Shaping the World Sculpture from Prehistory to Now

Antony Gormley, Martin Gayford

Pairing one of the world’s greatest sculptors with one of today’s greatest writers on art, Shaping the World tells the story of human culture from prehistory to the present through the medium of sculpture.

Practiced by every culture throughout the history of the world, sculpture is a universal art form that’s deeply rooted in the human psyche and may even predate the advent of language. In this wide-ranging book, internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley and distinguished art critic Martin Gayford consider sculpture as an art form related to humanity’s potential for thought and feeling, as well as to our urge to build, make pictures, practice religion, and develop philosophical thought. They take into account materials and techniques and consider overarching themes, such as space, light, and darkness.

Drawing on examples from around the globe—ranging from the standing stones at Stenness, Orkney, dating from around 3100 BCE, and the Terracotta Army in China to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Richard Serra’s steel structures—Shaping the World explores sculpture as a form of physical thought capable of altering the way people feel.

Contributors

Antony Gormley

Author

Antony Gormley is a distinguished British artist and sculptor, best known for his Angel of the North in Gateshead. He won the Turner Prize in 1994 and is one of the most critically respected artists working internationally.

Martin Gayford

Author

Martin Gayford is a writer and art critic. His books include Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud; Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters; A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen and Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy, both with David Hockney; Shaping the World: Sculpture from Prehistory to Now, with Antony Gormley; Love Lucian: The Letters of Lucian Freud, 1939–1954, with David Dawson; and Venice: City of Pictures.