozen in motion as a gust of wind hits. Her hair is blown over her face, eclipsing her identity and her skirt is propelled forward. The skirt allowed Chadwick to explore curved shapes within his sculptures, with their possibilities of interior volumes and hollows, but it also fulfilled the practical function of support.
10. Southern Shade I; V by Nigel Hall
Despite my work being resolutely non-figurative, throughout my life I have made studies of the natural and man-made world around me. These are made from a simple enjoyment of the forms I come across but are not at the forefront of my mind when engaged in my studio activities. They must, however, be making their presence felt at some subconscious level. For the sculptures that make up the Southern Shade series share with the drawings an involvement with interwoven linear elements, some free in space and others entangled in a shadow interior which echo the shaded canopy of the trees and their complex latticework of branches. The various elements that comprise the works are expressed as potentially separate parts implying the possibility of shifting and changing. As with all my sculpture, I attempt to make the works light on their feet, countering the drag of gravity with a visual uplift, just as nature strives to do.
11. Kiss by Nigel Hall
‘Kiss’ is one of a group of three related sculptures (the others being ‘Transformer’ and ‘The Now’), in which the two dissimilar elements, wedge and cone, are brought together to form a visual and physical whole. In the case of the other two works, they are in direct contact and reliant on each other for support. In the case of ‘Kiss’, they are self-sufficient physically but have a strong visual relationship created by the narrow channel of space that separates them. Despite their obvious formal difference, they both contain in their geometry, a volume, a line and a point. Their respective points come into close proximity near the apex of the sculpture.
12. False Ceiling by Richard Wentworth
In the early 1990s I lived for a while in Berlin. The unusual political moment meant that the most extraordinary combinations of objects would turn up in the flea markets. Only a step away from the assorted military cast offs of the cold war there were two groups of objects which were notable for being so numerous – books and plates. I was struck by the quantity of material and the way that things merged. I can remember the day when I turned over a soup bowl which said ‘Rosenthal 1937’ and below which was an elegant transfer of a swastika. It was this kind of collision between one book and another or between high and low dinnerware which started me thinking about the way we read the world and divide things into different typologies. The making of ‘False Ceiling’ a couple of years later was probably provoked by these kinds of peripatetic experience. You don’t always choose what you get to see.
13. Time here becomes space, Space here becomes time by Cerith Wyn Evans
Cerith Wyn Evans’ conceptual practice incorporates a wide range of media, including installation works, sculptures, photography, film and text. His frequent deployment of mirror-texts, as with Time here becomes space/Space here becomes time implies both formally and semantically the independent power that language has to construct a reality of its own to rival existing versions. The texts Cerith Wyn Evans uses in his work, are normally appropriated from literature but here they are his own. The work is one piece the intended installation is to recognise that they are two distinct and separate sentences occupying distinctly particular spaces in relation to each other. They need not be seen at the same time. The two sentences are meant to constitute a speech act, the “call” to each other.
14. Parallel Field by Antony Gormley
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. On display until October 2014.