Martin Gayford

Antony Gormley: why sculpture is far superior to painting

In an extract from a new book, the artist tells Martin Gayford why painting will always be a secondary artform

Women were the earliest artists and the subjects of the first sculptures: the Venus of Hohle Fels, c.40,000 BCE

Antony Gormley: In the beginning was the thing! The reason I chose sculpture as a vocation was to escape words, to communicate in a physical way. It was a means of confronting the way things were, of getting to know them in material terms.

The origins of making physical objects go back to before the advent of Homo sapiens, earlier even than the appearance of our Neanderthal cousins.

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