London's best new public art

Check out the newest additions to London's outdoor art scene this summer

0

Comments

Add +

Summer in London heralds a new crop of innovate alfresco artworks that blossom all across the capital, from major commissions in parks and squares like Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth to neighourhood trails like 'Sculpture in the City'. Don't miss a thing with our guide to London's best outdoor art.


  • Henry Moore

    'Large Spindle Piece', 1974

    While the fate of 'Draped Seated Woman', affectionately known as 'Old Flo', hangs in the balance (once the centrepiece of a Stepney housing estate, it's currently installed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park) another piece by the daddy of public art, Henry Moore, has arrived in London. Inspired by a flint pebble which Moore picked up 40 years ago in the fields around his Hertfordshire home, 'Large Spindle Piece' (1974) has just been unveiled at King's Cross station and will stay there for at least five years, courtesy of the Henry Moore Foundation.

    King's Cross Square, King's Cross station, Euston Rd, N1 9AP.

    Henry Moore
  • Dazzle Ship London

    photo: Chris Wainwright

    Germans: not content with winning the World Cup for the zillionth time, they’re now trying to hide our warships. Or one of our former warships, at least. Under the guidance of Berlin-based artist Tobias Rehberger something strange has been happening to HMS President over the past fortnight. If you’ve found yourself wandering along Victoria Embankment in the small hours, you may have witnessed a crack team of decorators on small boats or abseiling down the side of the ship. More used to covering black cabs with transfer ads, they’ve been coating the ship with a black-and-white geometric design that turns this  floating bar into an instant op-art party vessel. There’s a sobering reason for the intervention, though. Rehberger’s design is inspired by the ‘dazzle’ camouflage that covered British vessels, including HMS President, during WWI to confuse enemy U-boats. The work, part of the ‘14-18 Now’ WWI centenary art commissions, will be on display for the rest of the year. As we found out at the launch, the boat itself is one of the worst places to see the design. If you want to admire the bedazzled President, you’re best bet is to head to Blackfriars bridge or the South Bank.

    HMS President, Victoria Embankment, EC4Y OHJ. Until Dec.

    Dazzle Ship London
  • Right to Flight

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s James Bridle’s military-grade helikite. Living in a city that’s constantly under surveillance, the writer and artist wanted to restore some power to the surveilled (that’ll be us). Tethered to the top of Peckham’s multistorey car park, the balloon surveys the south-east panorama and bounces back imagery from aerial shots to mesmerising kaleidoscopic patterns.

    Bold Tendencies, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST. Until Sep 21.

    Right to Flight
  • Art Everywhere

    IAN SOUTHERIN

    Back for a second year, Richard Reed’s ‘Art Everywhere’ initiative sees reproductions of iconic artworks, as chosen by you, replacing ads for things you don’t need at poster sites across London. It’s the biggest outdoor exhibition in the UK. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, you can download a free specially commissioned digital artwork by Antony Gormley. Get in!

    Poster sites across London. Until Aug 31.

    Art Everywhere
  • Phillip King

    Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

    This free outdoor show of works old and new by veteran British sculptor Phillip King takes place in the grounds of Royal Hospital Chelsea and nearby Ranelagh Gardens. Kick back with the likes of ‘Dunstable Reel’, 1970/2013.

    Ranelagh Gardens, SW3. Until Aug 31. Sloane Square tube.

    Phillip King
  • Jacques Rival

    'IFO'

    © the artist

    By day, French artist and architect Jacques Rival’s cage-like ‘IFO (Identified Flying Object)’ lets you behave like a budgie and play on its swing. By night, its neon frame will light the way between King’s Cross and St Pancras. On special occasions you’ll see it hoicked up into the air.

    Battle Bridge Place, N1C until Aug 31.

    Jacques Rival
  • Yinka Shonibare

    ‘Wind Sculpture'

    Photo: Agenda Visual Marvelry

    Developed at the same time as his ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ (on permanent display outside the National Maritime Museum), Yinka Shonibare’s fibreglass ‘wind sculptures’ are like vast sheets of fabric billowing on the breeze. En masse they’re spectacular. This lone example is beach-towel-bright enough to liven up a new development in Victoria.

    Howick Place, SW1. 

    Yinka Shonibare
  • Sculpture in the City

    © the artist

    The best thing to happen to the Square Mile since credit default swaps, Sculpture in the City returns for a fourth year with a new line-up of artists including Antony Gormley, Jim Lambie and Paul Hosking. Look out for Richard Wentworth’s flying books, works by the late Lynn Chadwick and Nigel Hall's interlocking rings. Until August 1 (Wed-Fri 6pm) you can experience the Death Metal band, Unfathomable Ruination play for as long as there’s air in João Onofre’s ‘Box sized DIE’

    City of London, EC3. Jul 3 to May 2015.

    Sculpture in the City
  • Dale Chihuly

    ‘The Sun’

    Photo: photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Halcyon Gallery

    What could be sunnier than the sun? Try Dale Chihuly’s ‘The Sun’. Gorgeously aglow in daylight, unlike the actual (part-time) sun, this spiky orb truly comes into its own at night, when its 1,573 handblown parts illuminate Berkelely Square. It must be confusing for the nightingales.

    Berkeley Square, W1. Until Dec. Green Park tube.

    Dale Chihuly
  • Vhils

    ‘Untitled’

    © the artist

    Artists and botanists have got together to make installations and curate events in a leafy corner of Bethnal Green Nature Reserve for Phytology. Works include a wall carving by Vhils (pictured), which is loosely based on St Jude, patron saint of the church that stood on the site until it was bombed during WWII. Book yourself a place on one of the associated events to learn about the healing properties of plants and the wonder of weeds as you wander around.

    Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, E2. Until Sep 14. Bethnal Green tube.

    Vhils
  • Jake and Dinos Chapman

    ‘The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’

    © the artists

    Sad that Jake and Dinos Chapman’s stupendous steel dinosaurs have disappeared from their spot at the base of the Gherkin? Well, get happy, because the triassic trio haven’t become extinct, they’ve migrated north to the greener pastures of Golders Hill Park (here's a pic one of them being lifted into place). They’ll be there for a year: we’re hoping next year they’ll get to join their cousins in Crystal Palace Park.

    Golders Hill Park, NW11. Until Dec.

    Jake and Dinos Chapman

Henry Moore

'Large Spindle Piece', 1974

While the fate of 'Draped Seated Woman', affectionately known as 'Old Flo', hangs in the balance (once the centrepiece of a Stepney housing estate, it's currently installed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park) another piece by the daddy of public art, Henry Moore, has arrived in London. Inspired by a flint pebble which Moore picked up 40 years ago in the fields around his Hertfordshire home, 'Large Spindle Piece' (1974) has just been unveiled at King's Cross station and will stay there for at least five years, courtesy of the Henry Moore Foundation.

King's Cross Square, King's Cross station, Euston Rd, N1 9AP.

Top art features

Latest art reviews

Find out what our critics make of London's new exhibitions

Top 10 art exhibitions

Our critics' pick of the must-see art exhibitions in town this season

London art exhibitions calendar

A handy calendar of the must-see art shows coming to town this year

Art interviews

We talk to the biggest names and emerging talent in the art world


Users say

1 comments
Tony Edwards
Tony Edwards

SOU FUJIMOTO architect SUMMER PAVILION, SERPENTINE GALLERY Hyde Park (all hours, until 20/10/13, free) An opportunity to see rare, top quality, architecture. The annual temporary pavilion reduces the utilitarian bonds, and allows great experiments. Do read about it before you go, and bring a picnic. Tony:- See:- Rowan Moore, & Oliver Wainwright: www.Guardian http://www.serpentinegallery.org/2013/02/sou_fujimoto_to_design_serpentine_gallery_pavilion_2013.html The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 is designed by multi award-winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. He is the thirteenth and, at 41, youngest architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary structure for the Serpentine Gallery. The most ambitious architectural programme of its kind worldwide, the Serpentine's annual Pavilion commission is one of the most anticipated events on the cultural calendar. Past Pavilions have included designs by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei (2012), Frank Gehry (2008), the late Oscar Niemeyer (2003) and Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural structure in 2000. Widely acknowledged as one of the most important architects coming to prominence worldwide, Sou Fujimoto is the leading light of an exciting generation of artists who are re-inventing our relationship with the built environment. Inspired by organic structures, such as the forest, the nest and the cave, Fujimoto's signature buildings inhabit a space between nature and artificiality. Fujimoto has completed the majority of his buildings in Japan, with commissions ranging from the domestic, such as Final Wooden House, T House and House N, to the institutional, such as the Musashino Art Museum and Library at Musashino Art University. Occupying some 350 square-metres of lawn in front of the Serpentine Gallery, Sou Fujimoto's delicate, latticed structure of 20mm steel poles will have a lightweight and semi-transparent appearance that will allow it to blend, cloud-like, into the landscape and against the classical backdrop of the Gallery's colonnaded East wing. Designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space - with a café sited inside - visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four-month tenure in London's Kensington Gardens.