six outdoor sculptures

  • This online presentation offers numerous photographs, videos, details and further information about the six sculptures by Alice Aycock, which were on view at the Royal Djurgården in Stockholm from June 7 to September 27, 2020.


    The six sculptures on show belong to the artist’s "Turbulence" series, a group of works visualizing the energy of wind and water. Aycock herself has experienced wild storms and uncontrollable tornadoes and has always been fascinated by them. It has been important to Aycock throughout her career from the 1970s to today that art triggers not just intellectual, but also physical, emotional reactions in the viewer.


    Each of Aycock’s complex sculptures is composed of countless spirals, bows and arches of thin, white powder coated aluminum sheets that wind around each other. In creating these intricate, multi-faceted forms, the artist draws on an extensive repertoire of cyclonic wind patterns, which she assembles on the computer.

    This online presentation offers numerous photographs, videos, details and further information about the six sculptures by Alice Aycock, which were...
  • About the Artist

    Alice Aycock (b. 1946) lives and works in New York. Her internationally successful career took off in the beginning of the 1970s. She is considered a pioneer in sculpture thanks to her early works in the field of Land Art and has taught at leading universities. Since 1991, she has been on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York. Academic disciplines including the natural sciences as well as art history have always been vital sources of inspiration for her artistic practice. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture by the International Sculpture Center, which acknowledges artists who are masters of sculptural processes and techniques and have devoted their careers to the advancement of the sculptural field as a whole. She also received an Academy of the Arts Achievement Award in Visual Arts from Guild Hall in March of 2019.

    About the Artist

    Photo Credit: Kristine Larsen

  • “The sculptural assemblages suggest waves, wind turbulence, turbines, and vortexes of energy. […] I wanted the work to have a random, haphazard quality—in some cases, piling up on itself, in others spinning off into the air.“


    —Alice Aycock


    Hoop-La, 2014

    Powder coated aluminum

    579 x 731 x 518 cm | 228 x 288 x 204 in

    Edition of 2 + 1AP
    Photo Credit: Johan Lindskog


    Hoop-La is the largest, most complex and the most architecturally challenging structure among Aycock’s sculptures of the “Turbulence” series. Hoop-La even more than the other sculptures is multi-directional and has to be experienced from different points of view. Looking at it from one side it is a big arc. Approaching the sculpture from another point you are walking right into a vortex with flower-like shapes like roses at its center. From yet another position, you can see fins or wings shooting up into the air, like those of a bird or an airplane ready to fly away. This sculpture, again, takes its title from a game. A traditional fairground game, hoopla can be played by one or several players who standing in equal distance have to successfully toss hoops onto pegs or over a small object they aim to win.


    Alien Twister is a mid-size white powder coated aluminum sculpture. The work’s title derives from the curvilinear plate at the very top of the sculpture, whose shape reminds the artist of a flying saucer. Furthermore, regardless of the nature of the environment the sculpture is placed in, the work always appears “alien.” With its asymmetrical, dynamic swirls the sculpture exceeds and introduces energy and chaos into its surroundings.



    Alien Twister, 2018

    Powder coated aluminum

    213 x 189 cm | 84 x 74 3/4 in

    Edition of 3 + 1AP + 1EP

    Photo Credit: Photo Studio Noll, Stockholm


    Spin-the-Spin consists of three differently-sized, similarly constructed parts and with its overall height of approximately 7 feet is one of the smaller sculptures by Alice Aycock. Its title refers to the name of an amusement park device and invites the beholder to imagine the curves of a gigantic slide or roller coaster track. Paradoxically, at the same time, the shape of the discs that are stuck on the three tilted poles rammed into the ground is reminiscent of diamond wheels. Accelerated to very high speed these types of very hard blades are used to drill and cut into the hardest stone.


    Spin-the-Spin, 2013

    Powder coated aluminum

    244 x 229 x 274 cm | 96 x 90 x 108 in

    Ed. AP

    Photo Credit: Johan Lindskog


    The large twister with loosely meandering bands of white sheets of aluminum around a broken and tilted pole at its center is called Devil Whirls. For fear of their destructive power, weather phenomena like storms and hurricanes for centuries were seen as evidence for the power of evil. Ayock in her “Turbulence Series” seeks to capture these mostly invisible powerful forces of nature and to give shape to their often deadly beauty. Due to instabilities and turbulence created by heating and flow, whirlwinds form gradients that cause the formation of a vertically oriented rotating column of air. In Devil Whirls, this column is already broken; while at its base the wake vortices appear to already descend and decay, simultaneously the overloaded top seems to brake away and spin free at any moment.


    Devil Whirls, 2017

    Powder coated aluminum 

    590 x 690 x 560 cm | 232 1/4 x 271 2/3 x 220 1/2 in

    Edition of 3 + 1AP

    Photo Credit: Johan Lindskog


    Twister Grande (tall) is one of Aycock’s largest sculptures in the shape of a twister and one that most likely relates to a tornadic moment. The sculpture is visually very compact and more vertical than some of the other works, and the very dense layering of metal bands—in contrast for example with Devil Whirls—is suggestive of the very high energy, speed and dynamic power of a tornado. Aycock believes that artists have in common a love of disorder and paradox—they love things that are at the same time ravishing and terrifying, seductively beautiful and frightening.


    Twister Grande (tall), 2019

    Powder coated aluminum

    396 x 249 cm | 156 x 98 in

    Edition of 3 + 1 AP

    Photo Credit: Johan Lindskog

  • “Much of my work in both the public and private spheres has been a med­itation on the philosophical ramifications of technology from the simplest tool (the arrowhead and the plow) to the computer. Many of these works have incorporated images of wheels and turbines and references to energy in the form of spirals, whirlwinds, whirlpools, spinning tops, whirly-gigs, and so on.“

    —Alice Aycock


    Untitled Cyclone is a sculpture that is characterized by a large tilted disc at its base and three seemingly spinning discs at its top. These are accompanied and surrounded by multiple floating bands of metal, which—like comets’ tails—indicate movement and direction. With their pointed spikes the disks resemble giant “spinning tops,” children’s toys, which have spun off their original course and center of gravity and have been captured flying through the air. At the same time, Untitled Cyclone can be seen as a model for the universe and for the enormous natural forces and various centers of gravity that are the cause for rotation of the earth and planetary orbits. Thus, paradoxically, Untitled Cyclone is a sculpture that can be seen both a simple and playful shape, and at the same time as a very complex one.


    Untitled Cyclone, 2017


    271 x 301 x 313 cm | 106 3/4 x 118 3/4 x 123 2/3 in

    Edition of 3 + 1AP

    Photo Credit: Johan Lindskog