Critics’ Picks

View of “Horizon Field Hamburg,” 2012.


Antony Gormley

Deichtorhallen Hamburg
Deichtorstrasse 1 + 2
June 1–September 16

Antony Gormley is fascinated by the figure in space, the human form being his central theme and motif. For his latest exhibition, the artist has hung an enormous black platform—some eighty feet wide and one hundred and sixty feet long—from the ceiling by steel cables; it hovers approximately twenty-six feet above the floor. Visitors are invited to climb onto the space via a side staircase and wander about its seamlessly wrought, reflective surface. Gormley’s work affords new views of the hall itself, and the reflective surface casts a mirrored view of the visitors, which, coupled with the fact that visitors are literally standing on a floating pedestal, causes each individual to seem almost sculptural. Called Horizon Field Hamburg, 2012, this installation is one of Gormley’s few works conceived without figurative sculpture, an aesthetic choice that causes the observer to become both subject and object of the installation. Lacking rails or any other safety barrier at the edges—only a narrow net attached to the edges of the platform—the horizontal plank almost seems to float freely in space. Often, a visitor’s movements set the structure into an almost unnoticeable oscillation; standing amid a group on the shifting ground, one is immersed in an artistic experience both immediate and communal.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.