METER, GALERIE THADDAEUS ROPAC, SALZBURG, 2013
18 May - 13 July
METER presented the latest phase in Antony Gormley's exploration of space. In the exhibition, in the Villa Kast in Salzburg, Gormley explored scale and the relativity of any measurement, which encouraged viewers to experience anew their own physical presence in space. The sculptures that were displayed on the ground floor of the gallery are larger than life; those that were on the first floor smaller than life. Gormley's work in this exhibition address size in two ways: first, with proportional magnification and second, with increasing expansion. The austere, totem-like figure WARD (2013), 1.5 times life-size, occupied the entrance to the gallery; it is one of a series of proportionally magnified figures that were positioned along the architectural axes of the ground floor. All the sculptures that were in the exhibition use the formal language of architecture, inviting greater awareness of spatial context in the viewer through the various ways in which they occupied the rooms in the gallery.
These works were contrasted by sculptures from the 'Tankers' group. These, too, are abstracted bodyforms, with rectilinear volumes expanding from human dimensions. Consisting of dark Corten steel plates, they enclose a space the extent of which is based on the principles of the metric expansion of the universe. Here, an observation method used in astronomy is applied to the intimate sphere of the human body.
The 'Tankers' works functioned as a counterpoint to a series of white plaster sculptures characterised by stacking, propping, and cantilever exploiting the interplay between stability and instability.
Three sculptures made of linear stainless-steel, including the work COURSE (2010), a slender, double life-size figure, interpret the human body as an energy system. The massive 11 tonne iron figure REST IV (2013), in a classic reclining posture, was displayed in the garden of the Villa Kast.