Antony Gormley is to display a life-size sculpture suspended from the ceiling of the Ondaatje Wing Main Hall of the National Portrait Gallery, together with a suite of drawings, seen for the first time in Britain, this autumn.
On 7 September 2016 as part of Antony Gormley – OBJECT, his first display at the National Portrait Gallery, a cast-iron sculpture cast from the artist’s body will be suspended from the ceiling of the Main Hall. It will be the first time that the Main Hall has had a work of art suspended from its ceiling.
Object 1999 will occupy a position of maximum visibility from the Ground Floor and in passing as the visitor ascends the escalator to the Gallery’s Second Floor. The figure can also be experienced in close proximity and at eye level from the first floor Balcony Gallery.
This installation is accompanied on October 5 by the display of Fall 1999, a selection of drawings shown in the Gallery’s first floor Balcony Gallery within sight of the sculpture. Like the sculpture, these compelling works present a solitary figure occupying a void.
Paul Moorhouse, Curator of Antony Gormley – OBJECT, says: ‘The central preoccupation of Antony Gormley’s art is to explore the experience of occupying a human body, and to probe its mysterious relationship with the external world. By situating a figure standing in a void, this extraordinary installation presents that body-space relationship with great intensity and an affecting poignancy, and is a remarkable exploration of a shared human condition.’
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘I am delighted that the National Portrait Gallery will be displaying for the first time in Britain these remarkable works by Antony Gormley. We look forward to the Gallery’s visitors experiencing from many vantage points his powerful engagement with the human figure.’
The display at the National Portrait Gallery will coincide with a new exhibition by Antony Gormley at White Cube Bermondsey, from 30 September to 6 November 2016.
In a career that now spans more than forty years, Gormley’s wide-ranging oeuvre comprises sculpture and drawing, large-scale installations in architectural and outdoor settings, major public works such as the celebrated Angel of the North, and commissions that invite participation, notably One and Other, held in Trafalgar Square in 2009.
Object 1999 was previously exhibited in the Lutherkirche, Hannover, Germany as part of a group exhibition Lost Paradise Lost.
Antony Gormley – OBJECT is curated by Paul Moorhouse, the National Portrait Gallery’s Head of Collections Displays (Victorian to Contemporary) and Senior Curator of 20th Century Portraits. His previous exhibitions at the Gallery include Giacometti: Pure Presence (2015), The Great War in Portraits (2014), The Queen: Art and Image (2012) Gerhard Richter Portraits (2009), and Pop Art Portraits (2007).
His displays at the Gallery include Andy Warhol: 10 Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century; Bridget Riley: from Life; Jim Dine Portraits: Derek Boshier: Imaginary Portraits; Patrick Heron: Studies for a Portrait of T. S. Eliot; John Gibbons: Portraits; Frank Auerbach: Four Portraits of Catherine Lampert; Anthony Caro: Portraits; Tony Bevan – Self Portraits, Light, Colour, Texture – Matthew Smith and Frank Dobson; Jack Smith – Abstract Portraits and Thomas Struth Family Portraits.
ANTONY GORMLEY – OBJECT Object 1999: from 7 September 2016 Fall 1999 and Object 1999: from 5 October 2016
National Portrait Gallery, London www.npg.org.uk Admission Free
Image: Object, 1999 by Antony Gormley (Installation view, LOST PARADISE LOST, Lutherkirche, Germany, 2000; Photograph by Helmut Kunde, Kiel, Germany) © Antony Gormley.