Lonely Planet Writer

Giant installations from the Rio Olympics are taking over London

A new exhibition featuring installation work by internationally acclaimed French artist JR has opened in London for a limited time.

A custom piece was created on the outside of the building to mark the opening of the exhibition.
A custom piece was created on the outside of the building to mark the opening of the exhibition. Image by JR and Lazinc.

Running until 28 February, the Giants exhibition launched at Lazinc’s new flagship gallery in Mayfair, featuring a series of sculptures that the artist created for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Depicting the blurred likenesses of athletes in action, photographs, plans and sections of the large pieces that were showcased across the city for the duration of the games are now available to view in London.

A view of the Giant exhibition at Lazinc Gallery.
A view of the Giants exhibition at Lazinc Gallery. Image by JR and Lazinc.

As well as seeing sections of the finished pieces themselves, visitors are able to view the artist’s process from start to finish, from the architectural plans that were created to support the sculptures to a look at the digital photography techniques used to capture them. It marks the first time that the pieces have been put on display publicly, and the exhibition also showcases some never before seen studio plans, drawings, preparatory notes and prototypes linked to the project.

A piece at the Rio Olympics depicting Sudanese athlete Mohamed Younes Idriss.
A piece at the Rio Olympics depicting Sudanese athlete Mohamed Younes Idriss. Image by JR and Comité international Olympique, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2016.

Pieces in the show include high jumpers, swimmers and divers, and in addition to the gallery exhibition, an entirely new image was used to recreate the Giants installation on the exterior of the Lazinc gallery on Sackville Street for the opening of the show. Having worked with JR since 2008, Lazinc’s new exhibition aims to celebrate the launch of the new gallery, as well as ten years representing the artist. The collection follows JR’s current exhibition, The Wrinkles of the City, Instanbul: Body of Work, at Henrik Springmann Gallery in Berlin and continues a new method of presenting the artist’s developmental process and large-scale community projects.

A view of the Giants exhibition.
A view of the Giants exhibition. Image by JR and Lazinc

After finding a camera in the Paris Metro in 2001, the mysterious artist known only as JR began creating dynamic and eye-catching street pieces all around the world, eventually rising to prominence at an international level.

Giants is free for the public to attend. More information on visiting the exhibition is available at the official Lazinc website.