Antony Gormley

BLOCKWORKS, 2003 - 2018

The BLOCKWORK Series, which is still continuing, makes physical pixelisations with a rising canon of four blocks, each eight times the volume of the one before, keeping the same 1:1:2 proportion as in the original BUILDING series that only used one block size.

The first works in this series were made in moulds working relatively blind, allowing the largest blocks where possible. All the blocks are contained within the constraints of the mould.

This was an attempt to apply the logic of the post and lintel structures of building to the body, making a massive, chrystalline precipitate. All of the early works allude to these chemical states: CONCENTRATE, PRECIPITATE, SUBLIMATE. They are all evocations of the inside of the body under the skin.

As the series developed, the challenge became one of trying to liberate each of the participant blocks into a space of its own, where the dynamic between space and mass permeated the whole body. I tried, as in the BUILDING series, to try to build the maximum tension between cohesion and expansion (or perhaps breakdown).

All of the BLOCKWORKS try to accept the basic lexicon of the positions of the body at rest even if some of them, as in PRECIPITATE, have an attitude of impending movement, but the challenge is to try to make the dynamic of the hovering blocks, and an intimation of explosive expansion, a substitute for the obsession with movement that has characterised figuration in the history of Western sculpture.

In applying the rules of architecture and its absolute geometries, using an objective register of a particular human life, I try to let an improvised construction evoke an internal state. The success of any one work depends on there being an absolute tension between the sharp material clarity of the steel blocks, and a sense of vulnerability and exposure in the gestalt.

The edge of the works is very important. Light and space eat into the embodied core, so the works have a quality of incomplete resolution. The works demand participation from the viewer.

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CONCENTRATE I

CONCENTRATE I, 2003
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 75 x 51 x 64 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

DISTILLATE I

DISTILLATE I, 2003
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 200 x 58 x 29.5 cm

EXTRACT

EXTRACT, 2003
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
79 x 56 x 72 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

FIX I

FIX I, 2003
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
41 x 186 x 50cm

SUBLIMATE

SUBLIMATE, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dims: 195 x 52 x 32 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

PRECIPITATE II

PRECIPITATE II, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 82 x 47 x 65 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

PRECIPITATE IV

PRECIPITATE IV, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 80 x 46.5 x 65 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

PRECIPITATE VIII

PRECIPITATE VIII, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 88 x 48 x 68 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

SUBLIMATE II

SUBLIMATE II, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
194 x 53 x 30cm

SUBLIMATE VII

SUBLIMATE VII, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
192 x 60 x 32cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

AGGREGATE

AGGREGATE, 2004
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 193 x 49 x 35 cm
Collection of Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria

BORDER I

BORDER I, 2005
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 190 x 50 x 37.5 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

SUSPENSION

SUSPENSION, 2005
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 192.5 x 197.5 x 27.5 cm
Installation view, Mimmo Scognamiglio Artecontemporanea (Naples), 2006
Photograph by Peppe Avallone

SETTLEMENT I

SETTLEMENT I, 2005
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 24 x 60 x 208.5 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

LIE (HABITAT)

LIE (HABITAT), 2005
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
35 x 206 x 48cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

SUBLIME FIELD

SUBLIME FIELD, 2005
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 197.5 x 77.5 x 59 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

DIVIDED STATES: SUBLIMATE VIII

DIVIDED STATES: SUBLIMATE VIII, 2006
Stainless steel blocks 12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4 mm, 25.4 x 25.4 x 50.8 mm, 38.1 x 38.1 x 76.2 mm, 50.8 x 50.8 x 101.6 mm, 76.2 x 76.2 x 152.4 mm, 101.6 x 101.6 x 203.2 mm
dim: 192 x 46 x 27 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

DIVIDED STATES: DISTILLATE III

DIVIDED STATES: DISTILLATE III, 2006
Stainless steel blocks 12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4 mm, 25.4 x 25.4 x 50.8 mm, 38.1 x 38.1 x 76.2 mm, 50.8 x 50.8 x 101.6 mm, 76.2 x 76.2 x 152.4 mm, 101.6 x 101.6 x 203.2 mm
dims: 28 x 200 x 54 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

DIVIDED STATES: SUPPLICATE I, 2006

DIVIDED STATES: SUPPLICATE I, 2006
Stainless steel blocks 12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4 mm, 25.4 x 25.4 x 50.8 mm, 38.1 x 38.1 x 76.2 mm, 50.8 x 50.8 x 101.6 mm, 76.2 x 76.2 x 152.4 mm, 101.6 x 101.6 x 203.2 mm
dim: 143 x 56 x 65 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

GUT I

GUT I, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 37.5 x 37.5 x 75 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm, 75 x 75 x 150 mm, 100 x 100 x 200 mm, 160 x 51 x 70 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

DISTILLATE V

DISTILLATE V, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 29 x 56 x 200 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

UNFORM I

UNFORM I, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
dim: 81 x 47 x 66 cm

UNFORM VII

UNFORM VII, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
85 x 46 x 65 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

COTCH II

COTCH II, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm and 100 x 100 x 200 mm
83 x 75 x 72 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

SPACE STATION MODEL

SPACE STATION MODEL, 2007
Mild steel blocks 12.5 x 12.5 x 25 mm, 25 x 25 x 50 mm, 37.5 x 37.5 x 75 mm, 50 x 50 x 100 mm, 75 x 75 x 150 mm, 100 x 100 x 200 mm
53 x 90 x 65 cm
Photograph by Stephen White, London

Firmament, White Cube, 2008Firmament, White Cube, 2008 Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin, 2007Georg Kolbe Museum, Berlin, 2007 Koyanagi Gallery, Tokyo, 2005Koyanagi Gallery, Tokyo, 2005