Antony Gormley: Contemporizing the Index
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This thesis aims to reexamine the index as a sign that generates meaning in the sculptural oeuvre of contemporary British artist Antony Gormley. The artist has consistently proclaimed his work to be indexical but has never offered clarification of the term. Rather, he adheres to the definition developed in the late nineteenth century by the term's originator, Charles Sanders Peirce. This is problematic because it gives false meaning to the indexical sign in a contemporary context. By comparing Gormley's use of the term in his sculptural practice to Peirce's theories and those of art historian Rosalind Krauss, who was the first to significantly and convincingly relate the index to art, this study will attempt to provide a contemporized definition of the index. This thesis aims to offer a clarification in the meaning of Antony Gormley's sculpture and demonstrate the index's ability to offer resolution to what is contemporary about contemporary art.