September 22 2020

Monumental work by Jean Dubuffet installed at Smithson Plaza

From 23 September 2020

This September, Tishman Speyer continues to bring significant works of modern and contemporary art into the public realm, presenting Jean Dubuffet’s iconic 13ft sculpture Tour aux récits at Smithson Plaza. The ongoing arts programme builds on the cultural heritage of Smithson Plaza, which was originally commissioned as the headquarters for The Economist and stands today as an iconic example of 1960s modernist architecture. 


The installation, produced in collaboration with Pace and Encounter Contemporary together with Waddington Custot, comes at a time of renewed focus on the radical French artist, who is often cited as one of the most powerful and provocative voices in the post-war avant-garde.


Dubuffet’s monumental artwork finds a fitting home in Alison and Peter Smithson’s sixties complex as the sculpture was initially designed for the forecourt of the Banque Lambert in Brussels, which was completed in 1960, the same decade as Smithson Plaza. The architecture of both locations has a distinctly stripped-down modernist approach, and the placement of Tour aux récits in this new location achieves Dubuffet’s desire for the work to be realised in a cityscape. A series of photo montages by the artist reveals that he imagined the work to be ideally situated between two blocks of flats, a location comparable to Smithson Plaza.


Roxana Afshar, Director of Waddington Custot, commented: “We are delighted to help realise the installation of Dubuffet’s Tour aux récits at Smithson Plaza. Placement of the monumental sculpture in this iconic public location not only allows the work to be viewed by a broader audience, but also connects to the artist’s fascination with life in the metropolis.”