27 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – London-based contemporary artist Alex Hartley has won the Linklaters Commission to create a new public work of art as a focal point of the Barbican’s £12.25m foyer transformation.
The new light-wall installation has been commissioned by the Barbican, in partnership with global law firm Linklaters and in consultation with Modus Operandi art consultants. A shortlist of five artists presented to a selection panel earlier in the year to be considered for the commission. Hartley was chosen for the originality of his proposal, which features moving images set into a dramatic 22m light-wall structure.
Hartley is well known for his photography and light sculptures which focus on architecture. His work was included in the Royal Academy show, Sensation, and in 1999 he was short-listed for the Citibank Photography Prize. He is a winner of the prestigious Goodwood ART2000 Commission at the Goodwood sculpture park in the UK and was most recently exhibited at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He has work in many private collections, including DG Bank Frankfurt, the Ringier Collection in Zurich, the Saatchi Collection and the De Beers Collection.
Hartley lives and works in Shoreditch, a mile from the Barbican arts complex: “I love the architecture of the place – the materials and textures of the building combined with the complex layering of walkways and raised viewpoints make the internal spaces really dramatic,” he says.
The new work will be installed at the Silk Street entrance in the spring of 2006, as part of the ongoing transformation of the Barbican entrances and public spaces.
Anthony Cann, Linklaters Senior Partner, says: “This new artwork will give a new dimension to Linklaters’ programme of support for the arts, as well as literally lighting up the Barbican entrance and enhancing the area opposite One Silk Street. Supporting a commission is new for us, and I anticipate a great deal of interest from our London staff and clients, as we will be able to enjoy the artwork from our London office.”
Graham Sheffield, Artistic Director of the Barbican, says: “This project reinforces our relationship in a very tangible way. It provides a significant new artwork for the City. It will also provide a massive improvement in the experience of all our visitors as they enter the Barbican from Silk Street. I hope Linklaters will enjoy the smiles on our audiences’ faces as they enter and leave.”
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Notes to editors:
Alex Hartley combines his twin passions for architecture and climbing. He is the author of LA Climbs: Alternative Uses for Architecture (published in 2004), which describes his experience of climbing LA’s rich array of modernist and postmodernist architecture, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollywood Bowl, Pierre Koenig’s Stahl House, and the Hollywood sign.
Hartley’s work combines the use of photography with sculptural elements. His box-like structures and enormous slide viewers contain photographs of buildings or pristine, white interiors. In each work, the relationship between the frame and what is inside is disrupted so that the viewer cannot be sure what is real and what is an illusion of space.
Alex Hartley was born in Surrey in 1963 and studied at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts (1983-88) in London, and at the Royal College of Art (1988-90). His first solo exhibition was with the Anderson O’Day Gallery in London, in 1992. Since then, he has had solo exhibitions in Antwerp, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne and several shows with the Victoria Miro Gallery in London. From 1990, his work has been included in a number of group exhibitions including Sensation at the Royal Academy, plus shows in America and Australia, and many of the major European centres for contemporary art. Hartley’s work has been acquired for public and corporate collections in London, Caen, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Zurich and Vienna, as well as many private collections. In 1999, he was shortlisted for the Citibank Photography Prize. In January 2000 his first outdoor sculpture, Pavilion 2000, which was made as a result of the ART2000/Sculpture at Goodwood Prize, was shown at the Business Design Centre, Islington.
Linklaters is a law firm which specialises in advising the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and governments on their most challenging transactions and assignments. With offices in major business and financial centres, it delivers an outstanding service to its clients anywhere in the world. The firm has a strong tradition of support for the arts and for the local communities in which it operates.
Modus Operandi Art Consultants
Modus Operandi Art Consultants is an independent art consultancy which provides artistic direction and a commissioning service to a range of clients. It offers a lateral and creative approach to working and collaborating with artists, advocating the role they can play in the design of the built environment. The range of work commissioned includes permanent and temporary artworks, interdisciplinary collaborative schemes and artists’ placements.