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Bellagio Paper

Art Appreciation 160


John Bailey
Wednesdays 6:00pm-8:50pm
Antony Gormley
“Bodies in Space VIII, 2009”
Mild Steel Forged Balls

In this sculpture piece that I have chosen, Antony


Gormley has provided his eighth installment of a series
of sculptures titled “Bodies in Space”. In this,, Antony
Gormley reinvigorated the human image in sculpture
through radical investigation of the body as a place for
memory and transformation. 1 He used his own body as
subject, tools, and materials to explore the relationships
between bodies and contexts in which they inhabit. 2
Antony once stated that “all bodies are like bodies in
space”. 3 His exemplification here shows truly the
approach taken to translate the ideas to the art
enthusiast.

The aesthetic value, as according to the western


philosophy of beauty, I found within this sculpture
impacts myself on a personal level. He seems to
replicate the ideas between mass and space, and their
dynamics. The clusters of spheres representing space
and mass in a 3 dimensional sculpture gives absolute
depth and performs beautiful shadow art with great
lighting. With great lighting it gives the sculpture great
depth and shadow work that to me almost suggest an
idea of how the mass and bodies in space could appear
when the sun’s presence is involved. It gives me a great
1
Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Information gathered from audio recording, and description card mounted near piece.)
2
Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Information gathered from audio recording, and description card mounted near piece.)
3
Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Information gathered from audio recording, and description card mounted near piece.)
gratification of the piece while resembling some of the
greatest wonders that I am intrigued with on a daily
basis; i.e. day vs. night, or entities and energy within our
space and universe.

The function of the art is to give you an idea on a


molecular level of how any energy, or space and mass
can be broken down into even a body of spheres. While
the color being gray shows neutrality and in which if put
in a mass body together could go either cool, or warm
with lighting, and ambient environment. The piece
communicates and endless amount of possibilities
between ideas, thoughts, and emotions. It could be all
combined, or any individually beautiful for many reasons
from one person the next. The materials used are just
mild steel forged balls. The imagery represents small
molecular-like spheres that possess that in which makes
up all life or energies in space and reality.

I was fascinated to a great extent with this piece at


first because when it comes to identifying the style one
must consider multiple ideas. Where as it could be
viewed as naturalistic art for it’s sphere like shapes, and
representation of molecules, or space like spheres, it
could also be abstract because on a molecular level this
sculpture stands at almost 5 feet high, where in reality
molecules are much smaller, and realistically non-visible
to the naked eye. When discussing the pattern it almost
can be natural and geometric at the same time, for it
represents a body, and space mass found in very
familiar elements, and geometric of course for it’s
repetition of spherical objects. This multipoint
perspective piece has biomorphic and organic shape and
volume.

In conclusion I am extremely impressed with this


sculpture, and have been turned into looking at Antony
Gormley’s various other pieces. I really enjoyed the
balance, and motion it possesses, especially coming
from a 3 dimension free-standing sculpture piece. I
believe that anyone that has a passion for space, and
mass, and finding answers, or enjoying the immense
beauty of it all would definitely enjoy this piece as well
as his other pieces such as “Domain Field”, and “Inside
Australia”.4

Next, I want to briefly write about a piece I found


less attracting but also still have a great appreciation
and understanding of why it is considered fine art. In the
digital wall sculpture entitled, “Four Corner: Truisms”
(1994), Jenny Holzer has showed us that digital art can
consist of really basic but interesting ideas. This piece
consists of four electronic LED signs with blue diodes
constructed within stainless steel marquee signs. These
signs embody a corner of a wall and are mounted
vertically in four even rows. It also consists of scrolling
text that includes selections from truisms (1977-1970), a
collection of writings also by Jenny Holzer herself. While
Holzer’s basis is still her writing, she reformulates many
of the givens of traditional art context of public places. 5

However I feel about this piece I still find the


aesthetics to derive from the motivational, and complex
text displayed in a way that draws in any reader as well
as art enthusiast. It doesn’t exactly stand out as
according to the traditional definition of fine art. Rather
it is an extension of the traditional definition with a more
modern approach. It is kitsch art in the sense that it can
grab the attention of anyone’s sentimental side with the
sayings and truisms that scroll within the piece. The
colors are simple in that the scrolling text is blue which
4
Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Information gathered from audio recording, and description card mounted near piece.)
5
Bellagio Fine Art Gallery, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
(Information gathered from audio recording, and description card mounted near piece.)
shows it being a cool color is not intended to be intrusive
or annoying, but rather pleasant to sit and take in the
various truism that are displayed in succession. The
lighting consists of blue LED diodes. The balance, and
time and motion go hand in hand and work well with this
piece. In conclusion I am not exactly a big fan of this
particular piece, but I do however see the beauty and
impact that it has in its entirety.