New Landmark Glows above Lyric Square

Eight metre high sign created as part of Lyric Hammersmith's redevelopment

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The redevelopment of the Lyric Theatre has produced a new landmark for Hammersmith in the shape of a glowing eight metre high neon sign overlooking Lyric Square.

As part of the theatre's major development project, the Lyric commissioned new work from contemporary artists David Batchelor and Richard Wentworth.

They are two of the most eminent artists working in the UK today. Mr Wentworth has been a leader in the New British Sculpture movement since the 1970s and Mr Batchelor is internationally renowned for his focus on colour through sculpture, painting, photography and writing.

Most notable of these is the gleaming neon sign on the east side of the building’s exterior created by Mr Batchelor. Called 19-20-21, The colourful work is a play on the forms of the theatre’s motif.

" I have always been fascinated by the unique architectural form of the Lyric Theatre in which a largely functional 20th century shell contains a sumptuously ornate 19th century interior," he says.

“I was delighted to be asked to make a work that responds to this relationship by taking and adapting an element from the interior and locating it on the refurbished exterior of the theatre."

Mr Wentworth, who is a leader in the British sculpture movement since the 1970s has produced a series of signs that will be placed in specific locations that might otherwise go unnoticed and reflect the building’s relationship with the busy town centre.

He says: " Twenty Two Small Signs for the Lyric suggests something very much bigger than their own modest material presence. What they come to mean is in the hands of the Lyric’s public, a genuine folkloric space."

Both commissions have been managed and curated by the Contemporary Art Society on behalf of the Lyric.

Helen Nisbet, Art Consultant at the Contemporary Art Society says: " The Lyric’s energy, ambition and openness provided the perfect environment for these major new commissions. The result is two works born absolutely out of the place, its history and unique culture, by two titans of the British contemporary art world."

Jessica Hepburn, Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith, said: " I’m really excited about the artwork and I am confident it will delight and entertain our audiences and local residents.

" Maybe they will also generate a bit of heated discussion which is, after all, what great art should do!"


May 29, 2015