Milan

Anthony Gormley

Galleria Salvatore + Caroline Ala

Not far away, Anthony Gormley showed a series of sculpted bodies which shunned the political for metaphysical allures, secreting a pervasive and eternalizing calm. Gormley’s spare, eerie figures seem primed by primordial forces, their smooth bodies, scored by quadrant lines, marking the axial coordinates of space. Here they crouched, squatted, or sat rolled into a knee-to-elbow ball; one strode his environment like a Giacometti, while another lay stretched out on the floor. Because they are molded forms (composites cast from Gormley’s body parts), these lead-plaster-and-fiberglass figures seem like emanations of the body—ghosts adopting our basic poses. But they are bodies pared to essences, their taut, silver brown skins staking primitive relations to earth (because of their position on the floor) and sky, as the air about their minimal forms seems magnified to cosmic dimensions. Indeed, Gormley appears to make analogies between “mass,” subject to gravity’s inexorable pull, and sculptural weight; he seems preoccupied by the precarious balance by which the figure negotiates its movements through space, as through life. In a multi-figure grouping like Three Calls, 1983–84, Gormley suggests thought, speech, and action, developing the roundelay of relations among sculptures into an all-encompassing metaphor for states of being. But elsewhere form and space exist isolated, in imbrication, the one magnifying the other through perception like heaven growing about Brancusi’s Bird.

Kate Linker