Man with a broken nose
France, c. 1881 to 1916
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
... AS SEEN BY ANTONY GORMLEY
The Fitzwilliam Museum is a source of energy and inspiration for anybody interested in the visual arts. Having at one’s doorstep this rich collection, encompassing Islamic, Indian, Greek and Roman statuary, key masterworks of the seicento, through to works made in our own day, was a real privilege when I was a student in Cambridge. There is a special atmosphere inside the museum that for me made it like going to the house of a well-loved friend. It contains so many works I love, it is difficult to choose a favourite. I always nodded to Rodin's Man with a Broken Nose as I came into the museum. It is less of a portrait, more an object, a man with an unspoken history written on his face who looks both like Socrates and Jean Genet, both criminal and philosopher, and once you've seen it you cannot forget it.
Antony Gormley OBE RA (b. 1950)
Antony Gormley was born in London in 1950. Upon completing a degree in Archaeology, Anthropology and the History of Art at Trinity College, Cambridge, he travelled to India, returning to London three years later to study at the Central School of Art, Goldsmiths College and the Slade School of Art.
Over the last 25 years Gormley has revitalised the human image in sculpture through a radical investigation of the body as a place of memory and transformation, using his own body as subject, tool and material. 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, Inside Australia and most recently Blind Light.
Gormley’s work has been exhibited extensively, with solo shows throughout the UK in venues such as the Whitechapel, Tate and the Hayward Galleries, the British Museum and White Cube, and internationally at museums including the Louisiana Museum in Humlebæk, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the Kölnischer 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, most recently, Quantum Cloud on the Thames in Greenwich are amongst the most celebrated examples of contemporary British sculpture. One of his key installations, Another Place, is to remain permanently on display at Crosby Beach, Merseyside.
He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994 and the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999 and was made an Order of the British Empire 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 lives and works in London.