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Hayward Gallery unveils glistening waterfall and sculptures

18 September 2021 to 9 September 2022 London

A glistening waterfall and sculpture installation from German contemporary artist Klaus Weber has been unveiled outside the landmark Hayward Gallery. The commission, titled Thinking Fountains (2021), continues the Southbank Centre’s growing programme of free outdoor installations offering visitors and passersby an unexpected opportunity to engage with art.

Animating the Brutalist architecture of the Hayward Gallery, Thinking Fountains features two larger-than-life bronze figures spouting water and a waterfall that cascades down from an elevated walkway. With forms derived from contemporary mannequins, both sculptures are also inspired by historical traditions of portal sculptures that adorned the facades of Gothic cathedrals.

Klaus Weber says of Thinking Fountains"The entrance of the Hayward Gallery is rather hidden. As an admirer of this brutalist building, I wanted to install a new artistic element to be seen from further away. One of the great features of Gothic architecture (surely the ancestor of modern Brutalism) are its portal sculptures which frame the giant entrances of abbeys and cathedrals. Likewise, Thinking Fountains forms a welcoming portal, inviting the Hayward Gallery’s visitors to enter and join the journey.”

Ralph Rugoff, Director at the Hayward Gallery, says: “Klaus Weber’s imaginative commission responds to the unique architecture of the Hayward Gallery, transforming our entrance into a welcoming and playful portal for visitors. Designed to evoke inspired and activated streams of thought and to associate them with our experience of visiting galleries, Weber’s Thinking Fountains installation ingeniously updates the model of traditional public sculpture in ways that will delight and surprise both Hayward audiences and passers-by alike.

Thinking Fountains, the latest commissioned art installation outside the Hayward Gallery, is on display from September 2021.