Contemporary sculptors at the British Museum.
4 October 2008 – 25 January 2009. Admission free.
Antony Gormley is perhaps best known for his 200-tonne Angel of the North (1998), which dominates the landscape near Gateshead, in the north-east of England. Gormley created Case for an Angel I, almost a decade earlier.
Both share that evocative silhouette. At the same time human, superhuman and inhuman, a symbol of triumph and of our own mortality. Case for an Angel I echoes many works in the Museum – Egyptian statues, Assyrian winged bulls, Christian Crucifixions, and the Roman caryatid statue on the nearby stairs.
Unlike its monumental offspring, this angel is – despite its 8.5 metre wingspan – defiantly human-sized. It is a metaphor for humanity’s capacity to imagine and create, particularly appropriate at the entrance to a museum that celebrates those very endeavours. Antony Gormley is a trustee of the British Museum.
“The British Museum is a laboratory of possibility for any creative mind. It is filled with objects that reach across time and touch us intimately. Seeing as a child the great head of Ramesses and the Assyrian winged bulls at the British Museum was what made me become a sculptor..”