An new exhibition of prints by Antony Gormley, one of Britain’s most widely acclaimed artists opens tonight Thursday 12th May.
Marking his first project and exhibition with the Alan Cristea Gallery, Antony Gormley has made a series of works that consider how our physical freedom and imaginative potential is increasingly conditioned by the built environment.
Installed across both galleries are a number of large woodblock prints based on seven distinct body poses. They reinterpret anatomy in the language of architecture and relate to a key work in the artist’s recent practice, Expansion Field (2014) which applies the principles of an expanding universe to the subjective space of the body. At nearly three metres in height, the prints are made from blocks of sawn plywood to create multiple, ghost-like impressions of a bodily architecture.
GUT I, 2016 Woodcut on Saunders 190 gsm smooth paper 237.1 x 134cm
HOLD, 2016 Woodcut on Saunders 190 gsm smooth paper 237.1 x 134cm
The Woodblocks are interspersed with a series of crude oil and petroleum jelly Body Prints.
SHOW, 2016, Crude oil, linseed oil and petroleum jelly on paper 237.1 x 134 cm
The transfer is achieved by Gormley falling directly onto the paper, the weight of his body leaving a corresponding print. The sacral use of crude oil as representative of the “blood of the earth” highlights our dependency on the planet’s solar memory.
Alongside are two further series of prints which also explore the fundamentals of printmaking. Ten aquatints (Matrix I – X) constructed from single plates carry the silhouette of architectural blocks printed one on top of the other. This accumulation of black conveys a sense of inner embodied darkness. Each plate is created with rosin ground by hand, the resulting particles gently sifted through a sieve before being heated to make a granular ground.
MATRIX IX, 2016 Aquatint on Fabriano Tiepolo 290 gsm paper 35 x 35 cm
The aquatints are juxtaposed with a suite of linear etchings made with a hard needle. Whilst they return to a graphic mode of representation, they also evoke states of embodiment and freedom; an enmeshment within a bounded body and release into space.
Antony Gormley: CAST 13th May – 2nd July 2016 Private view Thursday 12 May, 6 – 7.30 pm