Antony Gormley - Iron Baby
Iron casting. 12 x 17 x 28 cm. Monogrammed and dated 'AMDG 1999' (hammered), work number, and numbered on the underside. Numbered 2/10 (+ 4 A.P.). - Traces of studio and minor traces of age.
The iron baby - a poignant, tiny being in the midst Anthony Gormley's otherwise large-format sculptures. The cast-iron sculpture depicts a life-size, sleeping newborn, rolled up on its tummy, whose innocence and helplessness appeals to the protective instincts of the observer, yet the blackness and hardness of his material simultaneously causes irritation.
With this work, the artist conveys the fragility of the human being and uses iron as a material symbolization of our planet: “[…] this tiny body describes the tragedy of separation that besets the abandoned child. This precious, unique life is deserted: a position more associated with death. The work has become known as the IRON BABY and in its darkness and density suggests a small bomb. The material is iron (concentrated earth), the same as the core of our planet. Here, this tiny bit of matter in human form attempts to make us aware of our precarious position in relation to our planetary future. It is the gesture of a body closed in on itself, needy of comfort, shelter, sustenance and peace.” (Anthony Gormley, op.cit.: http://www.antonygormley.com/news/item/type/news/id/199)
The present work is listed on the artist's homepage under number 511/755 (different cast).
White Cube, London; private collection, Switzerland
Michael Mack (ed.), Antony Gormley, Göttingen 2007, p.519 with colour illus. (illustration of a different cast)