The hidden potential of everyday things as both the subject and material of making art is central to the sculpture of Iran do Espirito Santo, whose work ended last week’s sequence. It is not perhaps the first thing that one associates with the work of today’s artist Antony Gormley, but then again, what could be more ordinary and available than the artist’s own body? For four decades Gormley has explored the world through the physical space occupied by his own form, cast innumerable times in myriad positions, and installed in countless locations around the world.
The standing, crouching, leaning figure of the artist is one of the 21tst century art world’s most recognisable shapes, but back in the early 1980s he was more likely to be chewing his form out of slices of bread than casting it in iron. Today’s work belongs to this less monumental moment, which feels an appropriate place to start this final week of ‘the Unseen Masterpiece’. Antony was the one of the very first artists to respond to our invitation to take part in this sequence, when we started thinking about it at the very start of lockdown, responding immediately with something genuinely ‘unseen’. As he put it “Herewith an idea that could not be called a masterpiece, but nevertheless deals with the subject of collapse that has concerned me all my working life.”
‘Journey’ was made from his rubber work boots, peeled back and unravelled in layers. We are very pleased to publish it here for the first time.