Frieze Sculpture Park
With branded BMWs carting moneyed visitors from Frieze all over London last week and entry costs to the fairs easily surpassing the fifty pound mark, it’s good to be able to wander around the works in the English Gardens of Regents Park for free. Access to the works in many cases remains available into mid-january and it makes for a lovely detour when walking between NW3 et al and hubbub of Oxford Street.
With the pieces sitting for a while there is a greater opportunity for them to relax into their setting and as a viewer to be able to take a more leisurely appreciation of their forms and structures. The English weather also frames the sculptures; Richard Serra’s Lock with it’s rusted autumned hues sits perfectly amongst stray leaves and a backdrop of golden yellows and turning greens. In gallery contexts much of his work is gigantic and architecturally challenging, here this piece is a more modest horizontal work and something you are able to walk around unencumbered by any ceiling but the sky.
Conrad Shawcross is displaying The Dappled Light of the Sun IV which many will find familiar from the Summer Exhibition Courtyard installation at the Royal Academy earlier in the year. Set among trees fall taller and agile it brings a heavier stance to its temporary home in the park, even though it is a far smaller realisation than what was shown in Piccadilly.
Contradiction by Tony Cragg appears to be the most popular of the exhibition. It was closest to the entrance of the art fair fathering this collection and so was bound to receive the greatest foot fall but even on a dreary day following, the marbled curves and contours liquify and encourage selfies and smiling poses.
A quiet and beautifully balanced piece by Dominique Stroobant from 2007 gives off the impression of utmost tranquility. Its simplicity belies further expert marble carving and comprises of four spherical entities each one more flattened and squashed than the next. All appear to have the same volume but are placed in such a way as to think of inflatable stepping stones, each more compressed than the last.
The Art Fund has this year created an app to further enjoy the sculptures and learn about the artists and their aims — like the work itself, it is available for free from iTunes and Google Play.
http://friezelondon.com/sculpture-park/ until January 17th