Amaz­ing art needn’t be con­fined to tra­di­tional gal­leries and mu­se­ums. For a breath of fresh air, leave those four walls be­hind and see won­der­ful de­signs, from sculp­ture to ar­chi­tec­ture, in a dif­fer­ent way, says Sam Rogg

Where London - - Contents -

You don’t have to visit a gallery to en­joy art – as the Ser­pen­tine Pavil­ion in Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens opens, we round up the best out­door art.

The days are hot; the nights are warm, so it’s time to make the most of Lon­don’s out­door art.

The Sum­mer Pavil­ion at the Ser­pen­tine Gallery (to 9 Oct; p. 46; above) is a must-see tem­po­rary struc­ture in Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens that’s free to ex­plore. Each year, a dif­fer­ent artist or ar­chi­tect is cho­sen to de­sign the Pavil­ion, with past cre­ations by the likes of Ai Wei­wei and Iraqi-born artist Zaha Ha­did. Now in its 16th year, the Pavil­ion is as sur­pris­ing as ever: ex­pect a huge un­zipped wall of in­ter­lock­ing fi­bre­glass bricks that ap­pears both straight and hol­low.

‘ We have at­tempted to de­sign a struc­ture that em­bod­ies mul­ti­ple as­pects that are of­ten per­ceived as op­po­sites,’ says this year’s de­signer Bjarke In­gels Group (BIG). ‘A struc­ture that is free-form yet rig­or­ous, mod­u­lar yet sculp­tural, both trans­par­ent and opaque, both solid box and blob’.

By day, this solid blob is home to a fantastic café and fam­ily-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties. By night, the Ser­pen­tine’s Park Nights pro­gramme takes over with an en­ter­tain­ing line-up of per­for­mances by artists, writ­ers and mu­si­cians. And, for the first time, there will be four other tem­po­rary struc­tures on-site called Sum­mer Houses, each one in­spired by the nearby Queen Caro­line’s Tem­ple in Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens.

Out­side the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum (p. 44), you can see a pavil­ion of a dif­fer­ent kind. De­signed by Stuttgart ar­chi­tect Achim Menges, but cre­ated by a ro­bot, the pavil­ion is in­spired by the wings of fly­ing bee­tles and forms part of the V&A’s En­gi­neer­ing Sea­son.

Si­t­u­ated in east Lon­don, The Line is the city’s first ded­i­cated mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary art walk ( Running from the Olympic Park to The O2 and the re­gen­er­ated Green­wich Penin­sula, the walk is punc­tu­ated by works from Alex Chin­neck, Gary Hume and Antony Gorm­ley (fa­mous for his An­gel of the North sculp­ture). See a sliced ver­ti­cal sec­tion of a sand dredger by Richard Wil­son; Thomas J Price’s statue of a man tex­ting (left); and a bronze model of hu­man skin by Damien Hirst.

Over in the cap­i­tal’s fi­nan­cial district – known as the Square Mile – you’ll find the sixth edi­tion of Sculp­ture in the City (­oflon­, where 15 con­tem­po­rary art­works are lo­cated in and around ma­jor land­marks such as the ‘Cheeseg­rater’ sky­scraper. See a huge cast-iron head by Cata­lan sculp­tor Jaume Plensa peer­ing over visi­tors to the ‘Gherkin’, then head over to Bish­ops­gate where a sculp­ture of a Jo­han­nes­burg street seller awaits. Other artists in­clude Young Bri­tish Artist Gavin Turk, and Sir An­thony Caro, one of Bri­tain’s finest sculp­tors.

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