Art outdoors: public art to see this summer
By Emma Hollaway
Published 8 August 2014
We're taking a break from our regular format and stepping outside the gallery walls for a special summer issue of RA Recommends.
The RA Recommends team is taking a week's summer break. To celebrate the UK's recent spell of hot weather, here instead is a round-up of some unmissable outdoor art around the capital – some are old favourites, and some are new.
Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship HMS President
Victoria Embankment, until December 2014
HMS President, one of the last three surviving Royal Navy warships built during WW1, is covered in a new form of 'dazzle camouflage’, the disruptive camouflage invented to confuse enemy U-boats. Read about the Royal Academy's Dazzle ships connections here.
Thomas Heatherwick RA, 'Paternoster Vents', 2009
A stone’s throw from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Sir Christopher Wren’s Temple Bar, Thomas Heatherwick RA’s twisting towers are scaled-up from experiments with A4 folded paper and are in fact cooling vents.
Charles Sargeant Jagger, Royal Artillery Memorial 1925
Hyde Park Corner
A memorial to the casualties of the Royal Regiment of Artillery in the First World War, the four bronze figures on each side of this sculpture were the first to show ordinary soldiers as opposed to generals in a starkly realistic fashion.
Richard Wilson RA, 'Shack Stack', 2010
By casting three sheds in aluminium and stacking them into a tower Richard Wilson RA creates an homage to the unremarkable and often improvised architecture of the humble garden shed.
Yinka Shonibare RA, 'Wind Sculpture', 2014
The hand painted Dutch-wax fabric pattern of Yinka Shonibare RA’s Wind Sculpture seems to flutter in the wind and recalls the sails of his Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.
Barbara Hepworth, 'Winged Figure', 1961-62
Designed to capture a feeling of common interest and ownership, it is estimated that Barbara Hepworth’s Winged Figure is seen by 200 million people per year.
Richard Serra, 'Fulcrum', 1987
Broadgate City of London
Just outside London Liverpool Street Station four pieces Richard Serra’s signature sheet metal are propped together to create a free standing sculpture.
Antony Gormley RA, 'Room', 2014
Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens
The intimate is combined with the monumental in Antony Gormley RA’s tectonic figure, perched on the corner of an art deco landmark, the former Avis-Rent-A-Car building. With its own hotel room inside ‘Room’ is the first inhabitable work of art.
Cerith Wyn Evans, 'Time here becomes space, Space here becomes time' and Richard Wentworth’s 'False Ceiling'
In the richly decorated space of Leadenhall market Cerith Wyn Evans’ neon ‘mirror-text’ plays with the meanings of language. Just around the corner books seem to float above the viewer’s head in Richard Wentworth’s False Ceiling, inspired by the combinations of high and low culture found at flea market stalls.
Emma Hollaway is a contributor to RA Magazine