Antony Gormley: Model at White Cube
Model, at White Cube in Bermondsey, is an exhibition of works by the British sculptor Antony Gormley, perhaps best known as the creator of the Gateshead landmark Angel of the North (1998). A frequent subject in Gormley’s work is the human form, as explored through many of his previous projects, including Another Place (1997) – a permanent installation of cast-iron replicas of the artist’s own body which stands facing the sea on Crosby Beach.
Model brings Gormley’s work into an indoor setting. The figures are individual portraits of bodies performing actions, their poses easily recognised. It is surprising just how much character these simple forms, assembled from cubes, convey. In Cotch IX (2012), the figure is pulling their knees towards their body and hugging them tightly, suggesting a feeling of vulnerability.
The works in the exhibition vary in scale and the piece entitled Model (2012) was built specifically in response to the space of South Gallery II which means viewers are provided with an unexpected interactive experience. It consists of a large recumbent steel figure, the landscape of which the viewer is invited to explore by walking and, if desired, crawling through dark and disorientating spaces to open plateaus where light is allowed to enter. The sheer size of the piece means that it is never visible to the viewer as a whole, yet it can be visualised from the small maquettes on display in South Gallery I.
Alongside the instant visual appeal of the pieces, it is Gormley’s thorough experimentation within the field of body and landscape that makes them so dynamic. Each show is very different, and the extensive high-ceilinged galleries of White Cube provide a fitting backdrop for this one. With only a few days left, the exhibition is highly recommended.
Antony Gormley’s Model is on at White Cube, Bermondsey until 10th February 2013. For further information or to book visit the gallery’s website here.