Richard Wilson — New Commission for London Announced

15 June 2009 By
Square The Block
Square The Block, LSE New Academic Building Commission Proposal, 2009, © the artist

Richard Wilson’s ability to produce innovative and engaging artworks in response to architecture and public spaces has been demonstrated in many different contexts and situations over the last twenty years or more. What distinguishes his work is his ability to both disrupt and challenge our preconceptions and create elegant interventions and illusions that play with our expectations.

Sited on the exterior of the LSE’s New Academic Building on Kingsway, Square the Block will be a significant and surprising architectural intervention – using the existing architectural detailing of the building to create a corner that was never there. The two edges of the sculpture will be copied from two vertical areas on the existing building, but when placed together make no architectural and functional sense other than completing the corner. In a witty solution to freeing up the pavement, the sculpture will appear to have been twisted and compressed at its base, as if by a giant hand or greater tectonic forces.

The London School of Economics have invested over half a million pounds into contemporary art for the new building, the first installation by Joy Gerrard for the Grimshaw Architects designed atrium was opened officially by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in November 2008. Contemporary Art Society have been working for over two years as advisors to the project, ensuring that the artworks represent significant contemporary works and marking out the presence and contribution that LSE delivers to the area as an internationally recognized progressive seat of learning.

Julian Robinson, Director of Planning & Development at LSE described the importance of the work: “Although we specialise in the social sciences, the LSE is also serious about art and architecture. This sculpture will be an important contribution to the public art of the capital and will no doubt become part of the London scene and a site seeing must.”

Head of Consultancy for the Contemporary Art Society, Fabienne Nicholas commented: “The Contemporary Art Society’s mission is to ensure that audiences can experience thought-provoking contemporary art in a wide range of contexts. Surrounded by the grandeur of London’s old architecture, Richard’s piece will provide a moment of pause and enquiry – quietly subverting our sense of what is real and solid in the world.”

For further information, interviews & images please contact Fabienne Nicholas, Head of Art Consultancy.

For LSE comments please contact Julian S Robinson, Director Planning & Development, Estates Division LSE