Contemporary Art Market: Sculptor casts himself in star role

ANTONY GORMLEY, one of the most brilliant British sculptors to make a name for himself in the 1980s, is having his first commercial show in London since 1983. His return highlights the new electricity in the London contemporary scene.

Gormley has had dealers who handled his work in New York, Milan and Stockholm - he is represented in nearly every Scandinavian museum - but, until recently, the market for contemporary art was so dead in Britain that he did not bother with a British dealer.

Now he has signed up with Jay Jopling, Damien Hirst's agent and the most dynamic young dealer around. He is showing a cast of his own body stretched out on its back with arms and legs thrown out, naked and relaxed, at Jopling's White Cube gallery in Duke Street, St James's.

Gormley has given the cast a thin skin of lead which transforms its presence from the particular to the general; it becomes an image of 'the body' with which we can all identify.

The sculpture is called Lost Subject, a play on the nature of subjectivity. Like much of Gormley's sculpture, it encourages the viewer to contemplate the way the human body is a material capsule of self and hints at the transcendent nature of reality. You can see it at White Cube from noon to 6pm on Fridays and Saturdays until 7 May, or by special appointment. You can buy it for pounds 35,000.

Or, if you cannot afford it, you can buy Gormley's slight but fascinating black ink drawings - free explorations of the body in washes of Indian ink - which come singly at pounds 700, in pairs at pounds 1,250 and in sets of three at pounds 1,800. Jopling started out with 43 of them and sold more than half in a week.

A joint exhibition of Gormley and Alison Wilding, curated by the Contemporary Art Society, opens on the top floor of the ITN building at 200 Gray's Inn Road, London, on 26 April.

Another example of foreigners appreciating British art ahead of the British themselves is provided by the exhibition of Andrew James's sculpture at Entwhistle (37 Old Bond Street) curated by a young Japanese dealer, Rumiko Torii.

James, who studied at Chelsea and the Slade, makes plump plastic doll-like figures who act out human dramas.

Those at Entwhistle are child-sized and bronzed to make them look like civic sculptures; the standing and walking figures, from editions of 25 each, cost pounds 1,000; a figure with a placard on a soap box, from an edition of three, costs pounds 2,200 and a figure with a pushchair and a baby, also from an edition of three, pounds 2,500.

James, 34, had his first solo exhibition at the Hales Gallery, a bright new venue in Deptford High Street, south London, last year. Rumiko Torii shows Hales Gallery artists in Japan and has been invited by Lance Entwhistle to curate contemporary shows in his Bond Street Gallery. It seems bizarre that Deptford should be linked to Bond Street via Japan.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before