Sculpture in the City, 8th 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.

Untitled (1969) by David AnnesleyOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

‘Untitled’(1969) is a mandala-like form, which satisfyingly contains smaller shapes within itself in perfect equilibrium. Annesley found this type of structure‘restorative…it releases endorphins and gives the eye and brain what it likes to do, namely introduce order’.

These open-form, metal sculptures drew upon his own physical experience flying as an RAF pilot. They convey a sense of weightlessness and expand into and envelop the surrounding space outlined by their linear forms.In 1964, Annesley was introduced to the American Color Field painter, Kenneth Noland. This artistic friendship was significant in bridging the traditionally separate mediums of sculpture and painting, and encouraged Annesley’s exploration of colour relationships in his sculptures.

Pepper Rock (1993) by Richard RomeOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Richard Rome began his work on Pepper Rock in 1993 utilising, in part, elements from earlier dismantled sculptures. He recommenced work again in 1997 when the base unit was added, and the artwork was then rusted and varnished. The piece was shown at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park between 1998 and 2000.

In 2016 it was dismantled, blast cleaned and galvanised, re-assembled and waxed. From April 2017 until November it was exhibited at Cabot square, Canary Wharf. "Pepper Rock" is emblematic, human play.

The Adventurer (2014) by Gabriel LesterOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Commisioners — Bonner Kunstverrein, Bonn, Germany

Poster-changers – generally used for revolving billboards – are incorporated into a seating structure resembling a waving ribbon. The two connected displays, each bearing six drawings, create a seemingly endless sequence of urban landscapes and objects in space. Much like a film edit, scenes are cut together, producing an abstract narrative, a meandering journey through a maze-like environment.

Gabriel Lester has redesigned the billboards for Sculpture in the City, creating a new sequence of sites and settings that respond to the artwork’s setting in Bury Court. This edit describes a journey from the formation of ideas in abstraction, to the physical streets of London city, with its hidden history and mysteries.

Your Lips Moved Across My Face (2015) by Tracey Emin CBE RAOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

In what is arguably the most iconic body of her work, Tracey Emin uses neon tube lighting to create luminous coloured enlargements of handwritten texts. Her neons often consist of fragmented sentences or phrases that seem like confessions pulled from her diary. This particular work reads like the beginning of a romantic or erotic story, a mood that is heightened by the deep pink colour. By speaking in the first person and addressing the viewer directly, the work encourages the audience to identify with Emin’s inner world of emotion and thereby come to terms with their own.

Sari Garden (2018) by Clare JarrettOriginal Source:

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 commissioned by Sculpture in the City 2018.

Climb (2012) by Juliana Cerqueira LeiteOriginal Source:

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.

UNIVRS (2012) by Michail PirgelisOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Michail Pirgelis works exclusively with authentic aviation materials, which he selects from aircraft scrapyards in the American desert. UNIVRS is a cross-section of an airplane - specifically the passenger area of an Airbus 300. The width of the work reflects the exact measurements of one seating row in a plane, this is evident once the two window openings on both sides come into view.

By separating the material from its original context, and reducing it to minimal form, the sculpture becomes abstract and develops a new, unique aesthetic. The exposed skeletal structure evokes architecture as well as the space surrounding it.

The Great Escape (2014) by Miroslaw BalkaOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

This sound work was produced in London in 2014 for Miroslaw Balka’s concurrent solo exhibitions at the Freud Museum and White Cube Mason’s Yard. Conducted by the artist, this eerie recording features White Cube’s male staff individually whistling Elmer Bernstein’s theme tune to the 1963 film ‘The Great Escape’. Usually installed in enclosed, darkened spaces, Balka’s recording evokes a hopeful suggestion of freedom undercut by the fragility of its disembodied, isolated voices. In this way, the allusion to imprisonment is re-enforced, escape shown to be, if not futile, then elusive, and abstracted from its glossier,Hollywood treatment.

Synapsid (2014) by Karen TangOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

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.

Perceval (2006) by Sarah LucasOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Sarah Lucas’ sculpture Perceval - a life-size bronze horse and cart – presents a large-scale replica of a traditional china ornament, of the kind that took pride of place on many British mantelpieces forty years ago. Scaled up, the Clydesdale horse is powerful and majestic while offering an unthreatening sense of pastoralism and stolid reliability.

The proudly-fashioned cart houses two cast concrete marrows: off-scale symbols of phallic fertility. These giant vegetables are cast in cement, moving the knick-knack replica away from the realm of kitsch, and offsetting the smooth finish of the bronze with a rugged and contingent quality. Titled after a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, Perceval reflects a fascination for Englishness evident in much of Lucas’s work, becoming an object for public display that is generous, democratic, familiar and accessible.

A Worldwide Web of Somewheres (2018) by Amanda LwinOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Intricate Polynesian fishing nets, whose lines and knots were also charts of wind and sea currents, are an inspiration for this textile installation. Alluding to the City of London’s maritime associations, Amanda Lwin’s handwoven net maps subterranean infrastructure beneath the City. The work’s title is drawn from Maya Jasanoff’s recent biography of novelist-sailor Joseph Conrad. ‘A Worldwide Web of Somewheres’ belongs to the artist’s ‘Capricious Cartography’ series: mapmaking that is more equivocal, contingent and unstable than traditional cartography.

Suspended above our heads, it recalls both an acrobat’s safety net, or a hunter’s trap; equally robust and fragile. The artwork, produced specifically for this site, affirms our continued dependence on physical connections to people, places and ideas beyond our immediate understanding. Commissioned by Sculpture in the City.

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

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. The artist will be developing new works while the sculpture resides in Leadenhall Market.

Stack Blues (2017) by Sean ScullyOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Part of Sean Scully’s Landline series of works, Stack Blues is a sculpture borne out of the artist’s preoccupation with the horizon.

"I am always looking at the horizon line – at the way the end of the sea touches the beginning of the sky, the way the sky presses down on to the sea… I think of land, sea, sky. And they always make a massive connection. I try to paint this, this sense of the elemental coming-together of land and sea, sky and land, of blocks coming together side by side, stacked in horizon lines endlessly beginning and ending – the way the blocks of the world hug each other and brush up against each other, their weight, their air, their color, and the soft uncertain space between them." - Sean Scully, Landline, 2001

Numen (Shifting Votive One & Two) (2016) by Thomas J PriceOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

In the "Numen" series Price continues his exploration of a new mythology in which the ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian traditions of monumental sculpture are deployed in the depiction of the twenty-first century social subject. In an exciting departure from his previous use of cast Bronze, Price has created three large cast aluminium heads raised to eye-level on marble columns. They immediately announce themselves as archetypal objects of worship in a modern age, fashioned from the same fabric as MacBooks, coke cans, cars and planes – a whole array of thoroughly untraditional and un-museumlike objects. Yet, in their emotional depth and arresting monumentality these anonymous portraits assert the value of the depicted subject, powerfully subverting traditional social and aesthetic hierarchies.

Opening the Air (2018) by Jyll BradleyOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Please note this artwork has now been removed from St Helen's Square.

Opening the Air is a three-dimensional drawing made up of a geometric field of fluorescent Plexiglas discs or ‘coins’. The coins bear intricate etchings derived from plans of early eighteenth-century glasshouse design and are planted on a low workaday wooden table. As the City-scape becomes ever more glassy, Opening the Air reflects upon the original glasshouses whose currency was green growth.

Activated by light and the sun’s passage, the work changes in appearance throughout the day. Opening the Air is commissioned by Sculpture in the City.

Body (2011) by Jean-Luc MoulèneOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

Body pays tribute to the automobile as sculpture within the urban landscape. Parked along the pavement, these often-overlooked forms constitute numerous hours of work by designers who strive to make them attractive, reassuring, harmonious, and sometimes even sensual. Every contour of Body - as well as the treatment of its surface - evokes the shape of the automobile’s curves; the proportions of which have been exaggerated to sublimate the movement and finally render it ‘visible’. Produced at the Renault Factory, the object is comprised of twelve sections, generated by eleven randomly shaped cuts. Each segment is painted in gradations of the three primary colours that gradually fade into white. Body is a celebration of artistic and industrial reflections on form and mobility.

Numen (Shifting Votive Three) (2016) by Thomas J PriceOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

In the "Numen" series Price continues his exploration of a new mythology in which the ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian traditions of monumental sculpture are deployed in the depiction of the twenty-first century social subject. In an exciting departure from his previous use of cast Bronze, Price has created three large cast aluminium heads raised to eye-level on marble columns. They immediately announce themselves as archetypal objects of worship in a modern age, fashioned from the same fabric as MacBooks, coke cans, cars and planes – a whole array of thoroughly untraditional and un-museumlike objects. Yet, in their emotional depth and arresting monumentality these anonymous portraits assert the value of the depicted subject, powerfully subverting traditional social and aesthetic hierarchies.

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

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 aluminum 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.

Tree (1972) by Marina AbramovićOriginal Source: Sculpture in the City

The Tree is a sound work that artificially amplifies a recording of birdsong through speakers located in an actual tree. It was first presented outside the SKC Cultural Centre in Belgrade, previously a social club for the secret police, which Abramović and her fellow students repurposed after calling for official acknowledgment of their artistic activities, demanding that: "…cultural and creative facilities are open to all". Although Josip ‘Tito’ Broz, leader of the Yugoslav Communists, responded and relented to the student protests of 1968, the Tree may also be seen as a critical reflection on his hectoring public pronouncements, with the recording’s insistent, distorted repetition perhaps showing Abramović’s disillusionment with her parents’ close ties with the government. This new configuration of the work, its second iteration since 1972, utilises hidden speakers near a tree, rather than the more literal first iteration of a tape recorder balanced in the branches.

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

Bridging Home, London, 2018 by Do Ho Suh is an ambitious co-commission 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, crosscultural 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 his childhood home, a traditional 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 a physical realisation of the 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.

The work was co-commissioned by Art Night and Sculpture in the City.

The work is curated by Fatoş Üstek and fabricated by The White Wall Company, with plants from Blooming Artificial. Further thanks to Lehmann Maupin, Victoria Miro, Savills, Velorose and Wedlake Bell.

Credits: Story

Sculpture in the City 8th edition is delivered by the City of London in partnership with Aon, Aviva, Blackstone, Bloomberg, British Land, Brookfield Properties, CC Land, Generali, Hiscox, Nuveen Real Estate, Tower 42, Twentytwo, Women, Work and Power.

Project patrons: Ascend Studio, Illuminated River, JSRE 30 St Mary Axe Ltd, Leadenhall Market, Make, MTEC, PLP/Architecture, Price & Myers

With thanks to participating galleries and artists: Amanda Lwin, Blain|Southern, Clare Jarrett, Gagosian, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Gallery Fons Welters, Hales Gallery, Jyll Bradley, l’étrangère, Lisson Gallery, Richard Rome, Sadie Coles HQ, Shaun C. Badham, Sprüth Magers, Thomas Dane Gallery, TJ Boulting, Waddington Custot, White Cube

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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