Antony Gormley, "Clearing"Berlin, September 03rd - October 09th, 2004
Galerie Nordenhake is very proud to present Clearing - a striking new installation by British sculptor Antony Gormley.
The installation consists of a thin aluminium rod several miles in length, that almost completely fills the gallery space by its intricate pattern of spirals stretching from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall, making the showroom appear both as container and measure of the wor. The work keeps its delicate form mainly due to the inner tension of the material itself and the extraneous support generated by the gallery room. The result is a work of art that is impossible to apprehend from one singular point of view, and where the viewer is encouraged to move through the structure and develop an individual perspective of the work. This formal tension between the immobility of the object and the movement of the beholder is an essential trait in all of Antony Gormley's sculptures.
Gormley is widely known for his figurative sculptures made out of elemental materials such as lead, clay, steel or iron, usually based on a cast of his own body, and where an important focus is the body as a site for exploration of sensory and cognitive perception. These are sculptures that evoke deeply existential experiences and are thus not so much designed to be interpreted, but rather to be contemplated.
Without containing any overt reference to the body Clearing may seem as a new and fundamental development in relation to Gormley's earlier works. But tendencies to dissolve the figure were indicated already in his last series of sculptures made of metal blocks, such as Sublimate II, or short metal rods, or the Quantum Clouds, where a standing figure seems to materialise out of a cloud of metal bars as if being created within an energy field. In Feeling Material XII, which we present in a room behind the main exhibition space, Gormley presents the body as an empty space, vibrantly outlined by the similar spiralling metal rod to be found in Clearing. The artist has repeatedly represented the body as void, for example in early work such as Bread, 1981, or in his formally abstract works Still Running, 1986 or Still Leaping, 1994, that give evidence to the artists interest in the spatial translation of states of movement. Perhaps this new work should be understood as the material manifestation of a trajectory or velocity chart. Whilst in the earlier works the material reifies the space of the bodies' movement or the energy field of a body, Clearing seems to be a huge energy field - a space in which the viewer only can enter after negotiating the premises of his own body.
Installing 12,000 metres of aluminium tubes...
Work in progress at the gallery, August 2, 2004.
Feeling Material XII, 2004, 6 x 6 mm
continuous rolled mild steel bar,
270 x 245 x 195 cm
Sublimate II, 2004, bright mild steel blocks,
12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm,
50 x 50 x 100 mm, 100 x 100 x 200 mm,
194 x 53 x 30 cm.
Filter II, 2001, mild steel rings,
18 x 3 x 3 mm;196 x 52 x 35 cm.
Clearing III, 2004, 12 km of 12.7 x 12.7 mm 16 swg aluminium tube, variable dimensions.