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Poetry meets visual arts: Book launch with Pavla Melková and Antony Gormley




Thursday, 13 April 2023
Thursday, 13 April 2023 - 7:00pm

Celebrating the bilingual publication of The Gravitational Field of the Inexpressible, Czech poet and architect Pavla Melková and leading British sculptor Antony Gormley meet on stage to continue an artistic dialogue that started six years ago in Prague when they first met and the idea of a joint book was born. In The Gravitational Field of the Inexpressible Pavla Melková’s poetry meets Antony Gormley’s drawings, circling the same centre and unfolding from the same horizon in their search for the essence of life, to emerge in a common language.

Antony Gormley’s images and a staged reading of Pavla Melková’s poems by a translator and poet Joshua Mensch will accompany the launch of this bilingual edition.

Followed by audience Q&A and a book signing.

PAVLA MELKOVÁ is a practicing architect, visual artist, poet and writer who regularly lectures on art and architecture. Her widely-recognized architecture is visible throughout the Czech Republic, where she has won numerous awards, including Architect of the Year (2014), the Prague Mayor’s Prize (2012), and the National Prize for Architecture (2012). She has published seven books on architecture, including most recently The Humanistic Role of Architecture (2016) and The Architecture of Reciprocity (2020), and is a regular contributor to professional architecture journals, anthologies, and collaborative works. Her two volumes of poetry include The Edges of the Day (2017) and Inner Time (2019). In 2012, she founded the Office for Public Space at the Institute for Planning and Development of the City of Prague (IPR), which she headed until 2017. Currently, she is a member and vice-chair of the Gremial Council of IPR, and is a partner at the architecture firm MCA atelier, which she co-founded. In 2015, she founded the course Concept and Interpretation at the Faculty of Architecture, where she teaches. 

ANTONY GORMLEY is widely acclaimed for his sculptures, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship of the human body to space. His work has developed the potential opened up by sculpture since the 1960s through a critical engagement with both his own body and those of others in a way that confronts fundamental questions of where human being stands in relation to nature and the cosmos. Gormley continually tries to identify the space of art as a place of becoming in which new behaviors, thoughts and feelings can arise. Gormley’s work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK and internationally. A major solo exhibition of his work was presented at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in September 2019. Permanent public works include the Angel of the North (Gateshead, England), Another Place (Crosby Beach, England), Inside Australia (Lake Ballard, Western Australia), Exposure (Lelystad, The Netherlands) and Chord (MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA).

Gormley was awarded the Turner Prize in 1994, the South Bank Prize for Visual Art in 1999, the Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture in 2007, the Obayashi Prize in 2012 and the Praemium Imperiale in 2013. In 1997 he was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) and was made a knight in the New Year’s Honours list in 2014. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, an Honorary Doctor of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity and Jesus Colleges, Cambridge. Gormley has been a Royal Academician since 2003.

JOSHUA MENSCH is a poet and translator based in the Czech Republic. He is the author of Because: A Lyric Memoir (W. W. Norton, 20218). He has served as an editor of B O D Y since 2012.

The Gravitational Field of the Inexpressible is a discourse between the languages of poetry and the visual arts. The book captures a dialogue between leading British sculptor Anthony Gormley and Czech poet Pavla Melková. The lines made by the words in the poems and lines of the drawings are traces that bring closer the shape of the essence – the essence of the world, our lives, relationships, and situations. The strokes of the words of the poetry and the strokes of the lines of the drawings circle the same centre and unfold from the same horizon. When the marks cross paths, the shape becomes more and more evident. Absorbed in the strokes, and with developing awareness, one mutual language emerges. This establishes the meaning of their encounter. 

The Gravitational Field of the Inexpressible, Pavla Melková and Antony Gormley, Prague: Kant, 2022, English and Czech, Hardback; 136 pages, 245 × 165 mm, ISBN 978-80-7437-376-3 

Cover image: The Gravitational Field of the Inexpressible (book cover); Pavla Melková; Antony Gormley (photo: Lars Gundersen)

Venue ( Address ): 

Kensington Palace Gardens 30, Notting Hill, London

Other events from Czech Centre London

Poetry meets visual arts: Book launch with Pavla Melková and Antony Gormley


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