Antony Gormley, photo by Duncan Stingemore

Antony Gormley /   Sir Antony Mark David Gormley

United Kingdom 1950

Installation, Sculpture

Antony Gormley
Sir Antony Mark David Gormley
United Kingdom
October 25, 2016
Ok, I know it's so damn corny to quote somebody just to describe yourself, let alone Confucius, but this quote says all about my relationship with Widewalls, so forgive me for doing this: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Am I forgiven?

Fascinated by the human body, British artistAntony Gormley explores the intricate relationship of our physical manifestation, our body, within the “confines” of space and moments in time. His sculptures of anthropomorphic figures convey emotions and stories based on the language the bodies display, crouching in exasperation or lying in abandon, inviting the audience to rethink their relationship with their own body and surroundings.

The search for privacy goes public as this work comes to terms with being outside home.
Antony Gormley – Exposure, 2010 – photo via

We All Have One, Yet How Well Do We Know It?

Antony Gormley’s never-ending source of inspiration and subject of exploration, the human body, can be seen envisioned through different prisms of perspective in the works of this prolific artist. Cast in metal, made out of light fiberglass, wrought out of wire or put together out of blocks of wood– Gormley’s sculptures touch on different aspects of our physical form. Largely minimalistic, subtracting all that doesn’t make up the bare essence of human form, this work “attempts to materialize the place at the other side of appearance where we all live.”[1] Antony has used his own body to create molds on which many of his works are based. The creation of these molds is not something to be taken lightly, as the model being cast has to remain still for up to two hours, making the task as much a mental trial as it is physical. He uses his own body because it is, as he states, “the closest experience of matter that I will ever have and the only part of the material world that I live inside.”[2]

Rich Career Crowned With Knighthood

Born on August 30, 1950, in London, England, Gormley (whose full name is Antony Mark David Gormley) was the youngest of seven children born to a German mother and an Irish father. He studied archaeology, anthropology and the history of art at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1968 where he was influenced by artists-in-residence Barry Flanagan and Michael-Craig Martin. He traveled to India and Sri Lanka to learn about Buddhism and meditation practice between 1971 and 1974, acquiring mental skills which surely proved useful later on when enduring the process of creating molds from his own body. After attending Saint Martin’s School of Art and Goldsmiths in London from 1974, he completed his studies with a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London. Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 with Field for the British Isles. He has been a Royal Academician since 2003 and a Trustee of the British Museum since 2007. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, honorary doctor of the universities of Teesside and Cambridge, and a fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. He was the recipient of the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and is the 2013 Praemium Imperiale laureate for sculpture. Gormley was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to the arts.

The Gigantic Angel of the North

Antony Gormley - Angel of the North, 1998, England - press via thousandwonders
Antony Gormley – Angel of the North, 1998, England – photo via

Enriching the Skyline

His debut was a solo exhibition held at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1981, and since then he has continually impressed audiences. His sculptures are often displayed at public places; the 1998 winged giant steel statue Angel of the North (20m tall with wings measuring 54m) keeps guard near Gateshead in Tyne and Wear, England. Event Horizon, a series of open-air installations he has done in a number of cities has him putting 31 anatomically correct casts of his body on rooftops, windows, and other common spaces in the skyline of the cities. In the artist’s eye, the onlookers become statues themselves as they look up to the sky and point to the statues in wonder. The artist first “aired” this exhibition in London (2007), and has since used it to intervene with the skylines of New York (2010), Rio de Janeiro (2012) and Hong-Kong (2015-2016).

Antony Gormley lives and works in London, England.


  1. Antony Gormley: Making Space, Beeban Kidron documentary, 2007, shown on Channel 4 UK, November 2009;
  2. Ibid.

Featured image: Antony Gormley – image credits Duncan Stingemore.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Antony Gormley - MeetGalleri Andersson Sandström - Stockholm, StockholmSolo
2014Antony Gormley - Another TimeMardalsfossen Art Project, EikelsdalenSolo
2014Antony Gormley - States and Conditions, Hong KongWhite Cube - Hong Kong, Hong KongSolo
2014Mini-CrucibleGallery Pangolin, ChalfordGroup
2014Relicário 4Galeria Pedro Oliveira, PortoGroup
2014on paperChristine König Galerie, ViennaGroup
2014Crucible 2Gallery Pangolin, ChalfordGroup
2014Love StoryThe Anne & Wolfgang Titze Collection - Belvedere, ViennaGroup
2014Love StorySammlung Anne & Wolfgang Titze - 21er Haus, ViennaGroup
2014Body & Void: Echoes of Moore in Contemporary ArtHenry Moore Institute, LeedsGroup
2014Committed to Paper: Master Drawings and Prints by SculptorsFrederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MIGroup
2014ConfrontationGalerie Le Minotaure, ParisGroup
2014Uncommon Ground - Land Art in Britain 1966-1979Mead Gallery - Warwick Arts Centre, CoventryGroup
2013MeterGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
2013Antony Gormley - MeterGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
2013Antony Gormley - According to a given meanXavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
2013Antony GormleyMiddelheim Museum, AntwerpSolo
2013Antony GormleyModel - White Cube - Bermondsey Street, LondonSolo
2013BodyspaceSean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2013Antony Gormley – Corpos PresentesCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil - CCBB - Brasília, BrasiliaSolo
2013Two Times - Antony Gormley Project In HayamaThe Museum of Modern Art, Hayama, HayamaSolo
2013Corpos Presentes – Still BeingCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil - CCBB - Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJSolo
2013Antony GormleyStill Standing - White Cube - Hoxton Square, LondonSolo
2013Antony Gormley: Drawing SpaceThe Phillips Collection, Washington, DCSolo
2013Antony Gormley – Corpos PresentesCentro Cultural Banco do Brasil - CCBB - São Paulo, São PauloSolo
2013Antony Gormley - Vessel  Galleria Continua - San Gimignano, San GimignanoSolo
2013Antony Gormley – Horizon Field HamburgDeichtorhallen Hamburg, HamburgSolo
2013Antony GormleyMiddelheim Museum, AntwerpSolo
2013Malmö Art Museum@malmö KonsthallMalmö Konsthall, MalmöGroup
201393CGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de CompostelaGroup
2013Modern Japanese Art from the Museum CollectionNational Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT), TokyoGroup
201330 Years ( Part One )Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgGroup
2013Critique and Crises. Art in Europe Since 1945Kumu Art Museum, TallinnGroup
2013Umedalen Skulptur 2012Umedalen Skulptur, UmeåGroup
2013Momat CollectionNational Museum of Modern Art Tokyo (MOMAT), TokyoGroup
2013Master DrawingsThe Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, OxfordGroup
2013The Desire for Freedom - Arte in Europa dal 1945Palazzo Reale, MilanGroup
2013Give me fiveStädel Museum, Frankfurt/MainGroup
2013NeuenGalerie - neu gesehen: Sammlung + documenta-ErwerbungenNeue Galerie, KasselGroup
2011Antony Gormley - Space Station And Other InstrumentsGalleria Continua - Le Moulin, Boissy-le-ChâtelSolo
2011Antony GormleyGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Paris, ParisSolo
2010Antony Gormley: Drawing SpaceMACRO Museo d´Arte Contemporanea Roma, RomeSolo
2010Antony Gormley - Critical MassDe La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on SeaSolo
2010Antony Gormley - Firmament IVAnna Schwartz Gallery - Sydney, Sydney, NSWSolo
2010Antony Gormley: Breathing Room IISean Kelly Gallery, New York City, NYSolo
2009Another SingularityGalleria Continua - Beijing, BeijingSolo
2009Antony GormleyXavier Hufkens, BrusselsSolo
2009Antony Gormley Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico CitySolo
2009La escultura de GormleyAntiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico CitySolo
2009Domain FieldGarage Center for Contemporary Culture - GCCC, MoscowSolo
2009Antony GormleyKunsthaus Bregenz, BregenzSolo
2009Antony GormleyGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
2009Clay and the Collective BodyPro Arte Foundation, HelsinkiSolo
2009Between You And Me. Antony Gormley -  ARTIUMBasque Museum Center of Contemporary Art, Vitoria-GasteizSolo
2008Antony GormleyMuseo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey MARCO, Monterrey, NLSolo
2008Antony Gormley - Between you and meMusée d'Art moderne de Saint-Etienne, Saint-EtienneSolo