The Tower of London Poppies really captured the public’s imagination. It’s hard to think of a previous public art installation that created so much excitement and mass interest. Perhaps the sentiment behind the artwork had a lot to do with this, but for certain the scale, location and resulting visual impact were major factors too. In the aftermath of their glory, we thought we’d take a look at other plant sculptures that have been installed in public places, and the artist’s that have created them.
Art Review this year ranks German artist Isa Genzken (b. 1948) as 31st in their list of the contemporary artworld’s most powerful figures. Not sure exactly what that means, except to say she is an artist who in her 40 year career has connected with a great number of people. Two of her well-known large-scale site-specific installations are of a floral nature: Rose (1993) is a single long-stemmed 8m tall rose made from stainless steel, aluminium and lacquer installed in Leipzig’s museum district. And, Rose II, a replica of her first sculpture, the artist’s first public artwork in the United States was installed outside the The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York in November 2010. It later went elsewhere, last seen outside the soon to be removed Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas. It is said to explore how we perceive objects, scale and the relationship between nature, environment and mass culture. Yet simply, it feels like a love offering, giving beauty to the place it adorns.