Home » Exhibitions » Exhibition Review: Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy from 21 September to 3 December 2019

Exhibition Review: Antony Gormley at the Royal Academy from 21 September to 3 December 2019

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The Royal Academy of Arts presents a solo exhibition of the internationally acclaimed British sculptor Antony Gormley. In one of the artist’s most significant exhibitions in the UK for over a decade, Gormley uses all 13 rooms  in the RA’s Main Galleries to experiment with scale, darkness, light, and using a variety of materials.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

The early galleries feature rarely-exhibited works from the late 1970s and early 1980s Works l include Land, Sea and Air, 1977-79 and Fruits of the Earth, 1978-79 in which natural and man-made objects are wrapped in lead.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

There is also a series of concrete works from the 1990s including Flesh, 1990 . Each volume contains the body form as a void in a position that tests the enclosing mass. The interior is only visible through the hands, feet or head that break the surface of the block.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Visitors are encouraged to engage with a number of whole-room installations like Cave 2019, some installations have been specially  reconfigured for the RA’s galleries.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Lost Horizon I, 2008  features 24 cast iron figures set in different orientations on every wall, floor and ceiling.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Clearing VII, 2019 consists of kilometres of coiled, flexible aluminium tubing arcing from floor to ceiling and wall to wall; a ‘drawing in space’ which encircles the visitor.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Matrix III, 2019 is a cloud of intersecting rectangular dark steel mesh suspended above head height.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Host, 2019 fills an entire gallery to a depth of 23cm with a vast expanse of seawater and clay.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

At the centre of the exhibition in the Central Hall are two of Gormley’s early ‘expansion’ works; Body and Fruit, both from 1991-3, these hollow pieces have the characteristics of both bomb and fruit that weighs several tonnes.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Although known for his sculptures, the exhibition explores Gormley’s  works on paper which illustrate the importance of drawing for the artist. The exhibition features early drawings such as Mould, 1981. Body and Light drawings, the Linseed Oil Works (1985-1990) such as Double Moment, 1987, and the Red Earth drawings (1987-1998). The displays of Gormley’s workbooks reveal the artist’s continual investigation experimentation of ideas that often lead to the sculptural works.

© 2019 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

This fascinating exhibition provides an opportunity to explore the range of works by Antony Gormley. Although the artist is widely known for the Angel of the North and Another Place sculptures, this exhibition takes the visitor on a journey in which they are asked to interact with their surroundings in a number of ways. Gormley fills some of the exhibition spaces with a series of installations that take over the entire room and questions our perception of ourselves and pieces of art.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended

For more information and tickets, visit the Royal Academy website here

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