Antony Gormley - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, June 26, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003

  • Exhibited

    Salzburg, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Antony Gormley: Standing Matter, 12 April - 31 May 2003, p. 20 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Michael Mack, ed., Antony Gormley, Göttingen, 2007, p. 524 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘My work is to make bodies into vessels that contain and occupy space. Space exists outside the door and inside my head. My work is to make a human space in space’ (Antony Gormley quoted in Antony Gormley: Five Works, exh. cat., Serpentine Gallery, London, 1987, np).

    The materialised trace of a body looking up to the sky, Here and Here, 2001, belongs to Antony Gormley’s early series of smooth anthropomorphic cast iron figures exploring embodiment and disembodiment starting in the mid-1980s and completed in the late 2000s. Moulded on Gormley’s own body, they are all life size. Here and Here is not a representation but an indexical sign which re-negotiates the relationship between an event and its representation, using index rather than interpretation as its vehicle. It bears witness to and gives evidence of a lived moment of a particular body at a particular time, embedded in a particular location. A solid cast in iron weighing 630 kilogrammes, this work identifies the space that Gormley’s body occupied: the artist describes it as ‘proof’ of where a body once was and where any body could be.

    The title Here and Here suggests two parallel but simultaneous connections: between the work and the viewer, and the work and its place. It suggests a dynamic between viewer and object: the viewer is here and the sculpture is here separated by distance, a distance that the sculpture can reverse or annul. ‘Here and Here’ also suggests the connection between earth and sky: the body of the sculpture connecting to the body of the earth, but referring to the other place that is not here: the beyond, the infinity of space.

    All the body forms that Antony Gormley has produced since 1980 are an attempt to define a body, not as an object but as a place, only having potency when inhabited empathetically by the viewer. Gormley's work – which has been celebrated in exhibitions in eminent institutions including the British Museum; MoMA in New York; the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg; the Philadelphia Museum of Art and included in the Venice Biennale and Documenta – has ‘revitalised the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation’ (Iwona Blazwick, Phaidon Press Monograph, 1995). Building from the radical artistic innovations brought forth by the Minimalists and process-driven sculpture of the 1960s, and merging sculpture with landscape and collective space, Gormley has brought an additional aperture to modern sculptural discourse: human breath held by lead membranes that were later transformed into the pure mass of cast iron and steel. Here and Here can be seen as a stepping stone to much of Gormley’s future sculptural investigations vested with corporeal fragmentation through variably-sized blocks, Here and Here is a naturalistic manifestation of ‘a human space in space’.

    A common thread tying together the sculptures of Antony Gormley across his five-decade career has been their ability to straddle myriad conceptual contradictions. While accepting the particularity of his own existence, Gormley succeeds in expressing universal human experience. The artist likens the body to a place, an organism, a ‘thing-in-the-world’ but also as a vehicle for the boundlessness of mind. Gormley’s Here and Here expresses the tension held between presence and absence, abundance and void, life and death.

Property of a Distinguished European Collector


Here and Here

stamped with the artist's initials and number on the underside
cast iron
193 x 47.5 x 32 cm (75 7/8 x 18 3/4 x 12 5/8 in.)
Executed in 2001, this work is number 1 from an edition of 5 plus 4 artist's proofs.

£260,000 - 350,000 ‡♠

Sold for £275,000

Contact Specialist

Rosanna Widén

Director, Senior Specialist
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

44 20 7318 4060

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 27 June 2019