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Antony Gormley | Ground

Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands Installation view, White Cube Bermondsey, London, England Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby) © the artist
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The largest solo exhibition Voorlinden has ever made

This summer, Antony Gormley (1950) takes over the museum and estate of Voorlinden. The British artist is renowned worldwide for his sculptures and installations that investigate the relationship between the human body and the space around us. GROUND brings together work spanning Gormley’s career, from his early lead sculptures to new installations that are custom made for Voorlinden. The groundbreaking show is the biggest solo exhibition Voorlinden has ever presented and will be on display from 26 May through 25 September 2022.

Gormley approaches the age-old subject of the human body in his own unique, yet universal and philosophical way, building on art history and conceptual sculpture of the 1960s and 1970s. GROUND will be one of the most ambitious exhibitions in the history of Voorlinden, the first to occupy both the museum and the surrounding estate. ‘As a museum, we want to do everything we can to offer Antony Gormley the stage he deserves’, says director Suzanne Swarts.

Head of Exhibitions Barbara Bos: ‘Through sculpture, Gormley invites us all to explore, experience and question our place in the universe.’

Groundbreaking works

The exhibition includes artworks from the Voorlinden collection that are on display for the first time in the Netherlands. This includes Passage, a 12-metre-long human-shaped tunnel that offers a journey into darkness and the unknown. Another Dutch premiere is Breathing Room, an expansive work in

which you can experience standing in a three-dimensional drawing in space, while in Amazonian Field, 24,000 handmade terracotta puppets stare at you confrontationally. Extending outside, Critical Mass puts sculpture in dialogue with the museum’s extensive grounds: 60 solid cast iron bodyforms will be placed in relation with the trees, lawns, canals and reedbeds of the park.

Antony Gormley: ‘Sculpture is no longer a medium of memorial and idealisation but a context in which human being can be examined. Sculpture is no longer representational: it is an instrument of investigation and questioning. I have called this exhibition GROUND to make this open invitation of sculpture clear. Without the viewer there is no show, without the gallery there is no context. The joy of this kind of exhibition is to allow the richness of the context itself to become activated by sculpture. For me, the body of the viewer is often the activating principle in a 'ground' of contemplation: the works become catalysts for awareness and grounds for physical and imaginative inhabitation.’

In a time of chaos and a creeping feeling that everything is breaking down, we need art more than ever. It gives us space of stillness and silence in which we can discover shy bits of our own nature, but also wells of resilience and hope. With art we have tools to generate, through sense and first-hand experience, the ground for a truth that we might believe in. Never has the beholder’s share been more important.’

Special bond with Voorlinden

The exhibition is specifically made for Voorlinden, with site specific installations and sculptures that form an intimate dialogue with the light, architecture and landscape. ‘Voorlinden is a wonderful place to think about nature and our nature in nature, and our need to form things: landscapes, bodies and knowledge’, says Gormley. The museum has a long and close relationship with the artist, who in 1994 made a sculpture for the Clingenbosch sculpture garden. Six works from the museum collection are part of the exhibition.

Antony Gormley LOCK I, 1994 Lead, fibreglass, plaster, steel and air 92 x 59 x 127 cm Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist
Antony Gormley LOCK I, 1994 Lead, fibreglass, plaster, steel and air 92 x 59 x 127 cm Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist
Antony Gormley
Antony Gormley BREATHING ROOM III, 2010 Aluminium tube 25 x 25 mm, Phosphor H15 and plastic spigots 482.6 x 1693 x 895.1 cm Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands Installation view, White Cube, Mason’s Yard, London, England Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist

Dates and Times

26 May 25 September
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
The museum is open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
€ 8,50 - 19,50
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