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Top-News  |  20. September 2019

Antony Gormley exhibiting in Royal Academy of Arts

Lost Horizon I, 2008 (detail). 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

Body and Fruit, 1991/93. Cast iron and air, dimensions variable. Installation view, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden © the Artist. Photo: Jan Uvelius, Malmö

Flesh, 1990. Concrete, 36 x 198 x 174 cm. Duerckheim Collection © the Artist. Photo: David Ward, London

Mould, 1981. Black pigment, linseed oil and charcoal on paper, 60 x 84 cm © the Artist

Most significant exhibit in the UK for over a decade

In September 2019, the Royal Academy of Arts will present a solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed British sculptor Antony Gormley (b. 1950), the most significant in the UK for over a decade. The exhibition will bring together both existing and especially conceived new works for the occasion, from drawings and sculptures to experiential environments, that will take on the RA’s Main Galleries across all 13 rooms.

Gormley sees the exhibition as a ‘test site’; engaging the senses, employing scale, darkness and light, and using elemental, organic and industrial materials. The works will interact with the Beaux-Arts galleries, creating a series of distinct encounters that will come together as a collective experience. It will be a summation of Gormley’s enduring concern with the inner dark space of the body itself and the body’s relation to its surroundings: the body as space and the body in space. Gormley said, “there is no subject until the viewer arrives and begins to engage.

”The first work, Iron Baby, 1999, will be encountered in the Annenberg Courtyard. This life-size form of a new-born baby in cast iron will be tiny within the scale of the courtyard, suggesting human vulnerability but also the vigour of life.

In the galleries, early, rarely-exhibited works from the late 1970s and early 1980s will show the experimental origins of Gormley’s practice, with links to Land Art, Performance and Minimalism. Works featured will include Land, Sea and Air, 1977-79 and Fruits of the Earth, 1978-79 in which natural and man-made objects are wrapped in lead. This process of encasing objects in lead evolved into Gormley’s well-known ‘body case’ sculptures, from the 1980s onwards, which use the artist’s own body as a tool, material and subject. There will be a series of concrete works from the 1990s including Flesh, 1990 (Duerckheim Collection). Each volume contains the body form as a void in a position that tests the enclosing mass. The interior is only visible through the hands, feet or head that break the surface of the block.

The exhibition will draw the visitor into a series of whole-room installations, some reconfigured especially for the RA’s galleries, and invite them to actively engage with their bodies as they navigate the space. 


Dates and Opening Hours 

Saturday 21 September – Tuesday 3 December 2019

10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)  

Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm) 

Royal Academy of Arts, London

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