Antony Gormley BREATHING ROOM III, 2010 Aluminum tube 25 x 25 mm, Phosphor H15 and plastic spigots 482.6 x 1693 x 895.1 cm Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands Installation view, White Cube, Mason's Yard, London, England
Antony Gormley BREATHING ROOM III, 2010 Aluminum tube 25 x 25 mm, Phosphor H15 and plastic spigots 482.6 x 1693 x 895.1 cm Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands Installation view, White Cube, Mason's Yard, London, England
Photo: © Stephen White, London
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Antony Gormley – GROUND at Voorlinden

Dec. 9, 2021

With GROUND, for the first time in Voorlinden's history, the largest part of the museum is devoted to one artist. That makes it one of Voorlinden's most ambitious exhibitions ever. 'As a museum, we want to do everything we can to give Antony Gormley the stage he deserves,' says director Suzanne Swarts. Gormley approaches the age-old subject of the human body in his own unique way. He touches on a universal and philosophical note and builds on the art history and conceptual sculpture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Antony Gormley: 'Sculpture is no longer a medium of memorial and idealization but a context in which human being can be examined. Sculpture is no longer representational: it is an instrument of investigation and questioningI have called this exhibition GROUND to make this open invitation of sculpture clear. Without the viewer there is no show, without the gallery there is no context. The joy of this kind of exhibition is to allow the richness of the context itself to become activated by sculpture. For me, the body of the viewer is often the activating principle in a 'ground' of contemplation: the works become catalysts for awareness and grounds for physical and imaginative inhabitation.'

The twelve-metre-long steelwork Passage is on display in the Netherlands for the first time in the exhibition. Within this sculpture you take a journey through the darkness into the unknown. The never-before-seen Breathing Room – in which you imagine yourself in space in a three-dimensional construction drawing – will also be shown. The sculpture group Critical Mass enters into a dialogue with the extensive grounds of Voorlinden outside the museum walls. For this, Gormley places sixty massive cast iron casts of his body in relation to the trees, lawns, canals and reed beds of the park. Gormley sees these 'capturing' of basic body postures as 'industrially made fossils dropped into the Voorlinden's verdant context, calling on embedded body-memory and our potential for feeling '.

Director Suzanne Swarts: 'Antony is one of those rare artists who has built up a timeless oeuvre with a universal visual language, yet very own signature. For four decades, he has been making sculptures that are dear to people from all over the world. For him, sculpture and the human body are the starting point for an endless cosmological investigation that concerns, touches and encourages us all to reflect.'

Antony Gormley is known to the general public for his works in public space. For example, the iconic Angel of the North can be seen in Gateshead in Northern England. He also placed an image in the Netherlands that has become an indispensable part of the collective memory: the squatting figure Exposure near Lelystad. Voorlinden has a long and close relationship with Antony Gormley, who in 1994 already made a sculpture for the sculpture garden of Clingenbosch. The collection now comprises twelve works by Gormley.

Suzanne Swarts: 'In these times of distance we realize all the more that the power of visual art lies in its physical presence and tangibility. You have to deal with art in order to understand and experience it. Antony's oeuvre questions like no other the space we occupy as humans. We can't wait to experience Antony's exhibition GROUND in 2022.”

Experience art, nature and architecture at this country estate and art museum near The Hague.

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