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Antony Gormley (b. 1950)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Antony Gormley (b. 1950)

Feeling Material XIV

Details
Antony Gormley (b. 1950)
Feeling Material XIV
4mm square section mild steel bar
88½ x 85¾ x 67in. (224.8 x 217.9 x 170.2cm.)
Executed in 2005
Provenance
Sean Kelly Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2005.
Literature
M. Mack (ed.), Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007 (illustrated in colour, p. 530).
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.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

'Feeling Material XIV is a development of the Feeling Material works where I was no longer simply orbiting around the surface but penetrating within the darkness of the body which here connects with the Insider series. There is a concentration of energy similar to a black hole where gravity and mass become very dense at the core of the sculpture. From a relatively chaotic energy field a condensed body mass emerges at the centre of the vortex. This work marks an important transition from works where the body void was left open to where the body void becomes filled with dark energy and matter. The line is endless, without beginning or end. I want the piece to activate space as much as occupy it' (A. Gormley, January 2013).



Composed of coils of highly-wrought steel wire which encircle a central figure before spiralling outwards like the whirling funnel of a tornado, Feeling Material XIV is a dynamic and monumental work by Antony Gormley. Like many of the artist's sculptures the creative impetus is the human body, with Gormley employing the human form as a point of departure to explore man's existence in and relation to the world. Feeling Material XIV begins with the body, its inner core containing densely wound rods of steel wire. The artist likens this work to an unfurled spring, the wire extending sinuously into its surrounding space. Describing the series to which this work belongs, the artist has stated, 'I've called it Feeling Material, because I like that, I like the pun in that and the fact that it is about material that is feeling the space of a body, but they're like springs that have gone completely haywire and yet they identify this, this human space' (A. Gormley, in interview with J. Tusa, BBC Radio 3, 29 July 2004, transcript reproduced: http://www.bbc. co.uk/radio3 [12/12/12]).

Encouraging the viewer to move around the sculpture, Feeling Material XIV is intended to be viewed from multiple angles in order to obtain new perspectives on a work that epitomises the paradoxical, resembling both a drawing and a sculpture, ostensibly rigid and yet utterly kinetic, with the body presented 'not as an object but as an energy field' (A. Gormley, quoted in M. Mack (ed.), Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007, p. 435). In this way the swirling contours of this work can be interpreted as energy currents orbiting the body, the rotational wires recalling Leonardo da Vinci's enigmatic deluge drawings. The Feeling Material series prefigured Gormley's 2004 installation Clearing I at White Cube, London which further abstracts this concept by jettisoning the artist's body entirely. In Clearing I the wire surrounding the body is set free, snaking out into the exhibition space and shifting the attention from the body in space to space itself.

Science and technology represent a rich source of inspiration for Gormley, as demonstrated by the artist's donation of a later work from the Feeling Material series to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). The steel spools of Feeling Material XIV, circling as if at high speed, resemble images of the Whirlpool Galaxy captured by the Hubble Telescope in 2005, the year this work was executed. As the viewer strives to read the rotating lines it is as though the molecular energy of the space is revealed, either exploding outwards or imploding as a black hole. This work also offers links to current developments in physics, the unleashed dynamism of the sculptural form suggesting a visual interpretation of string theory. Discussing this series the artist has asserted that he aimed 'to create a vortex that orbits the intimate zone of the body and then enters the space around it' (A. Gormley, quoted in M. Mack (ed.), Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007, p. 435). As Gormley has further explained, 'Feeling Material XIV is a development of the 'Feeling Material' works where I was no longer simply orbiting around the surface but penetrating within the darkness of the body which here connects with the Insider series. There is a concentration of energy similar to a black hole where gravity and mass become very dense at the core of the sculpture. From a relatively chaotic energy field a condensed body mass emerges at the centre of the vortex. This work marks an important transition from works where the body void was left open to where the body void becomes filled with dark energy and matter. The line is endless, without beginning or end. I want the piece to activate space as much as occupy it' (A. Gormley, January 2013).

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