Sunday 22 September 2013

The Plaza, 116-122 Oxford Street W1

This vital, swirling image on an Oxford Street palace of commerce was inspired by the prima ballerina Darcy Bussell. Dancer with Ribbon was made in 1997 by the sculptor Michael Rizzello.
Rizzello nearly became a professional singer before deciding for sculpture, and sang at work to the end of his life (though never in the presence of a sitter). He was a regular attender at the Royal Opera House and Glyndbourne.
Movement is a frequent element in Rizzello's work, a difficult trick to pull off in bronze. His statue of Lloyd George in Cardiff, for example, shows the Welsh Wizard punching the air in a podium gesture he was noted for.
The building itself was originally Bourne and Hollingworth, the department store, erected in 1925 to the designs of Slater and Moberly. The interior has been totally rebuilt twice, most recently in 1996 when Dancer with Ribbon was commissioned.


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Anonymous said...

In an age where "sculpture" too often means some pieces of scrap metal welded together or a lump of rock with a few bits knocked off, it's a pleasure to come across a contemporary piece that is both representational and beautifully achieved.

It is a pity the artist is no longer with us but that's all the more reason to celebrate what he has left us.