The Scottish enlightenment scientist Lord Kelvin asked the question about how space could be most efficiently bounded by an enclosing geometry the answer being found in those most elusive and fugitive of things: bubbles and foams which forms nesting cell structure of polyhedra. Bubbles form an intriguing geometry with tetrahedral nodes with elements combining at angles slightly less than 120 degrees.
In the last 3 years Gormley has been experimenting with cell aggregates of nesting polyhedra in both solid and space-frame forms turning the space of the body into an open framework of tetrahedral, cubic, dodecahedral and more complex polygons which, in his words, achieved a breakthrough when released from a bounding skin.
The breakthrough work: Aperture gives its name to and is the key to this exhibition. It has an extraordinary relationship with a room, seeming a gap in space filled with the behavioural geometry of the bubble matrix. The outer edges of this form dynamically grasp the air.
The main room of the Hufkens gallery for this exhibition from floor to ceiling and wall to wall will be entirely filled with a polyhedral space- frame into which the body of the viewer is invited to wander. Completely negating the orthogonal geometries of regular architecture, this aggregate surrounds a void: a human-shaped cave at around ten times life size.
The same body-at-rest is made massive and life-size and lies on the floor of the gallery up a short flight of stairs. The rest of the works in the exhibition continue to explore bubble geometry in a number of different ways - standing and falling forms in both solid and cloud formations.
Gormleys work has always explored the body as a place rather than an object, and here he takes us into a new zone of structural complexity while at the same time evoking the body as an open space of possibility connected with the earth as well as space at large. The main installation could be conceived of as a space/time map in which hundreds of spheres are held in space by drawing a constellation between them within which the body of the viewer is allowed free passage.
Antony Gormley held his first exhibition at Xavier Hufkens
in 1987. Since 1990 he has realized several large sculptural projects around the world such as Critical Mass, Field and Angel of the North. He won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1994. In recent years, he has exhibited, amongst others, at the Hayward Gallery and the British Museum, London, the Humlebaek Museum, Denmark, the Georg-Kolbe Museum, Berlin, the ICA, Singapore and at institutes in Australia and the United States. Closer to us, he will soon realize the monumental work Exposure in Lelystad, the Netherlands.