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Antony Gormley

26 May—25 September 2022
Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands

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In the summer of 2022, Antony Gormley (1950) will take over the museum and estate of Voorlinden. The major retrospective exhibition GROUND brings together work spanning Gormley’s career, from his early lead sculptures from the 1980s to recent large-scale installations, and can be seen from 26 May to 25 September 2022.

Gormley approaches the age-old subject of the human body in his own unique, yet universal and philosophical way, building on art history and conceptual sculpture of the 1960s and 1970s. GROUND will be one of the most ambitious exhibitions in the museum’s history, the first to occupy both the museum and the estate of Voorlinden. ‘As a museum, we want to do everything we can to offer Antony Gormley the stage he deserves’, says director Suzanne Swarts.

Antony Gormley: ‘Sculpture is no longer a medium of memorial and idealisation but a context in which human being can be examined. Sculpture is no longer representational: it is an instrument of investigation and questioning. I have called this exhibition GROUND to make this open invitation of sculpture clear. Without the viewer there is no show, without the gallery there is no context. The joy of this kind of exhibition is to allow the richness of the context itself to become activated by sculpture. For me, the body of the viewer is often the activating principle in a ‘ground’ of contemplation: the works become catalysts for awareness and grounds for physical and imaginative inhabitation.’

The exhibition includes Passage, a 12-metre-long steel work on display for the first time in the Netherlands. Inside the sculpture, one travels through darkness into the unknown. The expansive work Breathing Room, in which you can experience standing in a three-dimensional drawing in the space, will also be shown. Extending outside, Critical Mass puts sculpture in dialogue with the museum’s extensive grounds: 60 solid cast iron bodyforms will be placed in relation with the trees, lawns, canals and reedbeds of the park. Gormley sees these ‘capturings’ of basic body positions as ‘industrially made fossils dropped into the Voorlinden’s verdant context, calling on embedded body-memory and our potential for feeling’.