Untitled (playground) by Picasso, Chicago, 1967

The untitled Picasso sculpture on Richard Daley plaza in Chicago,above, is one of the examples of public sculpture  I’ll be using at my talk at Site Gallery in Sheffield, 5:30 pm on the 16th.  Chicago’s official response to its appropriation as a playground has moved from forbiddance to annoyance to tolerance to acceptance to finally reflectance of the public’s chosen use with the installation of playful letters forming the word ‘Picasso’ that invite interaction.

“Play Sculpture from the Pre-Playground to the Post-Playground Era”
As long as there has been public art, children have tried to play on it.  At various times their play has been forbidden, tolerated, accommodated, and honored.  In the mid-twentieth century, it was actively promoted by the creation of new sculpted forms purpose-designed for play.  As we enter a post-playground era, the resurgence of interest in play sculpture provides unique opportunities for artists, urbanists and child advocates to envision new ways of integrating play and art within the public realm.  A visual survey of sculpture as both unintentional and intentional playground over time–focused on the mid-twentieth century–will provide inspiration and historical context for a talk that will end with today’s digital landscapes.

Hope to see you there!

**Please note that I doubled-booked myself on September 20th; rather than being in Sheffield again I’ll be at Glamis Adventure Playground in London as part of London Open House.  I’d love to see my readers at either event.

Leave a Reply