Sir Antony Gormley
Sir Antony Gormley is a British artist. Gormley was always interested in art, studying history of art – along with anthropology and archaeology – at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1968 to 1971. After this, he travelled to India and Sri Lanka, attempting to learn more about the Buddhist and Asian culture there. After returning to England, he attended St Martin’s School of Art, and then concluded his studies at Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, where he studied a postgraduate course in sculpture.
Gormley’s work began to become more recognised in 1981, when he was given a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The majority of his work uses the human form as its basis. Gormley describes his work as “an attempt to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live.” He often used his own body to create his work, most commonly when creating metal casts in the shape of the human body.
One of his most famous projects was Event Horizon, where Gormley created 31 completely anatomically-accurate casts of his body, and positioned them on the rooftops of important buildings along London’s South Bank and in locations around Madison Square in New York City. When talking of the New York site, Gormley said that the project should “activate the skyline in order to encourage people to look around. In this process of looking and finding, or looking and seeking, one perhaps re-assesses one’s own position in the world and becomes aware of one’s status of embedment.”
As well as sculptures, Gormley often creates etchings and prints based on these creations. For example, in 2010 he used his Horizon Field landscape project and created limited edition etchings of these figures and printed them onto heavy handmade paper. Similar to this is Gormley’s etching of Another Place, which used the sculptures on Crosby Beach to create a print of an image of a man, with a series of horizontal lines that cover the figure and completely submerge the form, linking to the sculptures which often become submerged by the sea.
Gormley has won many awards for his artwork, including the Turner Prize in 1994. He has been a Royal Academician since 2003, and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an honorary doctor of the universities of Teesside and Cambridge, and a fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. He was also awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance in 2011, along with receiving the Obayashi Prize in 2012. In 2014, Gormley was knighted for his services to art.