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Antony Gormley at the RA

September 21 2019 @ 10:00 am - December 3 2019 @ 6:00 pm


This autumn, the Main Galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts host a major retrospective of sculptor Antony Gormley, noted for, amongst other works, the Angel of the North which watches over the A1. The artist frequently utilises the human body – famously, his own – in his work, the familiar form becoming a tool through which to explore themes of space, nature and humans’ place in it.

Spanning the entire 45 years of the artist’s career, the exhibition is multi-sensory and engrossing, with several works demanding the audience’s active participation. Clearing VII, for example, is a giant ‘drawing in space’: 8 kilometres of criss-crossing coiled steel over which visitors must clamber, eliciting an acute awareness of one’s body not generally experienced in a museum setting. Getting to the show’s end requires stooping down to traverse the Cave, a giant tunnel structure made of steel boxes, in the dark  – immersive in the literal sense of the word.

Gormley’s signature works, the life-size cast iron men, feature prominently throughout the galleries. In Lost Horizon I they are gravity-defying: standing not only on the floor but also the ceiling, sticking out of the walls at right angles in a bizarre, disorientating display. Another highlight is Host, an eerie expanse of still water over a shallow clay seabed, which stretches out to a single closed door. Resist the temptation to reach for Instagram – if only for half a minute – to fully take in this alien scene.

Unusual, thought-provoking and a little unsettling, the sculptures and installations in this exhibition provide a genuine experience and insight into the work of one of Britain’s most iconic artists.


21 September – 3 December 2019, 10am – 6pm (10am – 10pm on Fridays)


Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London W1J 0BD


Tickets £18 – £22, royalacademy.org.uk

Nota Bene: This exhibition features work that may not be suitable for people who experience claustrophobia. Some of the pieces contain water, sharp edges, and materials that may transfer onto clothing.  


September 21 2019 @ 10:00 am
December 3 2019 @ 6:00 pm
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The Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House
Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD United Kingdom
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