Antony Gormley had previously exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in 1981. This show in 1987 marked a departure from his well-known body casts to other works in which the artist aimed to provide ‘vessels’ for the imagination. He exhibited one sculpture in each of the Serpentine’s four galleries, and one work outside. This was the first time any of these sculptures had been displayed in public.
Describing one of the sculptures in the show, Gormley asserts: 'Room II was a translation of the dimensions of my body into a modernist, cubic bunker.'
In another work, Vehicle (1987) the form closely ressembled that of an aeroplane, fabricated from lead, fibreglass, wood and steel. For Gormley, the glider represented freedom for the imagination, and this work was to be a crucial step in the development of a body of work associated with the Angel of the North (1995-98).