antony gormley sets more than 100 human figures overlooking florence antony gormley sets more than 100 human figures overlooking florence
apr 30, 2015

antony gormley sets more than 100 human figures overlooking florence

antony gormley sets more than 100 bodies overlooking florence
(above) photograph by antony gormley  / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

 

 

 

the city of florence hosts more than a hundred works by antony gormley, infilling the inner rooms of the historic forte di belvedere, its ramparts, steps and terraces. with its view of the city and surrounding hills, the sixteenth-century fortress receives some of the most important pieces from gormley’s career along with his more recent studies and investigations into the human body. from now until september 27, 2015, the exhibition entitled ‘human’ ‘allows the mass and form of this remarkable construction to speak‘, gormley says.

antony gormley florence
photograph by pietro savorelli / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

 

 

 

among the works on show is ‘critical mass’, comprising 12 positioned people, each cast 5 times, which range through the complex compositions of the body: ground-hugging, crouching, fetal, squatting, sitting, kneeling, standing, mourning and a final unstable. originally conceived in 1995 for a former tram depot in vienna, the work is now sited on the lower terrace of the forte di belvedere, acquiring a reinterpreted significance in comparison to the renaissance city.

 

for this iteration, 12 figures are installed in a linear and progressive layout; at the other end of the lower terrace, a confused mass of the same body is sited. ‘here, as abandoned manufactured iron objects, each ten times the specific gravity of a living human body, they reflect the shadow side of any idea of human progress, confronting the viewer with an image redolent of the conflict of the past century.’

antony gormley florence
photograph by antony gormley  / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

 

 

 

the organic figures of ‘critical mass’ — derived directly from the artist’s body — are in situ with recent pieces, known as ‘blockworks’. these pixelated figures transform the human anatomy to an architectural volume, with each sculpture positioned to resonate with the strong structure of the florentine fortress. ‘a single work installed against the wall in an entrance tunnel to the east connects building and body but also underlines the contrast between the idealism of a renaissance city and the figure that we all know well, that of the homeless person sheltering in a city doorway. on the top terrace, outside the loggia, a mourning figure from critical mass faces a horizontal plane that it shares with a blockwork that looks out to the campagna. at the heart of the exhibition, in the old gunpowder store, is a single sculpture constructed from pure cubes, where the idealisation of the statue placed on a plinth is replaced by the pathos of the exposed prisoner on a box.’

antony gormley florence
photograph by antony gormley  / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by pietro savorelli / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
antony gormley florence
photograph by emiliano cribari / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by emiliano cribari / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by emiliano cribari / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by emiliano cribari / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by emiliano cribari / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by antony gormley  / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

antony gormley florence
photograph by antony gormley  / courtesy galleria continua and white cube © the artist

 

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