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Antony Gormley on Sculpture

Antony Gormley, Mark Holborn


One of the world’s most powerful creative practitioners reflects on the ideas, processes and histories behind his craft

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Antony Gormley occupies an unusual position as a highly popular sculptor – known chiefly for his 'Angel of the North' (1998), a national landmark in the UK – who is also widely regarded as one of the most intellectually challenging artists working internationally. He is grounded in archaeology and anthropology, and looks to Asian and Buddhist traditions as much as to Western sculptural history, which he believes reached a punctuation point with Rodin. This is the first book to focus on Gormley’s thoughts on sculpture, positioning his career and artistic philosophy in relation to its history.

The book is structured thematically over four chapters: the first explores Gormley’s thoughts on the body, time and space in relation to major works including 'European Field' (1993) and ‘Still Standing’ (2011), Gormley’s rehang of the classical rooms at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The second chapter, ‘Sculptors’, was first delivered as a series of five lectures for the BBC; in each, Gormley discusses a sculpture he considers to be of huge creative importance: Epstein’s 'The Rock Drill' (1913–15), Brancusi’s 'The Endless Column' (1935–38), Giacometti’s 'La Place' (1948–49), Joseph Beuys’s 'Plight' (1985) and Richard Serra’s 'The Matter of Time' (2005). In the third chapter, Gormley outlines the influence of Buddhist and Jain sculpture on his work and ideas, and the fourth showcases the artist’s most recent sculptures.

Beautifully packaged in a cloth-bound reading-book format, and presented in Gormley’s own voice, this book captures the universal resonance of an artist with an unerring ability to tap into the public consciousness.

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'Like Gormley’s sculpture, this is a book that is deeply serious but also highly accessible, beautiful and universally resonant'
Art Daily

Further Details


Format: Hardback with tipped on colour plate to back board (without jacket)

Size: 21.6 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Publication date: 5 October 2015

ISBN: 9780500093955

Contents List

1. Body Space and Body Time: Living in Sculpture • 2. Sculptors • 3. Mindfulness • 4. Expansion

About the Author

Antony Gormley is a British artist, who uses his own body to make sculptures which explore the human experience of being in the world. He is perhaps best known for his huge sculpture, 'The Angel of the North', in Gateshead. He won the Turner Prize in 1994 for 'Field for the British Isles', a roomful of some 40,000 terracotta figures, and continues to exhibit widely. He has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Mark Holborn is an internationally recognized editor and designer of illustrated books working with a diverse range of artists, from William Eggleston to Lucian Freud. He is also a curator, author and specialist on Japanese culture. His books as an editor with Thames & Hudson include Antony Gormley on Sculpture, Susan Meiselas: On the Frontline and Daido Moriyama.

List of Contributors

Mark Holborn