Frieze Sculpture 2019: See the Contemporary Art in London’s Regent's Park
13 August 2019
For three months, Frieze Sculpture (3 July—6 October) transforms Regent's Park, London, into an open gallery with sculptures by artists from all over the world. This year's edition is again curated by Clare Lilley, director of programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park since 1992 and curator of Frieze Sculpture since 2012. This insight takes a close look at eight of the selected works featured in the park.
Leiko Ikemura, Usagi Kannon II (2013—2018)
The first stop is Japanese-Swiss artist Leiko Ikemura's Usagi Kannon II (2013—2018), which is concerned with the human experience. The patinated bronze sculpture portrays a hybrid figure: a human with rabbit ears, dressed in a bell-shaped skirt. Created in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 and the ensuing birth defects, the work makes a protective gesture by depicting an open space in the figure's skirt.
Robert Indiana, ONE through ZERO (1980—2002)
Usagi Kannon II is followed by American artist Robert Indiana's ONE through ZERO (1980—2002), which consists of ten corten steel sculptures of the Arabic numerals, arranged in an arc. Indiana, a seminal figure in the development of American assemblage art and Pop art, started working with numbers in the 1960s. He was drawn to them from his personal experiences of moving multiple times as a child, as well as for their widespread use towards a variety of meanings.
Barry Flanagan, Composition (2008)
Barry Flanagan's bronze sculpture Composition (2008) offers a humorous tone, showing the British artist's iconic long-limbed hare dancing on a cylindrical plinth that is supported by three elephants. Flanagan, who became known for his conceptual and post-Minimalist works in the 1960s and 1970s, turned to figurative sculpture—often associated with the hare, but also animals such as horses and elephants—in the late 1970s.
Iván Argote, Bridges (We are melting) (2019)
Columbian-born and Paris-based artist Iván Argote's Bridges (We are melting) (2019) is a new work created for this event. Consisting of three steel-and-concrete bridges with poems engraved on their surface, it takes the motif of the bridge as a metaphor for the connections between people.
Ghazaleh Avarzamani, Strange Temporalities (2019)
By contrast, the playground slide in Iranian artist Ghazaleh Avarzamani's Strange Temporalities (2019) is inaccessible, having been deconstructed and its pieces mounted on metal armature. Avarzamani considers the playground as a symbol loaded with cultural codes, where the safe environment for play becomes reflective of the problems of educational systems.
Zak Ové, Autonomous Morris (2018)
British-Trinidadian artist Zak Ové similarly takes the universal icon of the automobile in Autonomous Morris (2018), a roughly three-metre-tall sculpture constructed from decommissioned car parts. The work, which evokes a gigantic metal head or mask, is a continuation of Ové's mask sculptures, which are inspired by the masking rituals of the Trinidadian Carnival—in the 19th century, freed African slaves deployed masks, music, and dance during Carnival as a form of resistance and a means to connect among themselves.
Tracey Emin, When I Sleep (2018)
Tracey Emin—A member of the Young British Artists, who garnered critical attention for their often provocative works in Britain in the late 1980s—presents When I Sleep (2018), a four-metre bronze sculpture of a figure lying on its side. While less shocking than the works she's most known for, Emin's recent creation is no less candid, charged with a deeply touching and introspective mien.
Jaume Plensa, Laura Asia's Dream (2018)
Another work that evokes a sense of the personal and meditative is Laura Asia's Dream (2018), a bronze sculpture, slightly over two metres, by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Depicting the face of a young girl, eyes closed as if dreaming, it is an example of Plensa's characteristic sculptures featuring oversized human faces and bodies, their proportions elongated using 3D modelling.—[O]