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Home » Go See – St. Petersburg: Antony Gormley’s ‘Still Standing: A Contemporary Intervention in the Classical Collection’ at The Hermitage through January 15, 2012

Go See – St. Petersburg: Antony Gormley’s ‘Still Standing: A Contemporary Intervention in the Classical Collection’ at The Hermitage through January 15, 2012

November 2nd, 2011


Antony Gormley, Still Standing (2011-12). Installation view. Via AntonyGormley.com.

British sculptor Antony Gormley has been given the opportunity to place seventeen new works in the Dionysius Hall of the classical Greek and Roman galleries of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The exhibition is titled Still Standing: A Contemporary Intervention in the Classical Collection; the unique juxtaposition of contemporary sculpture in a classical setting sheds new light on the Hermitage Museum.

More text and images after the jump…


Antony Gormley, Still Standing (2011-12). Installation view. Via AntonyGormley.com.

Nine classical sculptures have been repositioned to Gormley’s specifications, directly on the ground, removing them from their pedestal. The size of the sculptures, along with Gormley’s lifesize sculptures give the viewer a unique sense of mingling with the art, of engaging the viewer’s latent sense of what a museum exhibition should (or should not) be.


Antony Gormley, Shaft III (2010). Via State Hermitage Museum.


Antony Gormley, Still Standing (2011-12). Installation view. Via AntonyGormley.com.

Gormely’s iron sculptures pixilate the human body with rusted blocks, an industrial contrast to the surrounding idealized classical sculptures. The works are standing or laying on the ground, often positioned in the happenstance sort of manner that he is known for. The sculptures continue the artist’s preoccupation with the human body—the human body in abstract form, more specifically.


Antony Gormley, Still Standing (2011-12). Installation view. Via AntonyGormley.com.

The viewer finds Gormley’s sculptures only after first viewing the classical works, coming upon them in an adjoining room, the Antichny dvorik [sic], or Small Classical Courtyard. These new pieces contrast with the classical sculptures, as well as the setting. For we are used to seeing a Gormley sculpture in a gallery space or, more famously, in remote locations, like Angel of the North (1998) in Gateshead, UK—but not in a classical art museum. This exhibition creates a new and noteworthy dialogue between contemporary art and classical art, and can be seen until January 15, 2012.

-A. Bogart

Related Links:

State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg [Exhibition Site]
Antony Gormley [Artist Site]
Antony Gormley – Of gods and men in St. Petersburg [The Independent]

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