Antony Gormley - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    White Cube, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012

  • Catalogue Essay

    Over ten feet tall and comprised of a singular 6mm square section steel bar, Lift III is an abstract sculpture of a life-size human form belonging to Antony Gormley’s "Liner" series. The "Liners" are all dependent on walls and ceilings, making you take account of the architecture or structures around you. They imply human space as a kind of interference in a connective system. Inspired by the principles of Euclidean geometry, Gormley explores the three-dimensional mapping of the place of the body through a dynamic line that evokes the flow and return of an energy system.

    In reflecting upon the importance of line in his work, Gormley cites Paul Klee’s Pedagogal Sketchbook (published in 1925), as a source of inspiration. In this book, Klee discusses the notion of active line, limited in its movement by fixed points, versus passive line, the result of an activation of planes. Klee ultimately postulates that every line has an intrinsic energy. In Lift III, Gormley draws upon these tenets, yet transforms the notion of line on paper into a three-dimensional, tangible form. For Gormley, the wall becomes paper – a blank canvas on which he can explore the infinite possibilities of line in space. In Lift III, the steel rod takes a very deliberate path; there is a palpable intensity where it meets the wall, and a series of calculated pressure points at every 90-degree turn. Gormley transforms something as simple as a line into a charged sculpture that invites the viewer to reflect on his or her own being in space.

    In the artist’s words, the "Liners" “not only allude to the infrastructure of the building but to the substructure on which we now all depend – the urban grid is mirrored in the Internet or in our dependency on communication systems that are hidden but nevertheless determine the way we relate both to space and time. Nobody can get anywhere or do anything without a smartphone with a GPS. It’s incredible how quickly the grid-like determinism of digital technology is now totally embedded in our lives." (Antony Gormley, quoted in Antony Gormley: States and Conditions, White Cube Hong Kong, 2014, pp. 24-25)


Lift III

6mm square section mild steel bar
bodyform 17 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 21 5/8 in. (45 x 190 x 55 cm.)
installation dimensions variable

Executed in 2012.

$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $337,500

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 14 November 2018