With a major exhibition of work at the Centro Cultural Banco de Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Brasilia, British sculptor Antony Gormley has made his first foray into the South American art world in grand fashion. To accompany this showing, the White Cube Gallery has sponsored its own show of new work by Gormley, in conjunction with his solo exhibition.
Facts and Systems, on view as a special project in São Paulo, revisits Gormley’s focus on the body as articulated by architectural space, exploring the reconstruction of familiar forms from various building materials and approaches.
The first set of works, called “Proppers”, recalls Gormley’s experimentation with stacked block sculptures, using their planned arrangement to create seemingly pixelated human bodies, highlighting an intersection of modern architecture, computer rendering and the human form that seems perfectly at home in a world rapidly transitioning to a predominantly digital culture.
In his other new work on view, “Liners”, Gormley explores the process of “taking a line for a walk,” running a wire cable through the gallery, and bending it into clusters of hard angles that create his familiar human shapes, all connected by their point of origin. This singular point of origin allows the artist to expand his fascination with human form into the actual gallery space, his human forms intimately connected with the walls, floors and corners of the exhibition space.
Gormley’s works here recreate the act of mapping, analyzing the form and shape of the human body and transitioning it into a tangible form outside of ourselves, then distilling that form down to the raw elements of construction. His hard edges and blocks, when taken as a whole, create the human form, stripped of the softness and grace of contour, but balanced and striking all the same.
Facts and Systems is on view until July 15, 2012.
All photos courtesy White Cube Gallery