Some of Gormley’s works were created for the exhibition, others are from the last three decades; but each tests the scale of the Academy’s architecture, giving each room a purpose that envelopes each visitor. Many of Gormley’s works treat the human body as either an object or subject, and contain seawater, sharp edges, and sharp materials like solid steel slabs and spindles. His works include ‘Body and Fruit’ (1991-1993), two hanging peach-like spheres, cast iron molds of the artist curled in a fetal position. ‘Clearing VII’ (2004-2010), is an installation of eight kilometers of coiled metal, weaved together in a tangled spiral that fills an entire room.
‘Matrix III’ (2019) is a suspended intersecting grid weighing six tons, made from reinforced steel mesh. Staring at or through it is intended to distort one’s orientation, asking the viewer to assess their own position in the world—in both a physical and metaphorical sense. Despite the seemingly imposing nature of Gormley’s works, there is a sense of stillness and calm that pervades the exhibition; an open-endedness that changes with each visitor. The Royal Academy of Arts has kindly shared a selection of Gormley’s works with IGNANT, they are pictured below. His solo exhibition is on at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, until December 3, 2019. For more information, click here.