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Antony Gormley, New York (2024)

Antony Gormley


30 April – 15 June 2024


30 April – 15 June 2024


White Cube New York

1002 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

Due to the site-specific nature of ‘Aerial’ (2023), the installation from which the show takes its title, the gallery can only accommodate a limited number of visitors at a time. Advanced booking is advised.

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White Cube is pleased to present ‘AERIAL’, an exhibition by Antony Gormley, in which the artist considers sculpture as an instrument for proprioception – the body’s innate capacity to sense and perceive its position, movements and orientation in relation to itself and the environment. The exhibition features two recent developments in Gormley’s practice: one explores physical proximity in mass and scale, where two over-life-size bodies merge as one, while the other endeavours to catalyse space almost without mass.

Aerial (2023), the work from which the show takes its title, manifests an orthogonal matrix that both measures and activates the architecture of the ground floor gallery in which it is contained. Built from a descending scale of solid aluminium bars that end in delicate elements referred to by the artist as ‘whiskers’, Aerial creates a zone of dispersed energy that interacts with light. The work’s branching system of vertical and horizontal bars speaks to Piet Mondrian’s ‘Pier and Ocean’ series, in which elemental space and the dynamic between distance and proximity are evoked through lines articulated at right angles.

Aerial endeavours to be both a receiver and transmitter of energy, the viewer and artwork mutually activated by the observer’s trajectory through space and time. The work kindles an understanding of space not as an emptiness isolating one object from another, but rather as a place that exists within and through objects. ‘You could think of this work as the root hair of the made world’, notes Gormley, ‘or as the antenna of architecture, perhaps even the whiskers of the room that allow us to sense space and the room to sense us.’

Upstairs, three solid cast iron ‘Big Double Blockworks’ (all 2023) explore physical intimacy through a radically reduced geometric language. Departing from Gormley’s earlier explorations of doubled forms, which focused on the organic mitotic duplication of his own body, these works refer to the orthogonal geometry of architecture – what Gormley calls our ‘second body’ – and use its physical language, rather than pure line, to form mass. Gormley conceived these recent works during, and in response to, the Covid lockdowns – periods when the intimacies of shared living amplified a sense of ‘being with’.

Resting prone on the gallery floor, the first double work, Big Tender (2023), mirrors two stacked body-forms, compressed through the exertion of counterbalanced forces, inclining them toward each other and propelling them downward to create a singular centre of gravity. In Big Sidle (2023) and Big Bare (2023), two upright bodies composed of stacked blocks converge into a singular mass, sharing a single load path, the precarity of both paradoxically creating the stability of the final form. Gormley’s ‘Big Double Blockworks’ evoke the intrinsic need for support and intimacy.

Adjacent to the blockworks in the upper gallery are a selection of Gormley’s drawings. Executed in various media, including carbon, casein and walnut ink, these drawings articulate both architectural trajectories and cosmogenic expansion. In the ‘Cosmic’ drawings (2014–18), the artist explores the creation of light through the transformation of matter in space, as in the phenomena of quasars and supernovas. For Gormley, these drawings are ‘created by the forces of fluid matter and are discovered rather than made’. In ‘Aperture’ and ‘Lux’ (both 2023), layers of carbon and casein wash evoke the interiors of Gormley’s earlier large-scale works, such as Model (2012) and Cave (2019), which explore bodies as buildings. Here, architectural space is carried through fractal planes that appear to converge the dimensions of space, light and volume. In other drawings, dark diffusions of carbon evoke what the artist calls the ‘darkness of the body’. These works express the experience of meditation where, through stilling the body in a variety of compressed positions, one might gain a sense of the boundless, edgeless, objectless space within the body.

Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally with exhibitions at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, UK (2024); Musée Rodin, Paris (2023); Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany (2022); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands (2022); National Gallery Singapore, Singapore (2021); Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Germany (2021); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2019); Delos, Greece (2019); Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy (2019); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (2019); Long Museum, Shanghai (2017); Forte di Belvedere, Florence, Italy (2015); Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland (2014); Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasília (2012); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (2012); The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia (2011); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2010); Hayward Gallery, London (2007); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (1993); and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (1989). Permanent public works include the Angel of the North (Gateshead, UK), Another Place (Crosby Beach, UK), Inside Australia (Lake Ballard, Western Australia), Exposure (Lelystad, Netherlands), Chord (MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Alert (Imperial College London).

Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

Installation Views

Featured Works

Antony Gormley


Antony Gormley

TOUCH I, 2023

Antony Gormley


Antony Gormley

LUX I, 2023

Exhibition Publication

Antony Gormley ‘Aerial’ (2024)

Aerial was published to mark Antony Gormley’s first exhibition at White Cube New York (April – June 2024). Illustrating selected works on view, the publication foregrounds Gormley’s eponymous installation as well as his ‘Big Double Blockworks’ sculptures (all 2023).


Advanced booking to ‘AERIAL’ is advised.

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Antony Gormley and Tom Eccles

On the occasion of Antony Gormley’s current exhibition, ‘AERIAL’ at White Cube New York, the artist was joined in conversation with Tom Eccles, Executive Director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, at The Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

Antony Gormley

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