Sculpture in the City: 9th Edition

Wander the City's public spaces and discover world-class public art across an iconic urban landscape. Each year, Sculpture in the City returns to the Square Mile with contemporary works from internationally renowned artists. Launched in June 2019, the 9th Edition presents a diverse curation of 19 new and returning sculptural works that animate the unique architecture of the financial district.

Reclining Nude I (2016) by Kevin Francis GrayOriginal Source:

Kevin Francis Gray, 'Reclining Nude I' (2016)

‘Reclining Nude I’ marks a turning point in Kevin Francis Gray’s practice as a sculptor. Moving away from figuration and classicism, the larger-than-life ‘Reclining Nude I’ steered his new body of work into an exploration of the materiality of marble. 

While her form echoes the reclining nude form well-known from the likes of Matisse, Gray is seeking to push the limits of the stone and contemporise ancient materials and stone-carving techniques. The result is an art historical trope that has been brought into the 21st century and invites the viewer to engage with the sculpture much more intimately, confidently and physically. 'Reclining Nude I' is courtesy of Kevin Francis Gray Studio with support from Pace Gallery.

Bridging Home, London (2018) by Do Ho SuhOriginal Source:

Do Ho Suh, 'Bridging Home, London' (2018)

'Bridging Home, London', 2018 by Do Ho Suh is an ambitious co-commission with Sculpture in the City and Art Night, a UK premiere, installed on the footbridge over Wormwood Street – one of the busiest roads in the City of London, near Liverpool Street.

Do Ho Suh’s architecturally scaled installations are informed by his personal experiences, that recreate specific domestic spaces that he has resided in, expanding on his ongoing investigations of memory, notions of home and migration, cross-cultural displacement and integration. 

Bridging Home is a series that Suh has been conceptualising over the last decade. The piece is a to-scale replica of the traditional Hanok-style Korean house adorned with a bamboo garden, that appears to have ‘fallen’ onto the bridge at an angle. Upon the invitation to respond to the migrant history of the East End and the City of London, Suh has conceptualised the first physical realisation of Bridging Home series, drawing parallels with his work and the impact of migration on individual stories, contrasting with the glass and steel architecture of the City of London. 'Bridging Home, London' is courtesy of the artist; Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul; Victoria Miro, London/Venice. 

Stagnight (1985) by Michael LyonsOriginal Source:

Michael Lyons, 'Stagnight' (1985)

‘Stagnight’ was developed from a drawing residency in Grizedale Forest (Cumbria, UK) in 1984. The sculpture was inspired by strong black and white drawings of trees and shadows, where the light and shade of the drawings are transformed into the solid and void of the sculpture. ‘Stagnight’ is a play on words and references; while drawing, a huge stag watched the artist through the trees – the title also makes reference to the mayhem of a stag night! The upright forms are based on observation of carts and trailers for transporting tree trunks nearby in the forest.'Stagnight' is kindly loaned by the estate of Michael Lyons. 

Arcadia (2019) by Leo FitzmauriceOriginal Source:

Leo Fitzmaurice, 'Arcadia' (2019)

Leo Fitzmaurice’s 'Arcadia' (2019) is one element of a multi-part sculpture based on the conventions of public signage. The works are part of the artist’s ongoing interest in what the artist terms ‘information-objects’. 

Arcadia (2019) by Leo FitzmauriceOriginal Source:

His work looks at how these objects are designed to relate to us physically within the environment. With 'Arcadia', the artist has substituted the factual information, usually found on these signs, for something more poetic, allowing viewers to enjoy this material, along with the space around it in a new and more open-ended way. 

Arcadia (2019) by Leo FitzmauriceOriginal Source:

Arcadia was originally commissioned by YSP where an earlier version of Arcadia still resides.'Arcadia' is copyright the artist; Courtesy of The Sunday Painter. 

Crocodylius Philodendrus (2016-2017) by Nancy RubinsOriginal Source:

Nancy Rubins, 'Crocodylius Philodendrus' (2016/2017)

As part of her series Diversifolia – which in the scientific names of plants indicates a single species possessed with a considerable variety of leaf, 'Crocodylius Philodendrus' employs clusters of bouquet like arrangements comprised out of a variety of animal forms that explode into space in all directions. 

Her calculated compositions employ a structural property called “tensegrity,” wherein individual parts are arranged in balanced compression and secured with tensile cables, that galvanizes the aluminium crocodiles, hogs and deer, cast iron tortoises, and bronze zebras into purely formal, abstract components as they propel into space due to their aggregate momentum. Circumnavigating her towering assemblage reveals the transformation of found objects and industrial refuse into expertly orchestrated abstractions that are fluid and rhizomatic in nature. 'Crocodylius Philodendrus' is © Nancy Rubins, courtesy of the artist and Gagosian. 

It Was Only a Matter of Time Before We Found the Pyramid and Forced It Open (2017) by Salvatore ArancioOriginal Source:

Salvatore Arancio, 'It Was Only a Matter of Time Before We Found the Pyramid and Forced It Open' (2017)

Salvatore Arancio’s works 'It Was Only a Matter of Time Before We Found the Pyramid and Forced It Open' evoke a sculptural garden in which the sculptures are shaped by forms informed by the petrified trees of the “Lava Trees State Park” in the Hawaii Island, that preserves lava moulds of the tree trunks that were formed after a volcanic eruption in 1790. By using a natural material like clay to recreate the lava trees’ totemic presence and by toning the resulting shapes with iridescent, metallic glazes, the artist’s aim is to create a link to his ongoing fascination about nature as a theatre for rituals, worships and self-induced trance states. 'It Was Only a Matter of Time Before We Found the Pyramid and Forced It Open' is courtesy of the artist and Federica Schiavo Gallery. 

Abstract Mass (2008) by Nina SaundersOriginal Source:

Nina Saunders, 'Abstract Mass' (2008)

Nina Saunders has been fashioning domestic objects into odd and subversive works of art that can take on various readings depending on the context. ‘Abstract Mass’ is an armchair made of concrete and stainless steel, which begs the question of displacement. De-contextualized and re-contextualized, the work questions the boundaries between public and private space, between domesticity and domestication, between responding to the city plan and creating a ‘situation’.You are tempted to touch it, even sit on it, but upon closer inspection, you realize its surface is rough and uninviting. Is loneliness hard to bear? Does it make you feel small in a huge space? 'Abstract Mass' is a disruptive work that, in its isolation, makes us re-think of the city and its people, of solace and loneliness, of the material that may seem rough but has enormous potential, just like ourselves.'Abstract Mass' is copyright the artist, courtesy New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park, Wiltshire.

WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM (2005) by Lawrence WeinerOriginal Source:

Lawrence Weiner, 'WITHIN A REALM OF RELATIVE FORM' (2005)


The Source (2017) by Patrick TuttofuocoOriginal Source:

Patrick Tuttofuoco, 'The Source' (2017)

Tuttofuoco has proven his skill in capturing the vibrations of social, urban, and collective contexts, sowing public and private spaces with works that have become a part of the urban landscape over time. The neon lights The Source depicts the artist’s hands as he mimes some words conveyed using a sign language liberally inspired by those of youth subcultures. 'The Source' is courtesy of the artist, OGR - Officine Grandi Riparazioni and Federica Schiavo Gallery.

I’M STAYING (2014) by Shaun C. BadhamOriginal Source:

Shaun C. Badham, 'I'M STAYING' (2014)

I’M STAYING is a neon sculpture which was originally commissioned in 2014. The sculpture travelled around the city of Bristol, UK moving quarterly for two and a half years, with each location determined by the Bristol public voting online and suggesting new locations. The I’M STAYING project has since expanded and produced multiple artworks, including prints, screen-printed t-shirts, stamped currency, videos, photography, surveys and paintings. Each of these pieces attempts to explore the varying discourse generated from the neon and its movements. 'I'M STAYING' is copyright the artist, courtesy of the artist and Bristol Biennial,

Series Industrial Windows I (2018) by Marisa FerreiraOriginal Source:

Marisa Ferreira, 'Series Industrial Windows I' (2018)

'Series Industrial Windows I' invokes Pierre Nora’s notion of “liex de mémoire” to reflect the urban landscape as fragment, memory and vision and to question how industrial ruins solicit affective, imaginative and sensual engagements with the past.

The artwork is made on powder coated stainless steel and coloured perspex and its shifting nature of light engages and challenge the observer’s perception of space and colour. The artwork dimensions present the exact measurements of the existing windows at Sampaio Ferreira – a former textile company in Vale do Ave, north of Portugal, where the artist was born — and are built using the same construction method of a founded book shelf from the same company. 'Series Industrial Windows I' is copyright the artist. 

Botanic (2019) by Jennifer SteinkampOriginal Source:

Jennifer Steinkamp, 'Botanic' (2019)

Botanic is inspired by the garden plans for the Stanford Wildflower Seeding Project and the garden at the Stanford Hospital. A botanical garden is a collection of plants labeled with their botanical names typically housed in an educational context. The flowers are animated with a cubic framework which utilizes the outer edges of the video wall. The flowers are blown by an unseen force causing them to collide with each other and the frame. They break apart into a diaspore of seeds, twigs, leaves and petals. The piece loops forwards and backwards breaking apart and coming back together. 'Botanic' is courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong and Seoul. 

The Same for Everyone (2017) by Nathan ColeyOriginal Source:

Nathan Coley, 'The Same for Everyone' (2017)

Nathan Coley is interested in the idea of ‘public’ space, and his work explores the ways in which architecture becomes invested – and reinvested – with meaning. Across a range of media Coley investigates what the built environment reveals about the people it surrounds and how the social and individual response to it is in turn culturally conditioned. He is best known for a series of illuminated text works that take found phrases (never written by the artist) and by placing them in new contexts creates a powerful ambiguity of meaning. 

Here the phrase ‘The Same for Everyone’, which the artist first encountered on a hand-painted sign in Denmark, might be read as either a question, provocation, utopian proposal or a statement of protest. 'The Same for Everyone' is copyright the artist. 

Climb (2012) by Juliana Cerqueira LeiteOriginal Source:

Juliana Cerqueira Leite, 'Climb' (2012)

Climb was made from the inside out. The sculpture is an obelisk made inside a tall wooden column filled with nearly three tons of wet clay. Starting at the base of this structure the artist physically dug her way upwards through the center of the material, leaving behind a vertical tunnel.

 The surface of the clay inside was marked by imprints of her knees, feet, elbows, fingers and hands as she worked her way up. Once the artist reached the top of this column of clay she cast the tunnel she’d made in a mixture of plaster and acrylic. The cast, which turned the negative space left by her actions into a shape, was then excavated out from underneath the remaining clay. Only then was the sculpture revealed for the first time, like a photograph developed from film. 'Climb' is copyright the artist. 

Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) (2019) by Jyll BradleyOriginal Source:

Jyll Bradley, 'Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block)' (2019)

Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block) is an artwork pavilion activated by light which takes its structure from early glasshouse technology. The work was commissioned to mark the 350th anniversary of the infamous Dutch Raid on the River Medway, Kent an event which precipitated an end to the Anglo-Dutch wars. The peace which followed lead to cultural exchange between the two nations based on growing plants under glass. 

Dutch/Light re-considers the idea of the glasshouse as a minimalist sculpture, a space with potential for both practical and metaphysical growth and change. Created through pairing old naval timbers from Chatham Dockyard with contemporary edge-lit Plexiglas, the work hovers between structural strength and transient transparency – changing in feeling and appearance through the day’s passage. 

Dutch/Light’s colours – green for the UK and orange for the Netherlands – act together as an indeterminate liquid flag, in sunlight creating a space of shifting geometric colour. The work is named for a key figure in Dutch horticulture – Agneta Block (1629-1704), an art patron and plantswoman who was the first European to grow a pineapple from seed. 'Dutch/Light (for Agneta Block)' is copyright the artist. 

Sari Garden (2018) by Clare JarrettOriginal Source:

Clare Jarrett, 'Sari Garden' (2018)

The Sari is a traditional form of clothing: a single length of material, six metres of cloth, worn wrapped and draped around a woman’s body. This work consists of sari-like lengths, sewn together, hanging from a beam stretching the length of Heneage Lane and supported by its lamp posts. The line of bright fabric is free to move in the air. A softness echoes aspects of women’s lives, of domesticity, of laundry put out to dry, and of subjugation or flirtation. From a distance the splashes of colour give the feeling of a long narrow painting. 'Sari Garden' is copyright the artist. 

Site of the Fall – study of the renaissance garden: Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 May 1967 (2016) by Reza ArameshOriginal Source:

Reza Aramesh, 'Site of the Fall – study of the renaissance garden: Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 May 1967' (2016)

'Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 May 1967' is one of a series of 12 sculptures that form the body of work titled ‘Site of the Fall – Study of a Renaissance Garden’. From research on reportage images of the Vietnam war, a single composition was selected, the image of which has been reconstructed through a process of rendering based on live subjects. 

Hand carved Carrara marble depicts the subject as larger than life. The plinth is a site-specific design to communicate with the environment of where it’s situated. 'Site of the Fall – study of the renaissance garden: Action 180: At 9:15 am Sunday 28 May 1967' is courtesy of the artist, kindly loaned by the Kamel Lazaar Foundation.

The Garden of Floating Words (2017) by Elisa ArteseroOriginal Source:

Elisa Artesero, 'The Garden of Floating Words' (2017)

‘The Garden of Floating Words’ is a neon poem that appears to be floating in the darkness from within the foliage of the garden planter. During the daytime, the words are revealed to be on tall rectangular clear acrylic stands, their structure echoing the tall glass buildings surrounding the garden space, but at night the words alone become the main feature. Using neon, a light source traditionally associated with the city, Artesero creates something ephemeral to make a space for quiet contemplation within the busy complex. 'The Garden of Floating Words' is copyright the artist. 

The Spectacle (2019) by Jonathan TrayteOriginal Source:

Jonathan Trayte, 'The Spectacle' (2019)

The Spectacle is an ambitious site-specific installation comprised of seating, lighting and sculpture. Situated in a busy thoroughfare for pedestrians, these striking visual devices perform collectively as a meeting place, or somewhere to pause. 

Highly stylized colours and motifs are borrowed from the language of foodstuffs and confectionary. Glossy, synthetic ‘skins’ of paint give the work a colourful pop status, a chameleon appearance and an almost edible quality.  The work is a coming together of natural forms and saccharine colours, generating a dynamic physical presence in the urban landscape. 'The Spectacle' is copyright the artist. 

Credits: Story

Sculpture in the City 9th Edition is delivered by the City of London in partnership with Aon, Aviva, Bloomberg, Beaumont, British Land, Brookfield Properties, CC Land, Hiscox, London & Oriental, Nuveen Real Estate, Tenacity, Tower 42, and Twentytwo.

Project patrons: Beazley, Fantastic Feats, Generali Real Estate, Leadenhall Market, MTEC, PLP/Architecture, Price & Myers

With thanks to participating galleries and artists: Artsadmin, Clare Jarrett, Do Ho Suh, Elisa Artesero, Federica Schiavo Gallery, Gagosian, Galeria Presenca, Graeme Miller, Guillaume Vandame, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jonathan Trayte, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Jyll Bradley, Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Kevin Francis Gray, l’étrangère, Lawrence Weiner, Lehmann Maupin, Leo Fitzmaurice, Lisson Gallery, Marisa Ferreira
Michael Lyons, Nancy Rubins, Nathan Coley, NewArtCentre, Nina Saunders, Pace Gallery
Parafin, Patrick Tuttofuoco, Reza Aramesh, Salvatore Arancio, Shaun C. Badham, The Sunday Painter, TJ Boulting, Victoria Miro.

All photographs copyright Nick Turpin.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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