In ‘Body Politic,’ Antony Gormley Traverses the Human-Built Landscape

Since the 1960s, British artist Antony Gormley has used the language of sculpture to examine relationships between human beings, nature, and the cosmos. If you’ve driven the A1 or taken a train past Gateshead in the U.K., you’ll have likely seen the “Angel of the North,” a public work made of weathered COR-TEN steel installed on a hilltop in 1998 that depicts a figure holding out arms that look like riveted wings. One of his most recognizable projects, the work was met with controversy at the time but has since become a beloved landmark.

For decades, Gormley has featured the human form in his work, often using his own body as a starting point for large-scale installations in which abstracted figures wander through outdoor spaces or convene in enigmatic arrangements. In Body Politic at White Cube in Bermondsey, London, the artist investigates our relationship with industrial environments and the tension between migratory impulses and the need for refuge.

Featured image: “Test, Bind” (2023). Installation view of ‘Body Politic’ at White Cube Bermondsey

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