Tate Liverpool Second floor galleries
10 April – 22 August 2004
British sculptor Antony Gormley, best known for the Angel of the North 1998, uses the human form to explore man’s existence in and relation to the world. Field is a series of installations made in collaboration with different communities from around the globe. Thousands of hand-sized clay terracotta figures were produced for each version, the shape of each determined by the person making it.
In 1993, Tate Liverpool showed Antony Gormley’s Field for the British Isles which was made by families from local communities in St Helens, Merseyside as part of his major exhibition Testing a World View. Over a decade later, Tate Liverpool is pleased to present the American version of Field 1991 to complement the special exhibition A Secret History of Clay: From Gauguin to Gormley (which opens on 28 May 2004). Antony Gormley worked on Field with the help of the Texca family of brickmakers in the Parish of San Matias, Cholula, Mexico during December 1990. About sixty men, women and children worked on the project, mostly members of the extended family. Their ages ranged from six to over sixty. The twenty-five tonnes of clay came from the valley floor a few miles to the southwest of San Matias.
The thirty-five thousand figures (each handmade, sun-dried and then baked in a brick kiln), range from 8 – 26 centimetres tall and completely occupy the space in which they are installed. It is seen from a single threshold made between a viewing area and the field, their gazes look at the observer, making him or her its subject. Field is the dominant occupant of the gallery and acts as an “invasion” or infection, the sensation is that of a tide, an endless mass that has become temporarily limited by the architecture but could extend beyond that which is visible.
In 1994 Antony Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize for Field.