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  • Provenance

    Mimmo Sconamiglio Arte Contemporanea, Naples

  • Exhibited

    Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, ARTIUM Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, GRAVITY: ERNESTO ESPOSITO COLLECTION, 1 February - 18 May, 2008 

  • Literature

    M. Mack, ed., Antony Gormley, Gottingen, 2007, p. 526 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, ARTIUM Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Gravity: Ernesto Esposito Collection, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, 2008 (illustrated on the cover)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Frozen in a state of perpetual still and statuary peace, the inhabitants of ancient Pompeii are immortalized as victims of nature’s wrath at the instant they are buried under layers of ash caused by a catastrophic volcanic eruption. It is the discovery of this lost civilization that inspired Antony Gormley in the making of the present lot, Suspend Pompeii, which depicts a figure literally suspended in time, directly resembling the tragic fate of the ancient civilization. This lot is an example of how over the past twenty five years Gormley has revitalized the use of the human form in sculpture doing so through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation, using his own body as subject, tool and material. Since 1990 he has expanded his concern with the human condition to explore the collective body and the relationship between self and other in large-scale installations.
    The hanging figure in Suspend Pompeii is a derivative of the artist’s Block Works which comprise of hundreds of blocks of metal, at the heart of which is a body-shaped void. There lies a philosophical conceptual theme that underpins the entire oeuvre of Gormley’s work, which is exploring the nature of sculpture in its simplest form in three dimensions. In the present work, the subject appears trapped and helpless, suspended in mid air alone, desperately fighting to loosen himself from this sticky situation. The arms seem bound to its sides; its feet stuck together ankle to ankle, looped by a single cord and unceremoniously hung upside down like an animal. The figure appears to be struggling, his head and upper torso arching upward and forwards, knees bent desperately trying to free himself from this state of arrest.


Suspend Pompeii

Bright mild steel blocks.
160 x 53 x 73 cm. (63 x 20 7/8 x 28 3/4 in).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Mimmo Sconamiglio Arte Contemporanea, Naples.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for £241,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm