Anish Kapoor, British/Indian (1954 - )

Anish Kapoor

British sculptor of Indian birth. Anish Kapoor was born in India to a Hindu father and a Jewish-Iraqi mother. He moved to London in 1973 and began working in wood and mixed media. In the 1980’s, his work switched directions and he began working in stone and metal. Kapoor represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1990 and was awarded the Turner Prize in 1991. He was one of a generation of British-based sculptors who became established in the international arena during the 1980s and is prominent among his contemporaries for the quality of hermetic lyricism that permeates his work. He has acknowledged a bearing on his art of both Western and Eastern culture. The powerful spiritual and mythological resonances of his sculptures arise in part from frequent return visits to India. Natural materials such as sandstone, marble and slate are impregnated with raw powdered pigment of vivid hues, thus enhancing a feeling of inner radiance. In the early 1990s he introduced a more enigmatic slant by boring holes in the flanks of standing stones, while in The Earth (1992; installed San Diego, CA, Mus. A.; Des Moines, IA, A. Cent.; Ottawa, N.G.; and elsewhere) a perfect circle was removed from the gallery floor to intimate the generative effect of negative space. In other works impressions of weightlessness stem from the skilled transformation of materials by an almost alchemical process; earth slabs coated with brilliant blue pigment become signs for sky and water. By imaginative combination of disparate materials in meditative structures, attention is focused on qualities of interior balance and well-being.

Bibliography
An International Survey of Recent Paintings and Sculpture (exh. cat. by K. McShine, New York, MOMA, 1984)
Anish Kapoor (exh. cat. by J. C. Ammann, Basle, Ksthalle, 1985)
Anish Kapoor (exh cat. by L. Forsha, La Jolla, CA, Mus. Contemp. A., 1992)

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