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Sculpture in the City 2013

Date uploaded: May 13, 2013

The City of London has announced the first details of the latest edition of Sculpture in the City, the acclaimed annual public realm sculpture exhibition held in the Square Mile’s insurance district, ahead of the sculptures being officially unveiled on 20th June.

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. Located in the dramatic surroundings of the eastern high-rise cluster in the City of London, the free outdoor exhibition will extend 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.

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: the Chapman’s dinosaurs, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (2007), will roam the base of the Gherkin; Gormley’s leaning human figures Parallel Field (1990) will surprise passers by on the pavement of St Mary Axe alongside Aviva Square; and Ryan Gander’s More Really Shiny Things that Don’t Mean Anything (2011) will gleam in front of the neighbouring Great St. Helen’s Church. Richard Wentworth’s Twenty-Four Hour Flag, comprised of several red and white kitchen chairs will jut out from the top of the Hiscox Building, while Shirazeh Houshiary’s elegant and ethereal String Quintet will stretch and twist up from the ground of St Helen’s Square. Further artworks will be announced in the build-up to the exhibition. Richard Wentworth says: "The best place in cities is the skyline. It's where 'we' meet 'nature'. Look up!"

Sculpture in the City is backed by the elected City of London Corporation (which looks after the Square Mile) in partnership with local stakeholders: 30 St Mary Axe, Aon, Aviva, British Land, Brookfield and Hiscox. Galleries participating in Sculpture in the City 2013 are Lisson, Pace Gallery, Sadie Coles HQ, Waddington Custot Galleries and White Cube. The exhibition will enliven the area’s public spaces with artworks by internationally acclaimed artists, to be enjoyed by workers, residents and visitors.

Now in its third year and previously called Great St. Helen’s: Sculpture Space, Sculpture in the City is an example of local government-led provision of world-class contemporary public art. Sculpture in the City is a product of the City Arts Initiative, which forms part of the long-term strategy of the Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee to deliver a high-quality public arts programme. The Corporation’s Cultural and Visitor strategies reflect the importance of art and culture in the economic and social life of the City of London by the City of London and its partners.

Open-City has been invited to devise and deliver local school and community workshops that encourage participants to experience art and architecture in new and different ways. Children from Islington, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and the City of London itself will explore the themes of Space, Light and Materials alongside participating artists, architects and volunteers from Sculpture in the City’s partners.

On 15 October, a high-profile panel will debate the value of public art. The event, hosted by Searcys, will be held at the top of the Gherkin as part of the Frieze Art Fair VIP Events Programme.

John Scott, elected Chairman of the Arts Advisory Board at the City of London Corporation says: “We’re delighted to bring such fantastic sculptures to the streets and people of the City with the help of our partners from the worlds of both business and art. Art is an essential part of vitality of the City of London: a draw for workers and visitors alike; a major contributing factor in our economic vibrancy and the kernel of the cultural brio of the Square Mile. I know Sculpture in the City will encourage those who are yet to visit this spectacular area to come, and those who are here each day to re-appraise and engage with anew the environment around them.”

Robert Hiscox, Honorary President of Hiscox says: “Everyone at Hiscox loves having wonderful sculptures in the streets and piazzas round our office, and I know that thousands of city workers feel the same. It is life enhancing, so well done the City Corporation and all involved for brightening our life."

Richard Wentworth 'Twenty-Four Hour Flag' (1992) © the artist. Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London

Richard Wentworth 'Twenty-Four Hour Flag' (1992) © the artist. Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London