New season – New Highlights: Antony Gormley 'STATION XIII'
Antony Gormley STATION XIII
Artist Sir Antony Gormley (b. 1950, London) is one of the most distinguished artists of our time. In his artistic practice he examines the relationship between the human form and different aspects of human presence in relation to nature and architecture. He is perhaps most known for his imposing and now iconic sculpture the “Angel of the North”, completed in 1998 and located on a piece of public land close to the city of Gateshead in England. The steel sculpture is twenty metres tall with its wings measuring 54 metres across.
After having gained a degree in art history, archaeology and anthropology Gormley spent time in India and Sri Lanka for three years, where he studied meditation and seriously considered becoming a Buddhist monk. When he returned to the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 1970s he studied art at Central Saint Martins, Goldsmiths College and at the Slade School of Art. Gormley’s first artworks were partly inspired by his time in Asia and by the possibility of creating private spaces within public ones. It is at this stage that he first created a work taken from a plaster mould of his own body.
During the 1980s Gormley continued to consider the body in relation to its environment. Between the 1990s and the 2010s, he placed life-size sculptures in both the landscape and urban environments. These settings amplified the fragility of the human form and reformulated the philosophical questions that Gormley’s sculptures provoked. In 1994 Gormley received the prestigious Turner Prize.
From the 2010s Gormley has continued to call attention to the human body through a number of different approaches – some of these are developments from earlier projects, but they have increasingly become more and more related to architecture. In his solitary sculptures, placed in crowded urban settings, he also reflects on human population growth and on the transformed physical and emotional environment we live in today.
The piece in the auction STATION XIII forms part of the series STATION, made by Gormley between 2013 and 2015. These pieces are not conventional sculptures and are defined as ‘human architecture’. They are like high-rise buildings with ‘vertical systems of energies’. The sculptures appear stable but are in fact fragile forms without symmetry. As engineering, they are at the edge of what’s possible. The series is called STATION because they are static, they are frames made for spaces that bodies once occupied. Gormley writes that STATION is a meditation on what is happening to us when we live in a high-technological society in high-rise buildings, high above the ground. ‘What if we no longer feel the earth? Perhaps the question is, how stable – or unstable – we are?’
To be sold at Contemporary Art & Design
Viewing 15 – 19 April, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm.