The De La Warr Pavilion has sent “heartfelt” congratulations to honorary patron Antony Gormley who has been awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Honours List.
DLWP spokesperson Sally Ann Lycett said: “Antony is an artist of the people and, as such, a great supporter of this building. He gave us Critical Mass, our first rooftop exhibition, paving the way for Richard Wilson, Matt Calderwood and Shaun Gladwell to be inspired by the rooftop and make it, as the Guardian said ‘one of the most exciting art spaces in Britain’.”
In January 2010, Gormley paid a visit to the Pavilion and was struck by its flat roof as a perfect space for his installation of 60 full-sized iron sculptures of his body.
He said back then: “This is the return of the lost subject to the site of Modernism. It is great to have a chance to test this piece of sculpture against the clarity of Mendelsohn and Chemayeff’s English masterpiece. I am excited to see these dark forms in the elements against the sea and in direct light. It will be like a sky burial. How these masses act in space is very important. The challenge is to make the distance intimate, internal.”
Critical Mass is made up of five casts from 12 moulds of Gormley’s body, developing from a low crouching position to squatting, sitting, kneeling and standing - an ascent of man.
The exhibition, which opened in June 2010 attracted national press coverage for Bexhill, sponsorship of a London Underground poster campaign by Tourism South East, and over 60,000 visitors that summer.
The artist also produced 80 limited edition prints, Standing Matter (2010), 60 of which he donated to the Pavilion to help raise funds to support its artistic programme. Contact Vanda Curtis on 01424 229118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.