Angel of the North
Antony Gormley Biography
Antony Gormley OBE was born in London in 1950. He studied archaeology, anthropology and art history at Trinity College, Cambridge. After three years in India he studied sculpture in London at Central School of Art, Goldsmith’s College and Slade School of Art. He is one of the leading contemporary sculptors at the forefront of a generation of celebrated British artists who emerged during the 1980s. Since then his profile and renown have increased with major public works and exhibitions in the USA, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.
His work is currently in the British Collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tate Modern, British Museum and the Henry Moore Sculpture Gallery in Leeds. He is currently a Trustee of BALTIC in Gateshead.
His exhibitions in this country are listed below, including the Tate Liverpool, where he showed the Turner prize-winning ‘Field for the British Isles’ in 1994; a sculpture consisting of 40,000 tiny terracotta figures made by families in the community near a brick-making factory in St Helens, Merseyside which then toured the country including exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, London; Greenesfield British Rail Works, Gateshead and The British Museum. His international reputation was augmented with ‘Critical Mass’ at the Royal Academy in 1998 and, of course, the Angel of the North in the same year.
Antony Gormley has made many works of art for public sites based on the human form. Using his body as a starting point, it is the siting of the work in the landscape, which gives it a more profound meaning. For these public commissions, robust industrial materials are used such as cast iron, steel and stone (contrasting with lead, the material used for his gallery works.) His public sculptures can be seen in some diverse locations such as the crypt at Winchester Cathedral. The inner city redevelopment of Victoria Square in Birmingham is home to ‘The Iron Man’, while ‘Havmannen’ a huge figure made from arctic granite was built on a seabed in a Norwegian fjord.
In 1994 he won the prestigious Turner Prize and in 1997 was awarded the OBE for services to sculpture.
Antony Gormley’s official website is:
Public Art and The Angel of the North