Dating from 1981 to 1984, these drawings are characterised by a fluid charcoal outline. Thick, heavy black pigment is mixed with linseed oil and vigorously applied to the surface with a hogshair brush. The drawings involve a very physical engagement, the wall acting as a hard, resilient surface to push against. They cover a transitional time in Gormley's career, including a period of living in a squatted house in King's Cross, following his marriage to the artist, Vicken Parsons, and then from 1982 onwards, the move to a new home in Peckham, South London, after the arrival of their first son, Ivo. The drawings are made in the domestic environment, the human subject coinciding with the first lead figures Gormley casts from his own body such as THREE WAYS (1981), also made in the King's Cross room, and LAND, SEA AND AIR (1982). As a whole, the sequence incorporates some of the first drawings the artist felt content with. 'Up to this point,' he reflects, 'drawing had been a matter of recording people and places, although I had always wanted them to be more. This is the background to what art could be and was not yet for me: the origination of things, not a reaction to the world and its contents.'
Text by Anna Moszynska, from ANTONY GORMLEY DRAWING, Published by The British Museum Press, 2002