Arena at Art House Foundation 2016
Arena at Art House Foundation 2016
Arena at Art House Foundation 2016

10th June – 9th July 2016

Arena (2000) was commissioned by the city law firm, Simmons and Simmons for the entrance lobby of their new City Point Headquarters: You would enter the building via the lobby – containing nothing but Wilding’s sculpture – and proceed to a first floor reception. It did not work: half way through construction the architect, Santiago Calatrava was sacked from the job, and the building was finished in truncated form, visitors got confused, and within weeks it was decided to take the sculpture down and refigure the reception area.

This summer the sculpture has been reinstalled in a space that was Alison Wilding’s former studio (from 2005-12) and is now the new exhibition Space for Art House Foundation. Though not conceived for the particular space, Arena nevertheless looks its shimmering best, setting off a reflection on the particular nature of commissioned work, and the increasingly difficult position of artists in today’s London.

Arena is joined by Baby Shimmy:(2014), a maquette for Wilding’s commission Shimmy at 10 New Burlington Street, London. Wilding’s most successful public commission to date, curated by Modus Operandi and commissioned by The Crown Estate, development partner Exemplar in close dialogue with architects AHMM, Shimmy creates an environment in which sculpture and interior work in perfect tandem.

Outside Art House Foundation another commissioned work by Wilding, Untitled (Ilex Hedge):(2012/13) looms on a flat roof overlooking the canal.

Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation
Supported by the Elephant Trust
With thanks to Karsten Schubert Gallery

Arena shown courtesy of Simmons and Simmons