Lot 22
  • 22

Antony Gormley

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
758,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Antony Gormley
  • Sublimate VI
  • variable mild steel blocks


White Cube, London

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006


Michael Mack, Ed., Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007, p. 533, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

The Blockwork Series, which is still continuing, makes physical pixelisations with a rising canon of four blocks, each eight times the volume of the one before, keeping the same 1:1:2 proportion as in the original Building series that only used one block size.

The first works in this series were made in moulds working relatively blind, allowing the largest blocks where possible. All the blocks are contained within the constraints of the mould. 

This was an attempt to apply the logic of the post and lintel structures of building to the body, making a massive, chrystalline precipitate. All of the early works allude to chemical states: ConcentratePrecipitateSublimate, using them as metaphors for internal feeling.

As the series developed, the challenge became one of trying to liberate each of the participant blocks into a space of its own creating a tension between space and mass, cohesion and breakdown that permeates the whole. The challenge is to try to make the dynamic of the hovering blocks a substitute for the obsession with movement that has characterised figuration in the history of Western sculpture.

The success of any one work depends on there being an absolute tension between the sharp material clarity of the steel blocks, and a sense of vulnerability and exposure in the gestalt. The edge of the works is very important. Light and space eat into the embodied core, so the works have a quality of incomplete resolution. 

Antony Gormley