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London's best new public art

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


Ai Weiwei: 'Forever'

Every year, the City of London tries to make us forget about the Man by putting some pretty sculpture in our path. Now in its fifth year, Sculpture in the City’ (July 9-May 2016) returns with its starriest line-up yet, which either means we’re over the worst or that financial armageddon is around the corner. You won’t fail to miss ‘Charity’, Damien Hirst’s giant sculpture of a collection box, but look out for Tomoaki Suzuki’s tiny figures, modelled after real Londoners. Both artists’ work is on display outside the Gherkin. In September a piece by Ai Weiwei will be added to coincide with his retrospective at the RA.

Across the Square Mile (Until May 2016).


Marc Quinn: 'Frozen Waves, Broken Sublimes'

If you missed Marc Quinn's recent 'The Toxic Sublime' show at White Cube Bermondsey, here's your chance to catch his epic new stainless steel sculptures in the fittingly grand surroundings of the fountain courtyard at Somerset House. The display features work from two series. 'Frozen Waves' are inspired by shells eroded by the action of waves. 'Broken Sublimes' are large shell forms based on shells that have been broken into by humans for food. 'It's one of the first examples of human interaction with nature in a slightly destructive way,' Quinn told us earlier this year. 'This isn’t new. We’ve always been smashing and grabbing.' Read our summer 2015 interview with the artist here.

Edmond J Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House, WC2R 1LA. Until Oct 21.


Alex Chinneck: ‘A Bullet From A Shooting Star’

Alex Chinneck, the artist who made Covent Garden market appear to levitate last autumn, pulls another magical feat out of the bag this September for the London Design Festival (September 19-27) when he’ll install a 35-metre-high lattice of steel resembling a toppled electricity pylon on Greenwich Peninsula.

Greenwich Peninsula (from Sep 19).


Jason deCaires Taylor: The Rising Tide

Four majestic working horses and their riders will inhabit the Thames foreshore at Nine Elms for the duration of Totally Thames. The works are a commission by underwater eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and will only be visible at the river's lowest point, highlighting the importance of the river to our city. They'll be visible from the riverside walkway for up to two hours either side of low tide, but timings vary daily so check the Totally Thames website before you visit.

Thames Foreshore at Vauxhall until Sep 30 2015.


Angela Bulloch: ‘Heavy Metal Stack of Six

There’s a touch of science fiction to Angela Bulloch’s ‘Heavy Metal Stack of Six’, which resembles a digitally enhanced version of Brancusi’s famous ‘Endless Column’. See it at the entrance to Mount Street Gardens, W1, until October.

Mount Street Gardens, South Audley St, W1K 2TH.


Richard Wentworth: 'Topping Out'

'Bold Tendencies', the summer pop-up in a multistorey Peckham car park, showcases one-off art installations by acclaimed emerging artists AIRBNB Pavilion and Metahaven and, on the roof, a major new work by Richard Wentworth. 'What I’m doing is scenography. I hope that it will tease people because they’re slightly standing in the work. But, I’m not being horrid to them. I’m not putting down dung!’ Wentworth told us when we spoke to him recently. Read the full interview here.

Peckham Multistorey Car Park, SE15 4ST.



Henry Krokatsis: 'Turning Tree'

If you find nature a bit static, ‘Turning Tree’ by Henry Krokatsis could be the answer. This new permanent sculpture for Ladywell Fields, SE13, is an aluminium cast of a section of a fallen black poplar tree, which the London-based artist found in the park. Lying horizontally in the River Ravensbourne, the piece rotates gently in the current. Grab your wellies and take a seat – you’re sure to find the experience moving.

Ladywell Fields, SE13.


Abigail Fallis: ‘DNA DL90'

Linking the O2 and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ‘The Line’sculpture trail features art from the likes of Damien Hirst and Martin Creed, as well as Abigail Fallis’s double helix tower of shopping trolleys (‘DNA DL90’, pictured above). So what are you waiting for? Sunglasses, hiking boots (and maybe a thermos) at the ready.



Conrad Shawcross: 'Three Perpetual Chords'

A permanent addition to Dulwich Park, ‘Three Perpetual Chords’ is a trio of looping metal sculptures that refer to musical intervals. Yet their maker, Conrad Shawcross, also hopes that they function as ‘meeting points, romantic destinations, and encourage playfulness’. If rain stops play, you can see works relating to the project at Dulwich Picture Gallery (until June 14). Shawcross, the youngest living Royal Academician, will also be a star of this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (June 8-August 16), when ‘The Dappled Light’, a new sculpture consisiting of five steel ‘clouds’, goes on show in the RA courtyard.

Dulwich Park, College Rd, SE21 7BQ.

Every year, a new crop of innovate alfresco artworks blossoms across the capital, from major commissions in parks and squares like Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth to sculpture trails like 'The Line'. Don't miss a thing with our guide to London's best outdoor art.

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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.