Born on 30th of August 1950
Antony Gormley was born 30th August 1950. He is an English sculptor, best known for his works, 'Angel of the North', a 65 foot sculpture towering over the A1 in Gateshead, and 'Another Place', 100 cast iron figures facing out to sea on permanent display on Crosby Beach near Liverpool. He pioneered the technique of using his own body as a living mould for life-sized figures in bronze and other metals. He grew up in Hampstead Garden Suburb, the youngest of 7 children, and went to Ampleforth College in Yorkshire. He attained a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology and History of Art at Trinity College, Cambridge between 1968 to 1971, before going to India to study Buddhism. Upon his return to London in 1974, Gormley attended Central School of Art and Goldsmiths College, followed by a postgraduate course in sculpture at the Slade School of Art in London. He had become friends with Nicholas Serota, now director of the Tate, whilst at Cambridge, and in 1981 he gave him his big break with an exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. The centrepiece was Mother's Pride, a bed made from 8,640 slices of white bread that Gormley had eaten bits out of. In 1980 Gormley married a painter, Vicken Parsons. They have 3 grown up children, 2 of them artists. Since 1990 he has expanded his concern with the human condition to explore the collective body and the relationship between self and other in large-scale installations like 'Allotment', 'Critical Mass', 'Another Place', 'Domain Field' and 'Inside Australia'. In 1991 Gormley displayed his first 'Field' installation, consisting of 35,000 hand-sized terracotta figures made with a family of professional brickmakers in Mexico. He did a similar work in the British Isles in 1993 where thousands of crudely-shaped clay figures, grouped in a mass and all staring towards the viewer, were put together by a community of families in St Helens, Merseyside, under Gormley's direction. Recent work like 'Clearing', 'Blind Light', 'Firmament' and 'Another Singularity' attempt to engage with energy systems, fields and vectors, rather than mass and defined volume. Gormley's work has been exhibited extensively with solo shows throughout the UK in venues such as the Whitechapel Gallery, Tate and the Hayward Galleries, the British Museum and White Cube. Internationally he has exhibited at museums including the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and the Kˆlnischer Kunstverein in Germany. 'Blind Light', a major solo exhibition of his work, was held at the Hayward Gallery in 2007. He has participated in major group shows such as the Venice Biennale and the Kassel Documenta 8. His 'Field' has toured America, Europe and Asia. 'Angel of the North' and, more recently, 'Quantum Cloud' on the Thames in Greenwich are amongst the most celebrated examples of contemporary British sculpture. When he asked for volunteers to be moulded for the life-sized figures in 2003's 'Doman Field', more than 15,000 people turned up. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 for 'Field for the British Isles' and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997. In 2007 he was awarded the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Trinity College, Cambridge and Jesus College, Cambridge, and has been a Royal Academician since 2003. Gormley has been selected for the next Fourth Plinth commission in London's Trafalgar Square.
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