Anish Kapoor's Untitled, 1997
Anish Kapoor's Untitled, 1997

 




Anish Kapoor has spoken of his mirrored sculptures as "non-objects" — indicating that their presence is not contained in their material surfaces. Kapoor aims to enable his viewers to experience the sublime, saying: "I think that…in a world where most things are explainable, [the fact that] art remains unexplained and unexplainable is absolutely crucial." Seemingly a basic circle, Untitled is hewn in such a way as to produce disorienting optical effects: "That sense of something which is on one level very straightforward but retains its mask, somehow doesn't let its mask down — that's what interests me."
Anish Kapoor's Espresso Cup and Saucer?, 2011
Anish Kapoor's Espresso Cup and Saucer?, 2011

From this New York Times story here and available on the Illy website here:

The latest addition to the Illy artist cup collection offers a glimpse of infinity to go with your espresso.

Designed by the artist Anish Kapoor, the cup and its matching saucer have a reflective platinum finish. But the saucer also has a hole in the center, and “if you put the saucer over the cup and look in, you can’t understand the limits of the space,” said Carlo Bach, the company’s art director. It “looks like a sculpture of Anish Kapoor,” he said.

The collection is 19 years old; previous participants include Julian Schnabel, Marina Abramovic and Pedro Almodóvar.

Mr. Kapoor’s creation comes as a set of two espresso cups and saucers ($90), in a numbered, limited edition of 20,000. It will be shipped in September, but orders are being accepted now.

Anish Kapoor's Leviathan, 2011
Anish Kapoor's Leviathan, 2011

Anish Kapoor dedicates Leviathan to detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. See Article below.

Article from the BBC News May10, 2011:

Sculptor Anish Kapoor has condemned China's "barbaric" detention of artist Ai Weiwei and has called on galleries to close for a day in protest.

Ai - an outspoken critic of China's human rights record - has not been heard from since he was arrested in Beijing at the start of April.

Kapoor has dedicated his monumental Leviathan art installation in Paris, unveiled on Tuesday, to Ai.

Artists must speak with "a communal voice", he told BBC Radio 4's Today.

China says it is investigating Ai, 53 - who was detained at Beijing airport while passing through security checks for a flight to Hong Kong - for as yet unspecified economic crimes.

His sister, Gao Ge, told BBC News she had not heard anything from her brother and had been given no information as to where he was being detained or whether he had been charged with any offence.

'Ridiculous situation'

"It's a month now that the poor man has been held without a voice, but not only that, his family doesn't know where he is," said Kapoor.

"This is not a situation that is acceptable in any circumstances.

Anish Kapoor and Ai Weiwei Kapoor, left, has called on the art world to support Ai Weiwei

"It does bear witness to the barbarity of governments if they're that paranoid that they have to put away artists. It's a ridiculous situation."

The Turner Prize-winning artist said that, while some European foreign ministers had voiced concerns, more must be done.

He has called on the art world to unite, adding: "Perhaps museums and galleries across the world should be closed for one day."

Kapoor has described his epic new installation, which has been unveiled in the cavernous nave of the Grand Palais in Paris for the Monumenta 2011 exhibition, as a "single object, a single form, a single colour".

Meanwhile, two major exhibitions of Ai's work will open in London this week.

Somerset House will display his Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads in its courtyard from Thursday until 26 June.

The outdoor installation comprises 12 monumental bronze animal heads, which are recreations of traditional Chinese zodiac sculptures.

From Friday, the Lisson Gallery is also exhibiting some of Ai's key works created over the past six years.

Lisson Gallery director Greg Hilty has hailed Ai as "one of the leading cultural figures of his generation" who "consistently displays great courage in placing himself at risk to affect social change through his art".

"He serves as an example for legitimate social criticism and free expression both in China and internationally," he added.

Anish Kapoor's Leviathan, 2011
Anish Kapoor's Leviathan, 2011

General view of the set-up "Leviathan" by Indian born, British based, artist Anish Kapoor for the Monumenta 2011 event in the nave of the "Grand Palais" in Paris May 9, 2011 www.reuters.com

PARIS | Tue May 10, 2011 9:33am EDT

PARIS (Reuters) - Entering Anish Kapoor's latest sculpture through a dark, windowless revolving door, visitors experience a momentary blackout before emerging into a womb-like cavity -- warm, oppressive and bathed in red light.

This is "Leviathan" at Paris's Grand Palais, the Mumbai-born British sculptor's first work in France for 30 years, to be unveiled on May 11, and an experience one can only imagine is like being swallowed by a whale.

Famed for his critically acclaimed Cloud Gate in Chicago and Sky Mirror in New York, Kapoor is the fourth artist to be invited by the Grand Palais to create the annual Monumenta exhibition in its vast, glass-roofed central nave.

Previous exhibitors at the historic Art Nouveau building, erected for the 1900 World Fair, were Christian Boltanski in 2010, Richard Serra in 2008 and Anselm Kiefer in 2007.

"It's fabulous. It's a challenging space and that's the main motivation for me," Kapoor told Reuters on the sidelines of a preview of the exhibition.

Inside Leviathan, the viewer is invited to take part in a physical and mental experience, a sensory immersion in a translucent membrane designed to interact with the architecture of the building in which it is housed.

The red glow is created by daylight flooding from the nave's glass roof and through the sculpture's tent-like walls, and its intensity, as well as the temperature in the cavity, vary as clouds pass over the sun.

From the outside, however, Leviathan offers a completely different experience, a feeling of awe at the overwhelming scale of the bulbous, rubber-like sculpture, which stands 35 meters (yards) high and fills the entire 35,000 sq meters (376,700 sq ft) of the nave.

"For me, this huge archaic force is linked to darkness. It is a monster burdened with its corpse, which stands guard over some forgotten regions of our conscience," Kapoor explains.

Perhaps reminiscent of the intimate, womb-like interior, however, there is still something faintly erotic about the outside of the sculpture and it is hard to shake off the feeling one is looking at a giant, three-balled massage device, rather than a mythical sea-monster.

But as Kapoor says in a blurb on his work:

"I think there is no such thing as an innocent viewer. All viewing, all looking comes with complications, comes with previous histories, a more or less real past."

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