antony gormley repopulates ancient greek island of delos with sculptural iron bodies

antony gormley repopulates ancient greek island of delos with sculptural iron bodies

an unprecedented exhibition of contemporary sculpture by british artist antony gormley displays from may to october 2019 throughout the archaeological site of the island of delos. the non-profit organization NEON, founded by dimitris daskalopoulos, and the ephorate of antiquities of cyclades present the collection of anthropomorphic sculptures scattered across the greek island. gormley repopulates the island with 29 iron ‘bodyforms,’ restoring a human presence and creating a journey of potential encounters. the collection comprises works made during the last twenty years, including five specially commissioned new works, both along the island’s periphery and integrated into delos’ archaeological sites.

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of delos island, 2019
all images © oak taylor smith | courtesy of NEON, ephorate of antiquities of cyclades and the artist



presented by NEON, antony gormley’s SIGHT animates the geological and archeological features of the granite aegean island, measuring less than 5 kilometers long and 1.5 kilometers wide. the site, carrying a history rich with with myths, rituals, religions, politics, multiculturalism and trade, historically represents both a holy place and commercial town. this history combined with its topography and geographical location made the island a singular and cosmopolitan hellenistic town. with this context, gormley reinterprets the function and purpose of sculpture, transforming the traditional statues and totems of the ancient world that once adorned public squares, temples and private dwellings into sites of empathy and imaginative projection.

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, vice II, 2015



the first connection between visitors and the work is established before they even set foot on delos. approaching the rugged northwest coast, they catch sight of a lone figure standing along a rocky outcropping at the water’s edge. two more works, also looking outward over the distant horizon, stand on plakes peak and mount kynthos, while another stands in the waters of the harbor. further sculptures are integrated with archaeological sites further into island, from the stadium to the theatre district and from the merchant stores to the museum site. gormley has studied the temples and the sacred enclosures, the horizon and the topography created by the wind and the salt. his sculptures, taking naturalistic, cubic and more abstracted forms, either stand or lie on the ground, exposed to the elements.

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, side II, 2017

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, shore, 2012

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, another time XIV, 2011

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, reflect, 2017

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, knot, 2010

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, water, 2018

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, spread, 2010

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, another time V, 2007

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, chute II, 2018

antony gormley SIGHT
antony gormley, shift II, 2000

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