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Anthony Gormley Essay

892 words - 4 pages

Antony Mark David Gormley OBE RA (born 30 August 1950) is an English sculptor. His best known works include the Angel of the North, a public sculpture in the North of England, commissioned in 1995 and erected in February 1998, Another Place on Crosby Beach near Liverpool, and Event Horizon, a multi-part site installation which premiered in London in 2007, and in 2010 around Madison Square in New York City.
When he was younger he was the youngest of seven children born to a German mother and an Irish father, Gormley grew up in a wealthy family living in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire. He attended Ampleforth College, a Benedictine boarding school in Yorkshire, before reading archaeology, ...view middle of the document...

The work is not symbolic but indexical — a trace of a real event of a real body in time.
Gormley won the Turner Prize in 1994 with Field for the British Isles. He was later quoted as saying that he was "embarrassed and guilty to have won — it's like being a Holocaust survivor. In the moment of winning there is a sense the others have been diminished. I know artists who've been seriously knocked off their perches through disappointment."
The 2006 Sydney Biennale featured Gormley's Asian Field, an installation of 180,000 small clay figurines crafted by 350 Chinese villagers in five days from 100 tons of red clay. The appropriation of others' works caused minor controversy, with some of the figurines being stolen in protest. Also in 2006, the burning of Gormley's 25-metre high The Waste Man formed the zenith of the Margate Exodus.
In 2007, Gormley's Event Horizon, consisting of 31 life-size and anatomically-correct casts of his body, four in cast iron and 27 in fiberglass, was installed on top of prominent buildings along London's South Bank, and was later installed in locations around New York City's Madison Square in 2010. Gormley said of the New York site that "Within the condensed environment of Manhattan's topography, the level of tension between the palpable, the perceivable and the imaginable is heightened because of the density and scale of the buildings" and that in this context, the project should "activate the skyline in order to encourage people to look around. In this process of looking and finding, or looking and seeking, one perhaps re-assess one's...

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