Antony Gormley, the obsession with the body

Madrid and Barcelona paid his debt to Jaume PlensaNadar in the infinity edge pool, the longest of the mundoLos strange men, naked from the skyscrapers of Hong K

Antony Gormley, the obsession with the body
Madrid and Barcelona paid his debt to Jaume PlensaNadar in the infinity edge pool, the longest of the mundoLos strange men, naked from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong

The obsession Antony Gormley (London, 1950) by the body has come to the Royal Academy of Arts of the british capital, where the work of a lifetime will be exposed from Saturday, 3 December . Such is the obsession of this controversial sculptor –author of "the Angel of The North"– who even cast in iron to her daughter Paloma, with only 6 days of life: your mold is now in the courtyard of the art institution and many of the visitors that photograph are of unknown origin.

" is Not a retrospective . To Gormley does not like, but has been considered to take account of their early works," explained yesterday the curator of the exhibition, Martin Caiger-Smith , which summarized the crux of the exhibition in a few words: "in The end, it is about the objects. And nothing happens until the audience knows." Gormley, according to the commissioner, "asks for a physical response" to the visitors; the smell and touch are the senses to be put to work during the visit to the thirteen rooms are arranged all the works of the sculptor .

More than a retrospective, for Gormley is a "testing site" that brings together sculptures, installations and drawings –some even with blood– he has performed during the past four decades. During the presentation, Caiger-Smith reiterated that the sample did not require any explanation, because the real question is: "What you think that means?" .

Antony Gormley, series "Slabworks", 2019 - ©David ParryEl passage of time"Mother's Pride" - © Antony Gormley

In fact, the first sculpture that the visitor will find are the bodies with the most abstract possible: the simple steel blocks, stacked on top of each other, however, they emulate the different positions of the human body. And there was the artistic director of the Royal Academy of Arts, Tim Marlow , to emulate one of the positions. The second room is a mix of several of the concerns of this artist: the time, the growth, the individual, the collective...

The passage of time, for example, is expressed in the sculptures of all the phases of growth of an apple. But Gormley is not only concerned about the body as such, but what there is around you. Example of this is "Mother's Pride V" (2019), a work made from hundreds of loaves of bread mould and wax, whose emptiness in the center simulates a human silhouette falls into a void, that is, the "negative space" of a body.

In another of the rooms, the fifth, has provisions of the "Matrix III" (2019): a dark cloud of rectangular grids of steel cross and suspended from the ceiling, whose aim is to convey to the viewer the feeling of chaos . Sometimes, what you see is what there is. It is the case of the sixth room, whose intervention is its division into three-by-three steel ropes, one vertical and two horizontal.

Antony Gormley, "Matrix III", 2019 - ©David Parry

This room is not only used to address how humans deal with space, but also prepares the visitor for what is to come: a collection of drawings in the seventh room (many of them with ideas that the sculptor has not yet materialized) and one of the jewels of the crown, "Lost Horizon" , in the eighth stay: 24 cast iron figures, oriented toward different points on each wall, floor and even ceiling, thus questioning the perception of what is up and down. Does the mold of all of them? The own body of the artist.

such Is the synchrony between the spaces of the Royal Academy) and Antony Gormley that even the salla 11 is occupied by a cave –a body in itself– formed by multiple cubes that were invading each other from the floor to the ceiling .

Antony Gormley, "Cave", 2019 - ©David Parry

it Is in this facility that embodies the idea of Gormley that the objects are not up to that of the people they come in contact with them, for l the cave has a passage dark from the tenth chamber to the twelfth. It is in this second to last room from where you can observe the stay end (which can't be accessed), clay cover of Buckinghamshire and another substance that escapes from all kind of body: the water of the Atlantic ocean.

Updated Date: 18 September 2019, 22:01

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