Body building: Antony Gormley’s early works get a showing in New York
New York’s Sean Kelly gallery has dedicated its latest show to both new and early works by British artist Antony Gormley. Known and lauded for his sculptures (particularly Angel of the North, the imposing public colossus commissioned in 1994), installations and public art works exploring the human body’s relationship to space, this is Gormley’s fifth exhibition with the gallery.
Entitled ‘Construct’, the show opens with a life-size work from the series of ‘bodycases’ (dating back to 1985) called Bridge. This is one of Gormley’s earliest works, made from a plaster mold of the artist’s body, strengthened with fibreglass and encased in a skin of lead. There is also a more recent piece, from 2015, called Scaffold, in which Gormley has translated the grid of horizontal and vertical lines of Bridge into a freestanding, three-dimensional map of the internal volumes of the body. This, and so many of the artist’s works, remind the viewer to consider the body ‘less as an object and more as a site and agent of transformation’.
‘Antony Gormley’s exhibition "Construct" is particularly significant because it includes key early works, which haven’t previously been exhibited in the US, alongside Antony’s newest, most monumental series yet,’ says gallery owner Sean Kelly. ‘The exhibition draws a visual and conceptual thread from the beginnings of the artist’s practice to the present time.’