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St-Georges

Antony Gormley BODY FIELD

Antony Gormley BODY FIELD
Selected works Installation views

Antony Gormley asks how can still, silent objects cause us to move and be moved. In BODY FIELD, Gormley invites us to bring our own physical presence into a field of “sculpture as an instrument for awareness”.

Immediately upon entering the gallery, the artist’s proposition is clear: the open end of a 153-meter-long steel tube lies on the floor in dialogue with a dark opening in a concrete bunker. Behind it, a drawing evokes the cosmic darkness of a black hole. Taken together, these three works acknowledge the body as a place, materialise its inner tensions, and affirm its need for shelter.

The sculptural installation RUN III (2022) is both activating and activated: it transforms the architectural space but, at the same time, is animated by human interaction. The sculpture is a line that weaves through the gallery with horizontals at the domestic heights of chairs and tables, windowsills and ceilings, so that our familiarity with its geometry is both triggered and confused. By re-presenting our built world, RUN III allows us to walk through walls whilst becoming aware of how architecture encourages and enforces particular forms of bodily choreography.

CORNER (2022)—what the artist has called a concrete “bunker for one”—is the first of two works that bookend the exhibition. Like its companion piece on the gallery’s third floor, the sculpture was created from digital scans of Gormley’s body as he crouched isolated in space or was compressed into a corner, identifying a human space in space at large. A single square opening—almost equivalent to the size of the steel tube of RUN III—is the solitary clue that these structures are hollow. Like compact dwellings, these works allude to the body as a house, acknowledging its dual nature as a space of refuge and imprisonment. This is a place where the body can be bound but the mind set free.

Corresponding visually to the linear language of RUN III and in an extra- ordinary feat of casting, a group of Knotwork sculptures take the notion of three-dimensional mapping from building to body. Whereas RUN III allows us to calibrate our physical relationship to the architectural receptacle of a building or room, the tighter, denser pathways of these works chart the interior of the human body. These “maps of the interior” show evidence of internal pressure and tension in the brain, heart, stomach and knees, capturing moments of lived time within the body.

Throughout the exhibition, carefully placed drawings provide interpretational clues to the sculptures. They invite us to connect our proprioceptive intuition about the inner places of the body with the infinite darkness of an expanding universe or the plotted points of an oil field.

In a radical departure from Gormley’s normal practice of isolating a single body in space, the new Double Blockworks in the gallery’s lower level evoke mitosis, or the division and replication of cells that guarantees the continuance of life. In making this series, Gormley reflected upon Michelangelo’s final unfinished sculpture—the Rondanini Pietà (1552-64)—as a metaphor for the relationship between the sculptor and his material, life and death. Many of the Double Blockworks are based on scans of the artist clasping a previously made blockwork: an acknowledgement of his relationship with the art of sculpture. For the artist, the doubled figures embody “matter as a continual dance of possibility between emergence and entropy, the acknowledgement of instability and inevitable jeopardy, but, at the same time, connection, the need to stand and to hold—to touch the world, the future, another body.”

The most extensive exhibition of Antony Gormley’s work in Germany to date is currently on view at the Lehmbruck Museum in dialogue with the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck. Recent solo exhibitions include Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar (2022); Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, (2021); National Gallery Singapore (2021); Royal Academy, London (2019); Island of Delos, Greece (2019); Busan Museum of Art (2019); Uffizi Gallery, Florence (2019); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2019); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2018); Long Museum, Shanghai (2017); The National Portrait Gallery, London (2016). He has participated in the Venice Biennale (1982 and 1986) and Documenta 8 (1987). Permanent public works include Angel of the North (Gateshead, England), Another Place (Crosby Beach, England), Inside Australia (Lake Ballard, Western Australia) and Exposure (Lelystad, The Netherlands).

Related exhibitions

Selected works

  • RUN III, 2022

  • CORNER, 2022

  • FUSE XIX, 2015

  • RETREAT (FRAME), 2021

  • FRAME III, 2020

  • RELIEF (FRAME), 2021

  • POOL II, 2022

  • POOL V, 2022

  • STACK, 2021

  • BIND, 2020

  • FALL IV, 2022

  • SHELTER, 2021

  • NEST, 2021

  • BRIDGE, 2021

  • TIE, 2021

  • MOOR, 2021

  • SIDLE, 2021

  • LOOP, 2021

  • HATCH I, 2006

  • RAIN IX, 2009

  • RAIN VIII, 2009

  • EARTH, 2021

  • DANDLE, 2022

  • SQUIDGE, 2022

  • SETTLE, 2022

  • CHARGE, 2021

  • ABSORB, 2021

  • SKEW, 2022

  • PRESS, 2021

  • SEE I, 2018

  • START I, 2018

  • SEE VII, 2018

  • OPEN WRENCH, 2014

  • SLUICE, 2018

  • TIP, 2017

  • COAGULATE IV, 2016

  • BODY FIELD III, 2016

  • VIEW, 1993

  • RETREAT, 2022

  • FUSE II, 2019

  • PLASMA PLEROMA II, 2018

  • OBJECT IV, 2018

  • CHROMOSPHERE XXXII, 2018

  • PILE, 2012

Related artworks

    Antony Gormley

    RUN III, 2022

    mild steel square tube 40 x 40 mm
    dimensions variable

    Antony Gormley

    CORNER, 2022

    concrete
    90 x 67.7 x 80.7 cm, 35 3/8 x 26 5/8 x 31 3/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    FUSE XIX, 2015

    carbon and casein on paper
    28 x 38.2 cm, 11 x 15 in.

    Antony Gormley

    RETREAT (FRAME), 2021

    cast iron
    80 x 49 x 68.6 cm, 31 1/2 x 19 1/4 x 27 1/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    FRAME III, 2020

    cast iron
    47 x 68 x 105 cm, 18 1/2 x 26 3/4 x 41 3/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    RELIEF (FRAME), 2021

    cast iron
    43.3 x 199.5 x 46.5 cm, 17 1/8 x 78 1/2 x 18 1/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    POOL II, 2022

    walnut ink on paper
    19.3 x 13.4 cm, 7 5/8 x 5 1/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    POOL V, 2022

    walnut ink on paper
    19.2 x 14 cm, 7 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

    Antony Gormley

    STACK, 2021

    cast iron
    173.8 x 61.6 x 77.3 cm, 68 3/8 x 24 1/4 x 30 3/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    BIND, 2020

    cast iron
    184.3 x 65.2 x 49.6 cm, 72 1/2 x 25 5/8 x 19 1/2 in.

    Antony Gormley

    FALL IV, 2022

    18 mm square section mild steel bar
    492 x 116 x 98.5 cm, 193 3/4 x 45 5/8 x 38 3/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SHELTER, 2021

    cast iron
    166.9 x 71.4 x 56.3 cm, 65 3/4 x 28 1/8 x 22 1/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    NEST, 2021

    cast iron
    186.3 x 66.2 x 44.4 cm, 73 3/8 x 26 1/8 x 17 1/2 in.

    Antony Gormley

    BRIDGE, 2021

    cast iron
    176.8 x 79.3 x 47.2 cm, 69 5/8 x 31 1/4 x 18 5/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    TIE, 2021

    cast iron
    188.8 x 61.4 x 41.4 cm, 74 3/8 x 24 1/8 x 16 1/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    MOOR, 2021

    cast iron
    35 x 199 x 90 cm, 13 3/4 x 78 3/8 x 35 3/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SIDLE, 2021

    cast iron
    178.1 x 42.6 x 58 cm, 70 1/8 x 16 3/4 x 22 7/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    LOOP, 2021

    cast iron
    186.2 x 55.2 x 41.3 cm, 73 1/4 x 21 3/4 x 16 1/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    HATCH I, 2006

    carbon and casein on paper
    56.5 x 75 cm, 22 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.

    Antony Gormley

    RAIN IX, 2009

    carbon and casein on paper
    77 x 111 cm, 30 3/8 x 43 3/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    RAIN VIII, 2009

    carbon and casein on paper
    77 x 111 cm, 30 3/8 x 43 3/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    EARTH, 2021

    cast iron
    25.2 x 202.5 x 54.7 cm, 9 7/8 x 79 3/4 x 21 1/2 in.

    Antony Gormley

    DANDLE, 2022

    cast iron
    161 x 60.1 x 58.2 cm, 63 3/8 x 23 5/8 x 22 7/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SQUIDGE, 2022

    cast iron
    67.1 x 51.5 x 67 cm, 26 3/8 x 20 1/4 x 26 3/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SETTLE, 2022

    cast iron
    84.3 x 63.5 x 96.5 cm, 33 1/4 x 25 x 38 in.

    Antony Gormley

    CHARGE, 2021

    cast iron
    193.4 x 39.6 x 41.2 cm, 76 1/8 x 15 5/8 x 16 1/4 in.

    Antony Gormley

    ABSORB, 2021

    cast iron
    183.4 x 46.4 x 36 cm, 72 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 14 1/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SKEW, 2022

    cast iron
    178.6 x 51 x 32.2 cm, 70 1/4 x 20 1/8 x 12 5/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    PRESS, 2021

    cast iron
    122.8 x 52.3 x 67.7 cm, 48 3/8 x 20 5/8 x 26 5/8 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SEE I, 2018

    carbon and casein on paper
    38.2 x 27.8 cm, 15 x 11 in.

    Antony Gormley

    START I, 2018

    carbon and casein on paper
    38 x 28 cm, 15 x 11 in.

    Antony Gormley

    SEE VII, 2018

    carbon and casein on paper
    38.3 x 27.8 cm, 15 1/8 x 11 in.

    Antony Gormley

    OPEN WRENCH, 2014

    4 mm Corten steel
    175 x 45.5 x 40.4 cm, 68 7/8 x 17 7/8 x 15 7/8 in.