This piece in on loan from the Pizzuti Collection. It is one of my favorites in the Contemporary Art wing at the Columbus Museum of Art.
I did a docent research paper on this piece. You can read the abridged version below —
Artist – Antony Gormley (British, 1950)
Title of Work – Freefall II (2007)
Stainless steel bars
On loan from the Pizzuti Collection
Description – fractal-like geometric steel pieces, part of the Drift series (2007-2012). According to the artist:
The bodies are free, lost in space, weightless, and with no internal determination—they are not ‘acting.’ They appear as emergent zones: you cannot be sure whether the bubble matrix is produced by the body zone or the zone by the matrix. (Gormley’s website)
Style – Contemporary sculpture. Gormley is characteristically known for his work with life-sized human forms that have ambiguous features and are made of metal visibly soldered together in static poses.
They are casts of the artist’s own body. He is wrapped in cling film, then cloth, then coated with wet plaster, which dries. He is then cut out of the resulting mold, which is reassembled and lead or other metal is pressed into void, or beaten to take his form, and the pieces are welded together (Cumming, p.103)
Gormley was born in 1950, the youngest of seven children to a wealthy family. His father was an avid art lover and would regularly take his children to art museums. Gormley studied anthropology, archeology and art history at Cambridge (1968-71). It was during a trip to India where he decided to become an artist. Afterwards, he pursued his artistic endeavors at Central, Goldsmiths and Slade Schools of Art, London, 1974- 77.
Significance – Artist deals with the relationship between humans and their environment. Received the Turner Prize in 1994 for his Fields projects. Most known work is the Angel of the North (1998) in Gateshead, England.
Gormley’s oeuvre is steeped in social theory, anthropology and philosophy. He is always conscious of space, environment and human form and more importantly, their relationship together. He deliberately exposing the “process by which the work itself was made and the relating it very closely to his own body and existence” (The Guardian, p. 8).
In an article written by Gormley, he discussed the idea of the dualistic nature of sculpture. It is considered a “thing,” it occupies space, and it also can provoke feelings and experiences from the viewer. He continued to explain this idea,” sculpture itself is an act of liberation…the shape of the thing…are combined with…our experiences of abstract space into something concrete” (Gormley, p.1513)
According to Gormley, sculpture deals with mass and space on a large scale. He invites the beholder to feel their own scale and movement as compared to the sculpture, from this dynamic, emotions arise (Interview Magazine, p.3).
Boström, A. (2004). The encyclopedia of sculpture. Fitzroy Dearborn.
Brookner, J. (1992). The Heart of Matter. Art Journal, 51(2), 8-11.
Cumming, R. (2001). Art: A Field Guide. Alfred A. Knopf.
Kuiper, K. (2014). Antony Gormley – British Sculptor and Draftsman, Encyclopedia Brittannica. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antony-Gormley
Gormley, A. (2007). Feeling into form. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 362(1484), 1513-1518.
Wilson, R. (2016). The Body of Antony Gormley. Interview Magazine. Retrieved January 11, 2017 from http://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/antony-gormley-constructs#
Wroe, N. (2005). Leader of the Pack. The Guardian. Retreived January 11, 2017 from https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/jun/25/art
Students from local schools like this piece too.