Angel of the North in Gateshead
|Birth name||Antony Mark David Gormley|
30 August 1950 |
London, England, UK
Antony Mark David Gormley, OBE, RA (born 30 August 1950) is a British sculptor. His best known works include the Angel of the North, a public sculpture near Newcastle upon Tyne in the North of England, commissioned in 1994 and erected in February 1998, Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, and Event Horizon, a multi-part site installation which premiered in London in 2007, around Madison Square in New York City, in 2010 and in São Paulo, in 2012.
The youngest of seven children born to a German mother and an Irish father, Gormley grew up in a wealthy Roman Catholic family living in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire. He attended Ampleforth College, a Benedictine boarding school in Yorkshire, before reading archaeology, anthropology and the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1968 to 1971. He travelled to India and Sri Lanka to learn more about Buddhism between 1971 and 1974. Attending at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths in London from 1974, he completed his studies with a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, between 1977 and 1979.
Gormley's career began with a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1981. Almost all his work takes the human body as its subject, with his own body used in many works as the basis for metal casts.
Gormley describes his work as "an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live." Many of his works are based on moulds taken from his own body, or "the closest experience of matter that I will ever have and the only part of the material world that I live inside." His work attempts to treat the body not as an object but a place and in making works that enclose the space of a particular body to identify a condition common to all human beings. The work is not symbolic but indexical – a trace of a real event of a real body in time.
Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 with Field for the British Isles. He was quoted as saying that he was "embarrassed and guilty to have won – it's like being a Holocaust survivor. In the moment of winning there is a sense the others have been diminished. I know artists who've been seriously knocked off their perches through disappointment."
The 2006 Sydney Biennale featured Gormley's Asian Field, an installation of 180,000 small clay figurines crafted by 350 Chinese villagers in five days from 100 tons of red clay. The appropriation of others' works caused minor controversy and some of the figurines were stolen in protest. Also in 2006, the burning of Gormley's 25-metre high The Waste Man formed the zenith of the Margate Exodus.
In 2007, Gormley's Event Horizon, consisting of 31 life-size and anatomically-correct casts of his body, four in cast iron and 27 in fiberglass, was installed on top of prominent buildings along London's South Bank, and installed in locations around New York City's Madison Square in 2010. Gormley said of the New York site that "Within the condensed environment of Manhattan's topography, the level of tension between the palpable, the perceivable and the imaginable is heightened because of the density and scale of the buildings" and that in this context, the project should "activate the skyline in order to encourage people to look around. In this process of looking and finding, or looking and seeking, one perhaps re-assess one's own position in the world and becomes aware of one's status of embedment." Critic Howard Halle said that "Using distance and attendant shifts of scale within the very fabric of the city, [Event Horizon] creates a metaphor for urban life and all the contradictory associations – alienation, ambition, anonymity, fame – it entails."
In July 2009, Gormley presented One & Other, a Fourth Plinth commission, an invitation for members of the public, chosen by lot, to spend one hour on the vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square in London. This "living art" happening initially attracted much media attention. It even became a topic of discussion on the long-running BBC radio drama series The Archers, with Gormley set to make an appearance as himself.
Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003 and a Trustee of the British Museum since 2007. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, honoray doctor of the universities of Teesside and Cambridge, and a fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. In October 2010, he and 100 other leading artists signed an open letter to the Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt protesting against cutbacks in the arts.
On 13 March 2011, Gormley was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for the set design for Babel (Words) at Sadler's Wells in collaboration with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet.
Gormley's website includes images of nearly all of his works up to 2012. The most notable include:
- Field (and subsequent recreations)
- Sound II (1986) – in the crypt of Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England
- Iron: Man (1993) – Victoria Square, Birmingham, England
- Havmann (1995) – Mo i Rana, Arctic Circle City, Norway
- Another Place (1997) – permanently installed at Crosby Beach near Liverpool, England
- Quantum Cloud (1999)– Greenwich, London, England
- Angel of the North (1998) – Low Fell (overlooking the A1 and A167 roads), Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England
- Planets (2002) – at the British Library, London.
- Filter (2002) – acquired by Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, England, in 2009
- Time Horizon – the Archaeological Park of Scolacium near Catanzaro in Calabria, Southern Italy
- Blind Light (2007), Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London
- Event Horizon (2007) – along the South Bank of the Thames, London, England; (2010) around Madison Square, New York City
- Reflection II (2008) – acquired by DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts, in 2009
- One & Other (6 July – 14 October 2009) – Trafalgar Square, London, England
- Habitat – Gormley's first permanent installation in the United States, in Anchorage, Alaska on the grounds of the Anchorage Museum, cost an estimated $565,000.
- Another Time XI (2009) – Gormley's sculpture on top of Exeter College, Oxford, overlooking Broad Street
- Horizon Field (2010–2012) – sculpture installation in the Austrian Alps.
- Exposure (2010) – Lelystad, Netherlands
- Cloud Chain (2010) – Les Archives Nationales, Paris, France
- Horizon Field Hamburg (2012) – Deichtorhallen, Germany
- Wroe, Nicholas; "Leader of the pack" Guardian.co.uk, 25 June 2005 (Retrieved: 6 August 2009)
- "Interview with Antony Gormley". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
- Antony Gormley: Making Space, Beeban Kidron documentary, 2007, shown on Channel 4 UK, November 2009; Channel4.com
- Higgins, Charlotte; "Antony Gormley, Turner prize winner 1994" Guardian.co.uk, 8 September 2007 (Retrieved: 6 August 2009)
- Event Horizon: Mad. Sq. Art.: Antony Gormley Madison Square installation guide
- "One & Other — official website" OneAndOther.co.uk (Retrieved: 6 August 2009)
- Nikkhah, Roya; "Antony Gormley to star in The Archers" Telegraph.co.uk, 28 June 2009 (Retrieved: 6 August 2009)
- Peter Walker, "Turner Prize winners lead protest against arts cutbacks," The Guardian, 1 October 2010.
- "Outstanding Achievement in Dance" on the Olivier Awards website
- "Another Place" on Antony Gormley's official website
- Preece, R. J. (2003). "Antony Gormley: Planets at British Library, London", Sculpture (magazine) / artdesigncafe. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Time Horizon, Archaeological Park of Scolacium
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Antony Gormley|
- Official website
- Antony Gormley on Artcyclopedia
- Gormley's exhibition in Guernsey for the International Artist In Residence Programme IAIRP
- Pictures of Gormley's sculpture in Oxford being erected on 15 February 2009
- An interview with Gormley by Edward Lucie Smith in RealMedia format
- Interactive video interview with Gormley and interactive exploration of his work at the Tate Gallery
- Antony Gormley audio: The artist considers his art and his research into the Wellcome collections
- Antony Gormley at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
- Tate: In the Studio: Antony Gormley A tour of the artist's studio. 1 September 2007
- Studio Visit: Antony Gormley. London, 4 November 2011
- Gormley's artwork Mothership with Standing Matter in Lillehammer, Norway