Antony Gormley Artists Buttons - Single


Edition no.

Antony Gormley
Buttons, 2023

Black porcelain, individually handmade by the artist
Button dimensions: variable
Single button in an edition of 90

The buttons have been hand sewn onto an A5 cards. Each card is numbered, dated and signed by the artist and presented in a bespoke box designed by A Practice for Everyday Life.

‘Buttons are pesky things’, explains Antony Gormley, ‘so much a part of dressing and undressing that there is a rite of passage in childhood when you must become competent to fasten your own clothing.’ ‘The delicacy of touch’, the artist continues, ‘and the finger control necessary to button and unbutton are entangled in the twin tensions of desire and propriety.’

Gormley’s handmade black porcelain buttons carry the story of their making. See the traces of his fingerprint squished into their surface as he pressed the little clay balls between thumb and forefinger. Feel the cracking at the porcelain’s edge from when the disks were fired at 1265°C. Imagine now these buttons in your own hands, your fingers feeling their way in opening or closing a shirt. With Gormley’s buttons, these sensations become more acute.

Like the trace of his fingerprint in the porcelain, Antony Gormley has continually investigated the human body and its relationship to the wider world. For Gormley, the space of art is a place of becoming in which new behaviours, thoughts and feelings can arise. Antony Gormley lives and works in London.


About the Artists Buttons project

Ten leading artists, Ai Weiwei, Jonathan Anderson, Rana Begum, Edmund de Waal, Antony Gormley, Callum Innes, Jennifer Lee, Cornelia Parker, Vicken Parsons & Caroline Walker, have been creating limited edition sets of buttons in support of Kettle’s Yard.

The project draws inspiration from the exhibition, ‘Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery’, recently at Kettle’s Yard and from 14 July 2023 – 7 January 2024 at the Holburne Museum in Bath. In 1938, Lucie Rie fled her home in Vienna for London to escape the Nazi persecution of Jewish people. During the war, unable to get a licence to make pots, Rie turned to making ceramic buttons for the fashion industry, experimenting on a miniature scale with new forms and coloured glazes.

Read more about the Artist Buttons project on the Kettle’s Yard blog

Please note purchases of Artists Buttons per customer must not exceed £8,500. Any order exceeding £8,500 will not be processed. 

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