Paul Carey-Kent goes out and about in London searching for the best sculpture in town. Galleries aside, London grows ever more artistically interesting. I rather like Fritsch’s 15 foot Blue Cock poking fun at Nelson’s Column. But pausing only to note of that the German word hahn has the same double meaning as cock in English, here’s my choice of less publicised sculptural works – some permanent, some temporary – you can see out and about in London this summer.
Dale Chihuly: The Sun, 2014 at Berkeley Square
Gavin Turk: Nail, 2011 at One New Change, St Paul’s
What god-sized object used to be pierced by this 12 metre bronze, treated to take on a stable look of rust on an equally blown up – and so unnatural – scale? Whatever it was, the nail seems stranded between the resonance it would have in the nearby St Paul’s Cathedral and the role it didn’t play in building the new shopping centre outside which it stands. Gavin Turk’s comic riff on Claes Oldenberg certainly puts the nearby bollards in their place.
The latest commission (April-Oct) over the Grand Terrace of a station best known sculpturally for Paul Day’s 9 metre kissers is a much happier match for Sir George Gilbert Scott great Gothic design of 1868-1874. Colour theorist David Batchelor uses 44 Perspex L-shapes to play the look of a video game and the giant Olympic Rings previously seen here into a stained glass effect. The right light through the Barlow Shed roof turns the platforms into stages for rainbows, and ‘you can’t not like that’, as the artist himself says. Though those lumpen lovers are annoyingly close…
Oliver Marsden: Dub, 2010 at 10 Rochester Row, Westminster
Oliver Marsden is best-known for meditative paintings which explore the intersection of intense colour with the mystical power of circular formations to produce what he calls ‘a state of resonance’ – as if sound waves were caught in a liquid speaker. I was surprised to hear that he’d applied the approach to the facade of a building, but the ‘luxury living’ of 55 apartments and penthouses at Ten Rochester Row hums with satisfying subtlety.
Mark Titchner: Love Flags, 2014 on the South Bank
Tobias Rehberger: Dazzle Ship, 2014 at Victoria Embankment
Shin Meekyoung: Written in Soap: A Plinth Project, 2012 at Cavendish Square, Mayfair
Clem Crosby: 180 Monochrome Paintings, 2004-06 at the Young Vic, Southwark
Wendy Taylor: Spirit of Enterprise, 1987 at Heron’s Quay