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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK

Antony Gormley
NIGHT AND DAY
Estimate
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UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
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Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
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Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 175,000 GBP
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26

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK

Antony Gormley
NIGHT AND DAY
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Artist's Resale Right
Purchase of lots marked with this symbol will be subject to the payment of the artist's resale right.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
150,000200,000
LOT SOLD. 175,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London

Antony Gormley
B. 1950
NIGHT AND DAY
27 terracotta figures and lead pipe 
each figure: approximately 15 by 6 by 4 cm. 6 by 2 1/4 by 1 1/2 in.
lead pipe: 12 by 305 cm. 4 3/4 by 144 in.
Executed in 1988. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection, California (acquired directly from the artist in 1989)
Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (acquired from the above in 1999)
Private Collection, Los Angeles 
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2007 

Exhibited

San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, American Field, October - December 1992 
Kansas City, Johnson County Community College, Embody, May - June 1996

Literature

Michael Mack, Ed., Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007, p. 508, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

Together, clay and lead form an important and foundational duality in Antony Gormley’s oeuvre. They represent two ends of a material spectrum in which openness is pitched against restraint, warm against cool, hard against soft. In Night and Day these dualities are brought into clear focus: from the open end of a heavy lead pipe, twenty-seven diminutive and unique terracotta figures emerge, marching into our space. The work’s title here underlines the polar oppositions conjured by the artist’s material and formal juxtapositions: as night is to day and handmade is to manmade, organically moulded human figures are here distinct from the industrial geometry of the sculpture’s brutalist lead pipe. Following his breakthrough works of 1981-82 – the lead body cases hammered and welded into a catalogue of archetypal poses – Gormley began using clay as a welcome respite from the physical task of beating metal into human form. Spontaneous, responsive and vital, clay brought an important humanistic and earthly dimension to this formative period in Gormley’s career. In the artist’s own words: “…the first dialogue with clay, the opening of the closed shell; all of those pieces were trying in different ways to contradict the determinism of the hermetic that is so part of the lead ethos” (Antony Gormley cited in: Martin Cagier Smith, Antony Gormley, New York 2017, p. 130).

Dated 1988, the present work evolved over a five-year period. Spanning the very first instance of clay’s appearance as a counterpart to lead case forms in works such as Out of this World (1983-84) and Work (1984), Night and Day also anticipates his most ambitious work in terracotta, the acclaimed opus of installation pieces called Field (1989 – 2003). In its most complete iteration, thousands of diminutive red-orange forms, rudimentary in facture and each sporting two shallow holes for eyes, occupy and fill their given gallery space. A legion of tiny bodies hand-moulded from elemental earth-matter, these are confrontational and deeply humanistic works. Initially created with the help of friends and neighbours, Gormley expanded his project by enlisting the help of local communities, first in Mexico for American Field of 1991, and later those in the Amazon, the British Isles, Europe, and China. Indeed, conceived as an intentionally communal, or “tribal”, enterprise, these works in terracotta brought him out of “a crisis”, Gormley has explained, “to do with feeling trapped within this privileged position of the Western artist, working in his own space in his own time” (Antony Gormley, cited in: Ibid., p. 171).  Formed by many individuals across diverse cultures, these works are deeply connected to the earth from which they are made and the human hands that formed them; this is what clay brings for Gormley, it is a way of connecting his practice to a greater network, opening it out to a wider sphere. Where lead, with its alchemical significance as a base material of transformative potential, put forth spatial propositions centred on individual human encasements, Gormley’s loosely articulated clay figures symbolise the multitudinous, the many, the populous; they are humanity on an intimate yet grand scale. Presaging this ambitious project, Night and Day presents a vision that confronts the future. Closely related to the major work Man Asleep (1985) in which a procession of clay bodies march away from a sleeping lead body, Night and Day forms a clear link between a closed inner state of consciousness and the world at large.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London