The Art of The Brick: DC Superheroes

As The Art of The Brick exhibition opens on London’s Southbank, our writer and her 11-year-old son check out its two million bricks


In a large tent, behind the National Theatre, you’ll find the latest addition to the attractions on London’s Southbank - The Art of The Brick: DC Superheroes.

An exhibition of Lego art by the artist Nathan Sawaya, the show combines two of the most enduring childhood icons of the last 100 years; Lego, and Superman. Or Batman. Or Wonder Woman. Or whoever your favourite superhero from the DC comics might be.

Stepping inside the sealed doors into the blackness, past the fun photo opportunity in the lobby with a life-size Joker eating popcorn, feels a little like you’ve crossed into a new dimension to find more than 120 sculptures made entirely of Lego.

A short movie explains how Sawaya wanted to show the balance of good and evil, and how no one ever really thinks they are the bad guy in the movie of their own lives; hence our fascination with the villains as well as the super heroes.

An American artist from Oregon who started out as a lawyer, Sawaya now lives in New York and Los Angeles, working almost exclusively in the medium of Lego. This is his first solo exhibition, and comes to London after a successful run in Madrid.

The first gallery contains smaller sculptures. The space is filled with heroes both instantly familiar to our 11-year-old reviewer and bafflingly strange. Who knew there were so many superheroes? The recreations of the comic book covers are superb with incredible attention to details. But it’s in the following galleries that we hit Lego gold.

A spectacular flying Superman in The Fortress of Solitude gallery. And our favourite in the Themyscria gallery (as Paradise Island was renamed in 1987) where a version of Wonder Woman’s invisible plane ‘flew’ in clear plastic bricks suspended individually from the ceiling. 

Sawaya doesn’t leave anything out. Even Krypto the Superdog has a statue and there’s a rather bizarre Aquaman in the bath. In the DC Dark gallery there is a slightly scary (just the right amount for children to love) collection of Lego skulls in the style of the super villains they represent.

But the overwhelming highlight of the show? Gotham City and the Batcave. A lifesize Lego version of the Batsignal, with a digital display wall of the city rooftops alongside a brooding statue of the dark knight himself. From there you go through a tunnel to the Batcave and the most well-known car of all time. The Batmobile.

As usually happens, the exit takes you into the shop. However, there are also a few large tables of Lego where you can spend time making your own creations. Be prepared to take quite a while to leave.


Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive