Antony Gormley: Drawing Space at the Phillips Collection

“Drawing is a way of conveying things that cannot be put into words.”

– Antony Gormley

Our focus has turned to London as they host the Olympic games the next two weeks. The Olympic opening ceremony on Friday was a kinetic homage to their contributions in music, film, theater and comedy.

There is also the British contribution to sculpture.

Antony Gormley A couple of days ago, I was visiting The Phillips Collection and wandered into an exhibit by the British sculptor, Antony Gormley. This is his first U.S. museum exhibition of works on paper. It’s a treat. It’s on the first level of the Phillips in the new wing. A Phillips Collection staffer shared background information on Gormley’s art and influenced me enough to look the artist up online. I found an extensive collection of his work at

Before becoming a sculptor he studied archaeology, anthropology, and art history. These studies inform his work that “investigates the relationship of the body to space”. He is well known for sculptures, installations and public art works. What’s less well known is that drawing is a “foundational” activity in his practice. The immediacy of drawing provides a counterpoint to the more procedural process required to produce sculpture.

The drawings reminded me of Cycladic art, architecture and African sculpture. The work exhibited well in the gallery space which had a calm, meditative quality not unlike the Rothko room on the second floor.

If you’re in the Washington DC area fight the summer doldrums and plan a visit.

The exhibit closes September 9th.

“ Drawing for me is dreaming with your eyes open.”

Antony Gormley –from the exhibit brochure.