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'Four Seasons' sculptures go on display at RHS Wisley

Monumental sculptures inspired by 16th century paintings are set to delight visitors to one of the UK’s flagship gardens this summer.

Webp.net-resizeimage-2020-02-18T125047.524-875x350.jpgThe Four Seasons by Philip Haas © Phil Skinner Photography

The Four Seasons, a collection of larger-than-life busts by contemporary American sculptor and filmmaker Philip Haas, has gone on display at RHS Garden Wisley for its major 2020 art exhibition. Running until 30 September, the exhibition will give visitors an opportunity to see the sculptures on show in the UK for only the second time.

The 15ft tall fibreglass heads are three-dimensional interpretations of Renaissance paintings created by Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo in the late 16th century. The exquisitely detailed pieces imagine Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in human form, rendered in exuberant and thought-provoking arrangements of seasonal fruit, vegetables, flowers and crops.

RHS Garden Wisley Curator Matthew Pottage and Philip Haas together considered and selected settings for each piece to encourage visitor interaction with the sculpture. While often sited together in previous exhibitions, the separate locations at Wisley will allow each piece to be appreciated individually within the landscape, with their extraordinary scale matched by Wisley’s grand vistas.

Matthew Pottage said: “Naturally we were delighted for the opportunity to showcase the full-size artworks in the garden and we know our visitors will be just as excited to experience them as Philip Haas intended. Wisley’s unique landscapes offer exciting new ways to view the works, and the sculpture will take on a different character as the garden moves through the seasons.”

Philip Haas added: “I embarked upon the Four Seasons project wanting to re-contextualize Arcimboldo’s 16th-century nature imagery within the 21st-century physical world, through changes in scale, material and dimensionality. With the exhibition taking place at Wisley over multiple seasons, another transformation will occur to alter and enrich the viewer's perspective – the passage of time, the play of light and weather on the sculptures.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is the world’s leading gardening charity, founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Its vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. RHS Garden Wisley in the English county of Surrey, south of London, is one of five gardens run by the Society and is the second most visited paid entry garden in the United Kingdom after the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Philip Haas’s ground-breaking artwork has previously been featured in museums such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tailor-made tour of the United Kingdom, visiting some of the country’s many delightful gardens, such as RHS Wisley, please do contact our friendly team today. Janet Redler Travel & Tourism is experienced in delivering customised garden tours for groups large and small from all over the world and we take care of every aspect of your itinerary, from the moment you arrive. 

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