Encounter Contemporary

David Annesley



From 23 September 2019, Smithson Plaza in St James’s, London, will see the installation of three public sculptures, dated from the 1960s, by octogenarian British artist David Annesley. As custodians of Smithson Plaza – which launched in 2018 following the restoration of the iconic brutalist Economist Plaza built in the 1960s – Tishman Speyer is announcing further initiatives to celebrate the sixties roots of the destination.

Annesley’s three works selected for display - Godroon, 1966; Untitled, 1969 and Untitled, 1969 - capture a revolutionary approach to sculpture-making in the 1960’s and date from a similar period to Alison and Peter Smithson’s plaza, originally completed in 1964. Casts of two of the three sculptures to be on display in Smithson Plaza are a part of the Tate Collection, including an edition of Godroon currently on display at the newly reopened Tate St Ives in Cornwall. Created in wafer-thin painted aluminium and painted steel, the works combine symmetrical elements with a sensitively balanced colour palette. They convey a sense of weightlessness enveloping the surrounding space outlined by their linear forms. With these open-form metal sculptures, Annesley draws upon his experience flying as an RAF pilot.

The introduction of the sculptures by Annesley will make him the fourth artist to showcase their work since the launch of Smithson Plaza as part of a dynamic public arts programme curated by Encounter Contemporary.This is also Waddington Custot’s second collaboration with the programme following the presentation of three works by American sculptor Jedd Novatt currently at the plaza (on display until September 2019).

Dan Nicholson, Managing Director for Tishman Speyer, commenting on the Autumn programme said: “This venture speaks volumes about the rejuvenation of Smithson Plaza and its emergence as a premier destination for the St James’s community. We are so proud to be able to celebrate the roots of this iconic location and the introduction of David Annesley’s work perfectly captures this.’’

Jacob Twyford, Director of Waddington Custot, commenting on David Annesley’s work in Smithson Plaza said: “David Annesley is an artist with whom Waddington Custot has enjoyed a long relationship, dating back to 1966 when we worked together on his first solo exhibition. More than fifty years later, we are pleased to have the opportunity to bring his fantastic sculptures to a broader audience as they are installed in this iconic location.”