Antony Gormley

The Diary, Artists, Design

Fit by Antony Gormley

British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, born on the 30th of August 1950, is best known for his works Angel of the North, which is a public sculpture in Gateshead, Another Place located on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, and Event Horizon: a multi-part site installation which premiered in London in 2007 and later in New York City, São Paulo and Hong Kong. The White Cube gallery in Bermondsey presented Gormley’s latest major exhibition, Fit, this autumn. The artist came back strong with 24 mostly new works comprising close to 550 sculptures as this was his first time back at the White Cube since his 2012 staging of Model.

This time, the gallery space was configured into 15 chambers to create a series of intense physiological encounters in the form of a labyrinth. Many of the sculptures had some sort of a human form – in fact, all of them were based in one way or another on the dimensions of Gormley’s own body. “But they’re not me, are they? --- They are just examples of a human form in space that is of a particular person but it could be anyone. I don’t recognise them as me. I think that’s not the point” he had said in an interview with a website The Quietus, continuing: “The show is really about what it means to inhabit a body, but also what it means for a body to inhabit a space.”

©  Antony Gormley . Photo ©  White Cube  (Ben Westoby)

© Antony Gormley. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby)

The materials used to create the sculptures were heavy - concrete, steel and iron – and the figures resembled Minecraft characters, the stone giants from The Hobbit and classic Lego blocks. At the heart of the show was so called ‘Sleeping Field’, an installation of about 600 small block figures, which collectively looked like a modern cityscape seen from above. My personal favourite was Passage, a 12-metre-long steel tunnel cut to a cross-section of Gormley’s own frame. It represents light and dark, happiness and sorrow, emptiness and fullness all at the same time.

The exhibition made reference to both the citizens of a modern, never-sleeping city like London and the helpless migrants seeking refuge. The figures made the gallery-goer reflect ‘who am I and where do I belong – do I fit it?’. Fit was a very thought-provoking exhibition which I would love to see held again in the near future.

Text Tiina Karppi (@tiinakarppi)