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Art outdoors: public art to see this summer

RA Recommends

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.

  • Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship HMS President

    Tobias Rehberger, Dazzle Ship HMS President.

    Victoria Embankment, until December.

    © Getty – commissioned by 14-18 NOW.

  • Thomas Heatherwick RA, 'Paternoster Vents', 2009

    Paternoster Square
    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.

  • Thomas Heatherwick RA, Paternoster Vents

    Thomas Heatherwick RA, Paternoster Vents, 2009.

    Paternoster Square.

    CREDIT: David Balhuizen.

  • 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.

  • The Royal Artillery Memorial

    The Royal Artillery Memorial

    Image by Flickr user Michael Day. Released under a CC-BY-NC 2.0 licence

  • Richard Wilson RA, 'Shack Stack', 2010

    Grosvenor Waterside
    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.

  • Richard Wilson RA, Shack Stack

    Richard Wilson RA, Shack Stack, 2010.

    Grosvenor Waterside, London.

  • Yinka Shonibare RA, 'Wind Sculpture', 2014

    Howick Place
    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.

  • Yinka Shonibare RA's Wind Sculpture

    Yinka Shonibare RA's Wind Sculpture

  • Barbara Hepworth, 'Winged Figure', 1961-62

    Oxford Street
    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.

  • Barbara Hepworth, Winged Figure

    Barbara Hepworth, Winged Figure, 1961-62.

    Oxford Street.

    Richard Rogers Conservation Ltd.

  • 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.

  • Richard Serra, Fulcrum

    Richard Serra, Fulcrum, 1987.

    Fulcrum by Richard Serra at Broadgate City of London. © Holly Wren.

  • 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.

  • Antony Gormley RA, Room

    Antony Gormley RA, Room, 2014.

    Beaumont Hotel, Brown Hart Gardens.

    Credit: Stephen White.

  • Cerith Wyn Evans, 'Time here becomes space, Space here becomes time' and Richard Wentworth’s 'False Ceiling'

    Leadenhall market
    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