COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
Antony Gormley’s Drama
Sculpture. Courtesy of Antony Gormley.

Sculpture. Courtesy of Antony Gormley.

Antony Gormley, a British artist whose work is currently on view at the new Sean Kelly Gallery on Tenth Avenue, creates through contradictions. He usually juxtaposes the monumental to the intimate, the complete to the fragmentary, the massive to the mobile.

Gormley’ s production, which spans a career of about 40 years, is centered in the role of the human figure in the environment, a refreshing idea today within the context of contemporary art. Rather than annihilating man’s presence, Gormley understands the body’s possibilities in organizing and measuring space. He also imbues it with the ability to become the viewer or the viewed.

Last time there was a major revolution in the visual arts and particularly in architecture the human body was at the center of it. I am referring of course to the golden years of the 1920s and 1930s, when the Bauhaus and consequently the Modern Movement, radically changed the relationship of man to his environment. The human figure was at the heart of the modernists’ argument as it is today in Gormley’s work.

In a culturally blasé society, Gormley’s work uses contradiction for its shock value. This time, the shock does not aim at changing the form of our inhabited space, as was the case at the beginning of the twentieth century. It aims instead at igniting a reaction against apathy and complacency, at motivating people to think about their role in life and society. The human figure always evokes democracy and Gormley knows how to create the drama that will make us aware of it.

© Thomaï Serdari