Sculpture in the City is an annual urban sculpture park set amid the iconic architecture of the City of London's insurance district. Every summer, the City of London, in partnership with local businesses, unveils a brand-new selection of artworks by internationally acclaimed and emerging artists.
To date, Sculpture in the City has exhibited 112 artworks by 94 artists from 29 countries. As the programme grows and develops each year, the project continues to bring an array of sculpture to the area that excites, intrigues and challenges all who encounter them.
Since the very first exhibition in June 2011, Sculpture in the City has transformed the City of London into a dynamic, annual urban sculpture park. Each year, we work with a diverse group of contemporary artists to display their artworks in a variety of outdoor, public spaces in the Square Mile's insurance district, making them accessible to all. This complex and rich urban realm is harnessed as a rotating gallery, with sites ranging from the public space of the Cheesegrater to church gardens and alleyways to the historic Victorian Leadenhall Market.
The iconic architecture of the area is enriched and challenged by the sculpture sited in the area between Bishopsgate to the west, Bevis Marks to the east and Fenchurch Street to the south. The project animates this global centre of commerce and establishes the City as a destination for international culture in its own right.
Over the years, Sculpture in the City has exhibited pioneering artworks by world-renowned artists. Ai Wei Wei's Forever (2014) was a highlight of the fifth edition, comprising stainless steel bicycles that amassed to a sculpture 16 metres in height at 30 St Mary Axe. The previous year and in the same site, João Onofre's Box Sized Die Featuring Unfathomable Ruination (2007/2014) delighted and perplexed audiences in equal measure. Other highlights over the years include works by Tracey Emin, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gavin Turk, Tomoaki Suzuki, Jaume Plensa, Peter Randall-Page and many more.
A public art programme that began with four artworks including Sky Mirror by Anish Kapoor has grown over the years with the newly launched ninth edition showcasing 18 artworks in 20 sites. The ninth edition programme is one of the most ambitious to date, showcasing the project's first-ever video installation, Botanic (2019) by Jennifer Steinkamp, three neon works by Elisa Artesero, Shaun C. Badham and Patrick Tuttufuoco, a light piece by Turner Prize nominee Nathan Coley, and figurative works by Kevin Francis Gray and Reza Aramesh. The show also includes the playful life-size work Abstract Mass by Nina Saunders and the monumental Crocodylius Philodendrus by Nancy Rubins.
A work by Lawrence Weiner has taken over an entire wall in the Cheesegrater, and works by Jyll Bradley, Salvatore Arancio and Marisa Ferreira bring bold splashes of colour to the urban landscape. Do Ho Suh's Bridging Home (London), a co-commission with Art Night, will remain on-site for another year with Michael Lyon's Stagnight standing tall on the corner of Bishopsgate.
Leo Fitzmaurice's Arcadia in three different sites make reference to nature in the busy urban bustle and Jonathan Trayte's brand new work, The Spectacle, will be unveiled in the autumn of 2019 at a new site at 100 Bishopsgate.
Sculpture in the City is a prime example of a sustainable public art programme that evolves over time, reacting to and intervening in the ever-changing architectural landscape of the City and showcasing some of the most exciting works of contemporary sculpture.
Stella Ioannou, Co-Director of Sculpture in the City