Posted On: April 1, 2010
Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon features thirty-one, life-size figures of the artist cast in iron and fiberglass. Gormley’s sculptures, adapted for New York City after their initial 2007 commission by the Hayward Gallery, London, are placed in and around Madison Square Park.
Four of Gormley’s sculptures will be placed at ground level; the additional twenty-seven at elevated heights on surrounding structures, including the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, and the New York Life Building. The nudity of Gormley’s figures contrasts with the expected conventions of city life, suggesting a stripped-down, elemental existence. Their often seemingly-precarious placement on the ledges of tall buildings offers multiple readings: perched observatory, potential self-harm, the perceived power of height.
Gormley explained his motivations: “I’m thrilled to be working with New York: people and place. I don’t know what is going to happen, what it will look and feel like, but I want to play with the city and people’s perceptions. My intention is to get the sculptures as close to the edge of the buildings as possible. The field of the installation should have no defining boundary. The gaze is the principle dynamic of the work; the idea of looking and finding, or looking and seeking, and in the process perhaps reassessing your own position in the world. So in encountering these peripheral things, perhaps one becomes aware of one’s status of embedment.”
About the Artist
Using his own body as subject, tool, and material, Antony Gormley has revitalized the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation. Since 1990, he has expanded his concern with the human condition to explore the collective body and the relationship between self and other in large-scale installations; his work also increasingly engages with energy systems, fields and vectors, rather than mass and defined volume. Gormley’s most recent live artwork, One & Other, saw 2,400 participants, collectively representing every region of the UK, each spending an hour on an empty plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square for 100 consecutive days.
Antony Gormley’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the UK, with solo shows at Whitechapel Gallery, Tate, Hayward Gallery, and British Museum. He has been exhibited internationally at Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; MalmÃ¶ Konsthall, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria; and Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City. He has participated in group shows at Museum of Modern Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,Venice Biennale, and Kassel Documenta 8.
He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, and was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997. More recently,in 2007 he was awarded the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Trinity College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and has been a Royal Academician since 2003.
Antony Gormley is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and White Cube, London.
Event Horizon is presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy in partnership with the City of New York and NYC & Company. Major support for Event Horizon is provided by The Wall Street Journal, Charina Endowment Fund, Sorgente Group, Irving B. Harris Foundation and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support is provided by AXA Art Insurance Corporation, Bloomberg, Kraus Family Foundation, Sean Kelly Gallery, Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and many generous individual patrons of the arts.
The Wall Street Journal is the Official Newspaper of Event Horizon. Time Out New York is the Official Weekly Media Sponsor of Event Horizon. The Ace Hotel New York is the Official Hotel Partner of Event Horizon.