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     FrontPage Edition 11 Oct 2005

Antony Gormley's terracotta army to invade Earl Lu Gallery

Continued from FrontPage of Article

ABOUT ANTONY GORMLEY

Born in London in 1950, Antony Gormley was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. Between 1971 and 1974 he travelled through the Middle East, studying Buddhist meditation in India and Sri Lanka. In 1974, he studied at the Central School of Art, London, going on to Goldsmith's School of Art (1975-77) and the Slade School (1977-79).

Gormley mounted his first one-person exhibition in 1981, at the Serpentine Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. His first one-person exhibition in the United States was at the Salvatore Ala Gallery, New York City, in 1984. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale and the Prospect 86 exhibition, Frankfurt, in 1986.

In 1991, Gormley departed from his technique of using his own body as a mould for sculptures and displayed his first Field installation, consisting of 35,000 hand-sized terracotta figures made with a family of professional brickmakers, the Texca family, in Cholula, Mexico. Similar works include Field for the British Isles (1993), where thousands of crudely-shaped clay figures, grouped in a mass and all staring towards the viewer, were put together by a community of families in St Helens, Merseyside, under Gormley's direction. Looking at Field installations produces different emotions in the viewer, from affection to aversion, but most critics concede that these masses of odd little figures have a strange, even mesmerising power.

Gormley's most famous artwork, however, is probably the Angel of the North, an enormous sculpture standing on the site of an old coal mine, towering over the A1 road, near Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, England. The sculpture stands 65 feet high and has a Jumbo jet-sized wing span of 169 feet. It weighs approximately 100 tonnes and can be seen from miles away. Here, as in most Gormley artworks, the modelling was originally done directly from Gormley's own bodycast. This is Gormley's hallmark, and for him the use of the body has mystical overtones in all his work.

He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank prize in 1999.

 

Background on Field

1989 Field I and Field II

Consisted of small clay figures created by Gormley and arranged in a pattern on a gallery floor, not filling the entire space and are arranged densely at the centre and increasingly less densely towards the periphery.

1991 American Field

42,000 figures, created by a family of brick makers in San Matias, Mexico. First shown in Salvatore Ala Gallery in New York and Subsequently in Fort Worth, Mexico City, San Diego, Washington and Montreal

1992 Amazonian Field (made in Porto Velho, Brazil)

1993 European Field (created in Sweden)

1993 Field for the British Isles

35,000 figures. First exhibited in Tate Gallery Liverpool

2003 Asian Field

190,000 figures created by people from Xiangshan village, Guangzhou, China. Asian Field is the first major event of Think UK, a campaign running throughout 2003 presenting a series of high profile arts events designed to focus attention on British originality, creativity and innovation.

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS SINGAPORE

Established by LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore is devoted to the exhibition and research of international and Asian contemporary art. Through its exhibition programme at its facility, Earl Lu Gallery, as well as its extensive programme of publications, conference and research activities, it aims to further the discourse on contemporary art in Asia.

 

Content Contributor: www.lasallesia.edu.sg