Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy of Arts
Britain's most famous living sculptor, Antony Gormley, is getting a major exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts this autumn.
Spanning the RA’s Main Galleries across all 13 rooms, this will be the most significant solo exhibition of the British sculptor in the UK for over a decade. It will also bring together especially conceived new works by the artist behind the Angel of the North, alongside works that span Gormley’s entire 45-year career.
Antony Gormley, Matrix II, 2014. 6 mm mild steel reinforcing mesh, 550 x 750 x 1500 cm. Installation view, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Pantin, France © the artist. Photo: Charles Duprat, Paris
The exhibition’s Assistant Curator, Lucy Chiswell, told us: “It will be enlightening for people to see how ideas that are so central to his work today were present during the early years as well. He is best known for his ‘bodyform’ sculptures (based on casts of his own body), yet his works range from the figurative to the abstract, from small to large, and they are realised both inside and outside of the gallery space. We hope visitors will take away a heightened sense of ourselves and the relationship we share with the world around us.”
Seeing the exhibition as a “test site”; Gormley hopes to engage the senses, employing scale, darkness and light, and using elemental, organic and industrial materials. It will consider the body’s relation to its surroundings: the body as space and the body in space.
Alongside works on paper using unusual materials such as crude oil, earth and blood, there will be whole-room installations that invite visitors to actively engage with their bodies to navigate the space.
Antony Gormley, Full Bowl, 1977-8. Lead, 6 x 17 x 17 cm. Private Collection, Vienna © the Artist. Photo: Stephen White, London
Antony Gormley, Clearing V, 2009. Approximately 11 km of 12.7 mm aluminium tube. Installation view, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria © the Artist. Photo: Markus Tretter
Host, 2019, which has only been exhibited three times and is on display for the first time in the UK, will fill an entire gallery to a depth of 23cm with seawater and clay, and its experience will change as the hours of autumn daylight diminish.
Lucy added: “Antony and his studio have created some of their most ambitious works for this exhibition. The interplay between these works and the architecture of the Royal Academy has enormous impact. The exhibition has been a practical and engineering feat, both in terms of creating artworks of this scale, as well as capacitating our galleries to uphold works of this weight and nature. Host certainly stands as one of the more ambitious works of art we have installed in our galleries in the past 150 years!”
Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy of Arts will run from 21 September – 3 December 2019.
Antony Gormley, Lost Horizon I, 2008. Cast iron, each element 189 x 53 x 29 cm. Installation view, White Cube, Mason's Yard, London, England. Courtesy of the Artist and PinchukArtCentre (Kiev, Ukraine) © the Artist. Photo: Stephen White, London
Antony Gormley, Body and Fruit, 1991/93. Cast iron and air, dimensions variable. Installation view, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden © the Artist. Photo: Jan Uvelius, Malmö
Antony Gormley, Double Moment, 1987. Black pigment, linseed oil and charcoal on paper, 38 x 28 cm © the Artist