Six Antony Gormley sculptures

  • 18 August 2015

Happy Birthday Gormley! Celebrate the birth of one of our great contemporary artists and see one of his mysterious sculptures.

From the tiny Iron Baby to the towering Angel of the North,  we've chosen our favourite Antony Gormley works to mark the sculptor’s 65th birthday.

1. Iron Baby, Science Museum

At first glance, it's easy to mistake this diminutive sculpture for a mass of cooled lava or a lump of coal – its texture dull and worn, as if buffeted smooth by centuries of weather. Only a web of seams running around the sculpture, perhaps a remnant of the casting process, disturbs the uniform surface. Find Iron Baby in the first floor of the Wellcome Wing.

2. Filter, Manchester Art Gallery

Hanging askew above the central staircase of Manchester Art Gallery, this ringmesh figure has a deceptively fragile appearance. Seen from below, the light from the gallery windows shines directly through the perforated sculpture, which was bought with an Art Fund grant in 2002.

3. One and Other, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Just above the usual line of sight, the trunk of one tree on the West-South Yorkshire border ends abruptly, levelled off into a podium. On top, a figure casts its gaze over the landscape, its contours smoothed and blended together as if shrink-wrapped. 

4. Another Place, Crosby Beach

As the sun sets over Crosby Beach, a hundred cast-iron human figures can be seen silhouetted against the horizon – some submerged to the waist as they look out to sea, others watching from the shore. Each group seems to tell a story: are they moonlit lovers, or a rescue party

5. Angel of the North, Gateshead

Gormley's largest sculpture pays tribute to the north's industrial heritage, replacing the expected bird wings with those of an aeroplane. The ribbed red-brown steel construction, built to withstand strong winds, was inspired by shipbuilding techniques.

6. Planets, British Library

Drawing on natural objects and the power of geometric forms, Planets places rocks, each of a different material, at equal distances around a circle. There are only eight rocks in the sculpture, raising the question of where – and what – the ninth 'planet' might be.

Tags: What to see