Gallery commissions Richard Deacon sculpture for Milton Keynes

Richard Deacon_roundabout research visit_Nov2015_#2_crop_rotated

The dust (or rain) has barely settled on MK’s latest public artworks, including David Batchelor’s beautiful colour clock Chromocochere near the gallery on Midsummer Boulevard, but we’re already preparing our next offsite art commission – a new sculpture from the celebrated UK artist Richard Deacon.

Richard is researching the possibility of making a piece for one of MK’s roundabouts. The idea stems from an unrealised MK Development Corporation proposal in the 1970s to install a sculpture on every roundabout in Milton Keynes, providing landmarks across the city.

As we’re only at early project development stages we can’t confirm when the Deacon commission will be ready, but one possibility is early 2017 to coincide with the launch of MK:50 (the city’s 50th anniversary year celebrations). Richard was in MK recently researching possible roundabouts with us; you can just see him at the edge of this picture we took was we measured and documented one possible location.

Richard Deacon (b.1949) is a former Turner Prize winner (1987) with a career spanning more than forty years. Tate Britain presented a solo survey show of his work in 2014. A sculptor who describes himself as a fabricator, Richard teaches, and writing also forms a part of his practice.  Richard is known for his innovative use of a broad range of materials, from contorted steel and sinuous bent wood to polycarbonates, leather, cloth and highly glazed ceramics. Working on both domestic and large scales, Richard combines organic forms with elements of engineering, and has vast experience of large-scale public projects, including permanent commissions in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Europe and the USA. Let’s not be stupid (below) was Richard’s first commission for a large-scale, outdoor, permanent work in the UK. It can be seen on Warwick University campus.

Naturally we’re thrilled to be working with Richard, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress of this exciting public art commission for Milton Keynes.

Richard Deacon_installationView_WarwickUniversity

Richard Deacon, Let’s Not be Stupid (1991).  Photo: © Copyright Robin Stott.

Talk Invitation: David Batchelor, Sam Jacob and Will Nash in Conversation with Rebecca Heald on 4 November

David Batchelor: Chromocochere (artist visualisation)

David Batchelor: Chromocochere (artist visualisation)

We continue our artistic and event programming during our main building closure period, most obviously at present via our Flashback archival project exploring our rich 16-year exhibition history.

But we’ve also been working with Milton Keynes Council recently to deliver an offsite commission by artist David Batchleor. Installation of Chromocochere, his striking sculptural intervention above a Porte Cochere beside the gallery on Midsummer Boulevard, began today (see pictures below), despite the rain!

Batchelor is one of four distinguished artists who were commissioned by MK Council and MK Gallery with funding from Arts Council England to make public art in response to the iconic Porte Cocheres and covered walkways in Central Milton Keynes. Read about all four artist’s works HERE.

We are delighted that three of the four commissioned artists, David Batchelor, Sam Jacob and Will Nash, are free to join us at 7pm next Wednesday 4 November for a talk timed to coincide with the installation of their new works in the city centre. Rebecca Heald, a curator and Royal College of Art lecturer, will facilitate the In Conversation event, which should provide a unique insight into their respective practices, and the ideas that lie behind their latest, sculptural installations.

MK Gallery’s Director Anthony Spira said today:

Prominently sited at this end of Midsummer Boulevard David Batchelor’s ‘Chromocochere’ is a work that will be enjoyed by thousands of Theatre and Gallery visitors, motorists and pedestrians for years to come. We are delighted to have worked with MK Council to deliver this offsite commission from David, and to have lent support and advice in the delivery of the other commissioned artworks. One of our main aims as an organisation is to connect artists with audiences, so we are delighted to offer this opportunity for people to meet and hear David, Sam and Will talk about their work in response to Milton Keynes’ unique public realm.”

You are warmly invited to join us for this free event which is open to everyone. Pre-booking is required; you can reserve your ticket now, HERE.

Installation of David Batchelor's Chromocochere starting in Midsummer Boulevard today

Installation of David Batchelor’s Chromocochere starting in Midsummer Boulevard today

Chromocochere by David Batchelor during installation today, 28 October 2015