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Robert White on Andrew Graham-Dixon's The Art of Spain series

Jonathan Jones on French artist Niki de Saint Phalle

Leader: In praise of ... the Angel of the North

Adrian Searle is not amused by the Hayward's exhibition about humour and art

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Commentary: Jan 26

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In praise of ... the Angel of the North



Leader
Wednesday January 30, 2008
The Guardian


Whether viewed as a spiritually uplifting icon or a phoenix rising from the ashes of the abandoned coal mine beneath it, the Angel of the North has been a joyous addition to the northern landscape. Antony Gormley's sculpture, with a wingspan almost as wide as that of a jumbo jet, is one of the most viewed artworks in the world, seen by 33 million people a year including travellers in trains and cars. Ahead of its 10th anniversary next month, there could be no greater compliment than the plans, revealed this week, to build a sculpture twice as high in the south of England to mark the new Ebbsfleet International station and surrounding regeneration projects in Kent. Gateshead council deserves praise for the way it has used public art to regenerate an area suffering from the terminal decline of smokestack industries. The Angel is a beacon for a string of public projects that have transformed Gateshead's quayside, including the world's first tilting bridge, a Norman Foster concert centre (the Sage), the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, with a fine restaurant, plus dozens of works of public art scattered around the neighbourhood. This in turn attracted hotels and other facilities, making the area a more attractive place to build new businesses. No one would pretend that the fall in unemployment from 10% before regeneration to about 3% today, was all down to public art, but it was an important contributing factor from which other places still have a lot to learn. Including Kent.





In pictures
Meet Gormley's statues
Another Place by Antony Gormley

Related articles
15.05.2007: Adrian Searle reviews Event Horizon
13.05.2007: The Observer profile: Antony Gormley
06.05.2007: What Londoners think of Gormley's statues
18.10.2006: The row over removing Antony Gormley's Another Place
15.06.2005: Gormley's beach party braves wind and tide
22.04.2004: Antony Gormley: body is central to my work
16.05.2003: Gormley displays enigmatic new work
25.03.2003: 380,000 eyes fulfil a sculptor's vision
19.02.2003: Gormley's community venture
28.01.2003: Wanted: 240 model Geordies for Gormley
20.11.2002: Jonathan Jones: Antony Gormley should look elsewhere for inspiration

From the archive
10.01.1998: On the side of the Angel

Reviews
20.05.2003: Antony Gormley, Baltic, Gateshead

Useful links
AntonyGormley.com
Baltic Mill official site




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