Antony Gormley Reflection II: A groundbreaking acquisition by DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum

DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum announces the acquisition of Reflection II, a sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Antony Gormley. It is the first international acquisition for DeCordova. Reflection II is scheduled to be installed Monday, March 15, 2010.

Director Dennis Kois says, “the Gormley acquisition not only brings an incredible work of art into the collection, but signals the seriousness of our intent to build an exciting, engaging, and ambitious sculpture program. As the largest year-round sculpture park on the East coast, we are in a unique position to be a national leader in connecting the public with great sculpture. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

Antony Gormley Reflection II, 2008; Edition: Edition of 3 and 2 APs; Cast iron; 2 bodyforms: each 191 x 68 x 37 cm; Installation view, Kunsthal Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2008; Photograph by Bob Goedewaagan, Rotterdam; © Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

DeCordova’s acquisition of Reflection II is the first in a series of major acquisitions made possible by the Hamilton James Sculpture Park Acquisition Fund in an effort to strengthen the Park’s collection of contemporary sculpture. The acquisition of Antony Gormley’s work moves DeCordova toward its goal of becoming one of the pre-eminent sculpture parks in the country within a decade.

Reflection II consists of two cast iron sculptures at approximately 6’3″ tall intended to stand on either side of a glass wall, appearing as a mirror image of itself. The piece will be installed with one figure inside and the other outside the Museum’s first floor lobby, so visitors may interact with the piece when they enter. This installation is symbolic of DeCordova’s commitment to presenting sculpture in the Park, as well as in the galleries. This sculpture, part of an edition of three with an artist’s proof, is the only one in a public collection.

Reflection II has been exhibited publicly only twice before—at the Contemporary Art Museum of Monterrey and the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso in Mexico City as part of a major Gormley survey exhibition.

According to DeCordova Senior Curator Nick Capasso, “Antony Gormley is among the world’s most significant contemporary artists, and has arguably done more to advance the tradition of the human figure in outdoor sculpture than any other artist since Auguste Rodin or Henry Moore. We are thrilled to display his Reflection II in our Sculpture Park which already includes important Modern and Contemporary works by George Rickey, Nam June Paik, Ursula von Rydinsvard, Sol LeWitt, William Tucker, and Jim Dine.”

The Gormley acquisition by DeCordova coincides with the artist’s first U.S. public art debut this spring in New York, March 26-August 15. Mad. Sq. Art, part of Madison Square Park Conservancy, will host Event Horizon, a first-ever installation of artwork inside and outside Madison Square Park. Thirty-one life-size cast iron sculptures will be displayed on the sidewalks and rooftops in New York City’s Flatiron District. Simultaneously, the Sean Kelly Gallery will host a solo show of Gormley’s work March 26-May 1.

About the artist
Antony Gormley, born in London in 1950, is one of the most celebrated contemporary British sculptors. He uses sculpture as a way to investigate the human body as a place of memory and transformation, often using casts of his own body, as he did in Reflection II. Gormley explores the relationship between self and other by installing his large-scale pieces in public spaces so people may interact with his work.
Gormley’s recent installation, One and Other is praised as one of the most important public art pieces of our time. Gormley transformed the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square into a platform for 2,400 Londoners to take the stage in one-hour increments. His other major public art works include Angel of the North and Another Place in the UK. His work has been exhibited worldwide with solo shows in museums and galleries in the UK such as the British Museum and Hayward Gallery. Other venues include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. He has also participated in the Venice Biennale.

About the Hamilton James Sculpture Park Acquisition Fund
The Hamilton James Sculpture Park Acquisition Fund was created in August, 2009 with a gift of one million dollars. Given by Hamilton E. (Tony) James in honor of his late father, the grant also includes a potential future gift of $500K in matching funds for the acquisition or commission of other major works. The gift is the largest ever given specifically for the Sculpture Park. It recognizes the service and philanthropy of Hamilton R. James, long-time supporter and former Trustee to the Museum. His widow, Waleska James, continues to be involved as a Museum Guide and member of DeCordova’s Education Committee. Tony James is currently the President, Chief Operating Officer and Director of The Blackstone Group, L.P. in New York City.

About DeCordova
DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum was established in 1950 to educate as broad and diverse a public as possible about American contemporary art. DeCordova’s unique campus features both indoor and outdoor venues, allowing its visitors to celebrate and explore contemporary art across 35 acres. Inside, the Museum features a robust slate of rotating exhibitions and innovative interpretive programming. Outside, DeCordova’s Sculpture Park hosts more than 60 works, the majority of which are on loan to the Museum. DeCordova also offers the largest non-degree granting studio art program in New England. DeCordova Sculpture Park + Museum attracts more than 100,000 visitors from New England and tourists from around the world to its campus each year and enrolls more than 3,000 students of all ages in its studio art program.

General Information
DeCordova is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10am to 5pm and on selected Monday holidays. General admission during Museum hours is $12 for adults; $8 for senior citizens, students, and youth ages 6-12. Children age 5 and under, Lincoln residents, and Active Duty Military Personnel and their dependents are admitted free. The Sculpture Park is open year-round during daylight hours. Guided public tours of the Museum’s main galleries take place every Thursday at 1pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tours of the Sculpture Park are given on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm from May to October. All guided tours are free with Campus admission. Visit or call 781/259-8355 for further information.