ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)
ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)
ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)
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ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)
5 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)

GUT VI

Details
ANTONY GORMLEY (B. 1950)
GUT VI
cast iron
63 x 19 1/4 x 28 3/4in. (160 x 49 x 73cm.)
Executed in 2009
Provenance
White Cube.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2011.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. Please note that at our discretion some lots may be moved immediately after the sale to our storage facility at Momart Logistics Warehouse: Units 9-12, E10 Enterprise Park, Argall Way, Leyton, London E10 7DQ. At King Street lots are available for collection on any weekday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Collection from Momart is strictly by appointment only. We advise that you inform the sale administrator at least 48 hours in advance of collection so that they can arrange with Momart. However, if you need to contact Momart directly: Tel: +44 (0)20 7426 3000 email: pcandauctionteam@momart.co.uk.

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Michelle McMullan
Michelle McMullan Head of Evening Sale

Lot Essay

Rendered on a human scale, GUT VI stems from Antony Gormley’s celebrated series of Blockworks. Confronting the viewer like a series of pixels, it presents a figure bent double, back arched and knees on the verge of giving way. Constructed from blocks of cast iron, the work dates from 2009: the same year that Gormley was awarded the prestigious Fourth Plinth commission in London’s Trafalgar Square. The Blockworks, begun six years prior, had by this stage taken their place at the centre of his practice, demonstrating his enduring fascination with the relationship between body and space. Based on 3D scans of his own anatomy, these works apply the principles of architecture and geometry to the human form, distilling it to a series of interlocking shapes. At the same time, however, the Blockworks are deeply emotive: the present work’s pose—reprised on a variety of scales throughout different series—captures the body in a deeply familiar state of anguish and contortion. It acts as an invitation to the viewer to map their own experience onto the sculpture, prompting us to take stock of our physical presence in the world.

Gormley has described the Blockworks as ‘evocations of the inside of the body under the skin’. As the series has developed, he explains, ‘the challenge is to try to liberate each of the participant blocks into a space of its own, where the dynamic between space and mass permeates the whole body. I try to build the maximum tension between cohesion and expansion (or perhaps breakdown).’ This internal dynamism, he writes, acts as ‘a substitute for the obsession with movement that has characterised figuration in the history of Western sculpture.’ Much like Picasso’s Cubist visions, works such as the present seem to deflect their sense of interior motion back onto the viewer, tracking the movement of their own body around the sculpture. As Gormley explains, ‘The edge of the works is very important. Light and space eat into the embodied core, so the works have a quality of incomplete resolution. The works demand participation from the viewer’ (A. Gormley, quoted at https://www.antonygormley.com/works/sculpture/series/blockworks).

Despite using his own body as the basis for his work, Gormley maintains that his sculptures are not intended as portraits. Instead, they seek to capture the human condition in universal terms, using the language of Modernism to tap into our deepest sense of self. ‘In applying the rules of architecture and its absolute geometries, using an objective register of a particular human life, I try to let an improvised construction evoke an internal state’, he explains (A. Gormley, quoted ibid.). As light funnels through the sculpture’s crevices, illuminating its jagged contours, we are suddenly made aware of the body as a place: an active space that—like a building—harbours all the sensations of life within its very walls. ‘You could say that each of them displaces a space where someone could really stand’, Gormley claims. ‘This acknowledgement of the absent is very important and is what needs to be filled by the subjectivity of the viewer’ (A. Gormley, interview with D. Ozerkov in Antony Gormley: Still Standing, exh. cat. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg 2011, p. 59).

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