BREATHING ROOM II, SEAN KELLY GALLERY, NEW YORK, 2010
26 March - 01 May 2010
This was Antony Gormley's third solo exhibition with Sean Kelly Gallery, which featured an installation of BREATHING ROOM II (2010) alongside PROPOSE (2009), CONSTRUCT (2009), CAST (2009), CAST II (2009) and seven 'Breathing Room' drawings.
The main gallery contained BREATHING ROOM II: a 3-dimensional drawing in space that describes 36 cubic metres with a photo-luminescent space-frame, stretching it along different axes and repeating it five times to make a nesting set. The work hovers between being architecture and being an image of architecture. The viewer becomes the subject in an experiential field that oscillates between the meditative and the interrogative. Alternating between 80,000 watts of brilliant light and no light at all, the work is on a repeated cycle: brilliant halogens come on for short bursts and then plunge the viewer and space into darkness. The subject is implicated in a visual field framed by unstable but insistent glowing perspectives that allow free movement around and within them. In this installation, the artist provided a ground in which the viewers present experience is extended and tested through a deconstruction of spatial ordering, allowing the viewer to become a self-observing figure in a disorientating ground. In this and other works in the exhibition, the orthogonal structure and absolute geometry of the built environment, both compressed and extended, is applied to a new investigation of the abstract body.