Yayoi KusamaFlowers That Bloom Tomorrow
Victoria Miro view details
Octogenarian Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, the subject of a major retrospective at Tate Modern earlier this year, is well-known for works comprised of repeating patterns of colorful dots. Across a diverse range of media, including paintings, sculptures and immersive installations that envelop the viewer, these seemingly endless arrays of kaleidoscopic circles express, in Kusama's words, a 'desire to predict and measure the infinity of the unbounded universe'. Her exuberant sculpture of a flower installed in Regent's Park, just a stone's throw from the flora of Avenue Gardens, is characteristic of an artist whose works' unlimited energy echoes that of the natural world.
One of Britain's preeminent sculptors, William Turnbull came to prominence in the 1950s with semi-figurative stone and bronze figures and heads that, in their highly distorted shapes, seemed to express the country's pervasive post-war anxiety. After a period in the 1960s where he produced abstract geometric sculptures in brightly colored paint, the Dundee-born artist returned to more recognizable motifs in the form of arrowheads, crosses and animal and human bodies. This beautifully finished bronze suggests a horse's head with remarkable economy, reminding the viewer of the non-Western art that has been an abiding influence on Turnbull's work.
Greek artist Andreas Lolis' work for the Frieze Sculpture Park brings together his country's ancient past and its contemporary economic crisis: marble, the stone closely associated with the masterpieces of Greco-Roman sculpture, is the material by which he represents the cardboard boxes and polystyrene used as shelter in Greek cities by the increasing number of homeless people. The trompe-l'oeil work is feat of technical skill from an artist classically trained in working marble, and it partly explores the burden of classical heritage – despite appearances, the antique world constructs the country's present.
The sculptures and installations of the celebrated Mexican artist Damián Ortega rework everyday objects and materials in surprising and sometimes spectacular ways. For one of his most famous works, for example, he deconstructed a Volkswagen Beetle car into its constituent parts and suspended them from the gallery ceiling. His new work for the Frieze Sculpture Park is ostensibly a non-descript group of large rocks, until one spots that perfectly cylindrical voids have been cut in their surface, through which one can see into the stone. What seems 'solid as a rock' becomes fragile and a commonplace sight becomes curious.
Copenhagen-born, London-based artist Maria Zahle creates colorful, abstract works in two and three dimensions, from wall paintings of repeated geometric shapes to lo-fi sculptures comprised of standing struts of plastic, wood and metal. Zahle's work often incorporates fabric in unconventional ways and her piece for the Sculpture Park, her first outdoor sculpture, is a thin strip of nylon that runs between a tree branch and the ground. The work has been conceived specially for Regent's Park and the artist envisaged 'having the piece surrounded by natural life, grass, trees, bugs… I see the piece as a bridge or visual ladder, leading your eye, and your mind, up into the crown of a tree.'
The late Zurich-based artist Hans Josephsohn spent seven decades devoted to representing the human form. His figures and reliefs, formed out of plaster and then cast in brass, were influenced by ancient Egyptian and Assyrian art, as well as antique Greek and Roman forms: the reclining nude displayed in the Sculpture Park is a motif examined by artists across the ages and, like the British sculptor Henry Moore, Josephsohn equated this form with landscape. From the 1980s he started to produce abstracted half-figures and torsos that were notable for their rough texture and lack of physiological detail, appearing like boulders.
Even when working in the medium of sculpture, American artist Sam Falls maintains an abiding interest in photography – and specifically how, in that medium, light combines with chemicals over a period of time. His colored aluminum sculptures look solid and architectural in form, but, like photographic film, they actually change in appearance as they react to sunlight. Unlike their exterior sides, the interior sides of these works are not covered by UV protective paint. As the artist explains, 'the sections receiving more light will fade quicker than the sides shaded by the angled aluminum, thus illustrating the shape of the sculpture.'
The historic culture and natural environment of Southern England are the inspiration for a subtle site-specific installation at the Sculpture Park by emerging Indian artist Hemali Bhuta. Her work comprises 11 bronze casts of native Beech tree roots. The Beech tree’s bark was traditionally believed to ward off snakes and the casts are installed on the ground of Regent’s Park to resemble sinuous creatures, or perhaps the Bronze Age tools found in excavations of burial grounds. In the artist’s words, it appears as if ‘they are being swallowed back into the land’.
Berlin-based, Albanian-born artist Anri Sala has risen to prominence over the last decade for his conceptually minded film, video and performance works that examine subjects as diverse as politics, architecture and music, but often with a common concern for the passage of time. Following its presentation as part of the prestigious Documenta art exhibition in Kassel, Germany, his piece at the Frieze Sculpture Park disorientates our perception of the way time passes on a clock. The face of Sala's clock is presented from a sideways perspective, with uneven gaps between the hours; the clock mechanism, however, changes speed to keep in time.
Kolkata-born Adip Dutta represents objects in unlikely materials and unexpected forms; books are constructed out of steel wool, a skeleton of a ribcage transpires to be a hair clip. His project for the Frieze Sculpture Park is a set of stainless-steel meshes that, hung in a tree in Regent's Park, resemble birds' nests. Dutta explains why he was drawn to the form: 'A bird's nest is at once an immaculate symbol of great aesthetic sensibilities, delicate craftsmanship, never-ending toil and tremendous perseverance. It is also a great example of the "nesting instinct" in humans and other mammals to provide a sense of protection and care.'
British artists and long-time collaborators Alan Kane and Simon Periton present eight sculptures in Regent's Park inspired by account of works once on view in the 17th-century gardens of London's Ham House, where the pieces were sited earlier this year. The sculptures jumble up a wide range of sources and materials, from the classical-style figures one sees in garden centers to iron struts one finds in scrapyards; one work includes the image of the 1970s icon Jordon, who used to work in Vivienne Westwood's shop 'Sex' on the King's Road. Their humorous sensibility is heightened by the jauntily colored wooded plinths on which they are mounted
Renowned French artist Jean-Luc Moulène became known in the 1980s for his large-format photographic images, but his practice has since moved into three dimensions, including the production of objects as diverse as blown glass knots and, on view in Regent's Park, an interpretation of Renault's Twizy electric car. Moulène played with computer modeling software, in his words 'cutting up the car to see what the resulting shapes would be' and then 'stretching the surfaces'; the artist's reconstituted automobile, all curves and high polish, is a cross between an abstract sculpture and a vehicle from a science fiction film.
Currently the subject of a major survey show at London's Kew Gardens, British sculptor David Nash has for forty years focused on one material in his work: wood. Whether shaping living forest or carving dead trees with an axe or chainsaw, the Wales-based artist continues to create monuments both to and out of the natural world – his work is testimony to his profound understanding of trees and the conditions that shape them. His towering sculpture in Regent's Park is made from a single large oak trunk, its velvety, even, black surface the result of charring by a bonfire and then a butane gas torch.
American artist Sean Landers has made his reputation as an artist by using his personal experience as subject matter, particularly his creative and existential struggles as an artist. His early work was highly confessional text pieces in ink and paint; more recently he has produced representations of himself in guises as various as a robot, a clown, a deer, a frog and – in the bronze on view at the Sculpture Park – the fawn Pan, the half-goat half-human god of the wild. In a contemporaneous work on linen, Landers' Pan looked panicked, but here he looks defiant, in his element in the bucolic environment.
British conceptualist Peter Liversidge has a set scheme for generating his art projects: he comes up with ideas in the form of 'proposals', type written on an old typewriter. These have ranged from the environmentally conscious ('I propose to install owl boxes all around Barcelona, encouraging owls to move into the city' in 2008) to the absurd or impossible ('I propose to vanish into thin air' in 2009). His proposal for the Frieze Sculpture Park was eminently achievable, an arrangement of light boxes that reads 'Everything is Connected' – a slogan that, as well as any, sums up the philosophy of contemporary art.
The idea that Michael Landy's replica of a rubbish bin is a self-portrait – as its title suggests – is not so absurd when one considers the British artist's career. Landy's most famous work, Break Down (2001), saw him publicly destroy all his possessions in a disused clothes store in London's Oxford Street. His 2010 'Art Bin' at South London Gallery was a huge container into which he urged artists to throw away their bad art. At last year's Frieze he displayed an eccentric machine with which visitors could destroy their credit cards. Landy's work makes us rethink the value of our possessions, whether art objects or everyday consumer goods.
Acclaimed German artist Thomas Scheibitz produces colorful paintings, drawings and sculptures that draw together geometric abstract shapes, normally echoing architectural forms, with commonplace signs, symbols and motifs, from letters and numbers to arrows and teardrops. The pictorial language that results is a melting pot of often contradictory visual data. His sculpture entitled Smiley in Regent's Park has the flat circular form of a smiley face, but its interior features a rectangular window. The red cross that covers the work complicates things further, if the viewer interprets it as a sign that the artist is 'crossing out' a piece he is presenting to the public