Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Alban Gate,125 London Wall EC2

Tucked away in an upper walkway through the Terry Farrell-designed building that straddles London Wall is this whirling pair of dancers, though what the dance may be defies deduction. Perhaps you have to be listening to the music.
The 1992 work, Unity, was commissioned by developers MEPC from the Croatian sculptor Ivan Klapez.
It is a most awkwardly positioned artwork, in a low atrium with industrial ceilings. It is circled by a huge window which bathes it in light but makes it very difficult to photograph - either it is against the light or the background is filled with fussy office detail.
The original idea was to use a figure by Klapez called Liberty, a very tall male nude, but the artist felt the ceiling was too low to give it room to breath and suggested this dynamic X-shaped composition instead.
Klapez came to London in 1987 as the former Yugoslavia began to fall apart. He lived and worked for a while in the crypt of St George Bloomsbury, and this commission was a turning point in his career in two ways, being a prominent commission but also MEPC was sufficiently impressed to give him a five year lease on a derelict office block off Kingsway that was awaiting redevelopment .

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