All the places featured in this Stalk are now mapped on Platial.
Eduardo Paolozzi… Enzo Plazzotta. You could be forgiven for confusing the two, particularly given that they were both British artists of Italian origin. Their works are very different, however. Whereas Paolozzi meshed and mashed man with mechanics to form cubic or surrealist representations, Plazzotta specialised in more delicate bronze works that often capture the movement of his subjects.
Here’s where you can see his work around London.
Crucifixion, College Gardens, Westminster Abbey (1974)
This, the earliest Plazzotta work in London, earns us a few bonus stalking points. The College Garden is only open during office hours Tue-Thur. And, once you’re inside, this life-size bronze is hidden away at the arse-end of the garden, behind a shrubbery. Almost as if they’re embarrassed by the sculpture. No wonder. There’s something of the pagan about it – notice the five-pointed star described by Christ’s limbs and ‘cross’? We pity the poor guy on the right whose face is eternally nestled against the august armpit of our suffering Lord.
Jeté, Millbank, South of Tate Britain (1975)
A ballerina foolishly leaps from his stuccoed pedestal into the busy Millbank traffic. Of Plazzotta’s publicly displayed London work, this example best represents his fascination with motion. The dancer is performing the jeté movement, a common leap in ballet. Nearby sits Henry Moore’s Locking Piece, but that’s a stalk for another day…
Homage to Leonardo, Belgrave Square (1982)
Just to confuse matters, works exist of this name by both Paolozzi and Plazzotta. While Paolozzi offers an abstract silk screen, Plazzotta’s work shows a bronze recreation of Leonardo’s famous Vitruvian Man. To get close and personal to this one, you have to know someone who attends ambassadors’ receptions. Belgrave Square is insufferably posh, and its majestic gardens are only open to keyholders. However, the work is close enough to the perimeter fence for the general public to enjoy. It also has the distinction of being the only London sculpture by Plazzotta to be visible on Google Earth, if you can’t be arsed to leave the house.
Young Dancer, Broad Street, Covent Garden (unveiled 1988)
Because of its location, close to the heart of tourist London, this is perhaps the most famous of all Plazzotta’s works. Ballet was one of the artist’s favoured subjects, and this bronze sculpture is well placed, close to the opera house. The model is either lacing up her ballet shoes or carefully squeezing a spot. We suspect the former. Note in the background a fine row of old K-2 phone boxes, left there for the tourists.
Camargue Horses, Waterfront Terrace, Barbican
HAVE YOU SEEN THESE HORSES? One of our sculptures is missing! Despite over an hour of searching the labyrinthine passages of the Barbican, we simply could not track down this sculpture. Various websites suggest it is located on the waterside terrace outside the arts centre, but we’re damned if we could find it. Anyone got any clues?
How’s our stalking? And Who should we stalk next? Let us know in the comments box.