In Brief

A Greek Island Will Get Its First Contemporary Artwork in 5,000 Years

British artist Antony Gormley is the first to present new works on the island, a UNESCO world heritage monument and important site in Greek mythology, since was inhabited.

Antony Gormley, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)

The Greek island of Delos, one of the world’s top archaeological sites and a UNESCO world heritage monument, is now home to a contemporary art installation for the first time in history.

The honor belongs to British artist Antony Gormley, whose sculptures are installed in various locations across the ancient island. The site-specific installation, entitled SIGHT, is the first new work on the island in 5,000 years.

Antony Gormley, “Another Time V” (2007). Installation view, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)
Antony Gormley, “Cast III” (2009). Installation view, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)

In his installation, the Turner Prize-winning artist repopulates Delos with life-size humanlike iron “bodyforms” in addition to tens of cubic and abstract sculptures. Gormley will present five new sculptures in addition to 29 work from the past 20 years of his career. The works are featured throughout the island’s temples, altars, agoras, and some are blended with its topography and natural views. It is the first installation to ever be unanimously approved by the Greek Archaeological Council to take place on the island.

Antony Gormley, “Another Time XIV” (2011). Installation view, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)
Antony Gormley, “Shift II” (2000). Installation view, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)

Delos, in the Cyclades archipelago, is a sacred island in Greek mythology. It is where Zeus’s lover Leto found refuge from Hera’s wrath to give birth to Apollo and Artemis. The island was also a commercial and trading center in the 2nd and 1st centuries CE.

Antony Gormley, “Reflect” (2017). Installation view, SIGHT, at the archaeological site of Delos Island, 2019. (Photograph © Oak Taylor Smith | Courtesy NEON; Ephorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the artist.)

SIGHT is curated by Iwona Blazwick OBE, director of Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Elina Kountouri, director the non-profit NEON. The installation will be on display from May 18 to October 31, 2019.

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