Anish Kapoor

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Anish Kapoor (2017)

Sir Anish Kapoor (born March 12, 1954 in Mumbai , India ) is an Indo-British sculptor . Winner of some of the most coveted art prizes and high civilian awards, he is one of the world's most respected artists of our time.

life and work

Kapoor is the son of an Indian Hindu who worked as a hydrographer in the Indian Navy and a Jewish Iraqi woman. He left India at the age of sixteen, first lived in a kibbutz in Israel and came to London in 1973, where he studied art at Hornsey College of Art and later at Chelsea College of Art and Design . He also attended Doon School in Dehradun , India. His work shows influences from western and eastern culture as well as religious themes. Belonging to a specific religion is not evident from the works.

Kapoor received international attention as early as the 1970s for sculptures made from color pigments . Through monochrome room installations, he came to monumental sculptures made of unusual materials. His Marsyas (→ Marsyas ) from 2002 was installed in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern in London. An altar stone created by him is located in the lower church of the Dresden Frauenkirche . In 2003 he erected a 20-tonne red sculpture made of Vaseline and wax entitled My red Homeland for a work exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz . In 2006, Cloud Gate , also known as "The Bean," followed, a 110-ton stainless steel structure in Millennium Park in Chicago . In 2008, Kapoor created the 24-ton steel sculpture Memory in Berlin, a commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim , and in 2009/2010 it was on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum .

Kapoor designed the ArcelorMittal Orbit , a 115-meter-high sculpture for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The construction consists of twisted steel struts and is reminiscent of the shape of an oriental water pipe . There is a viewing platform at the top. The steel tower has been open to the public since 2014.

Also in 2012, Kapoor created the set for a new production of Richard Wagner's old work Parsifal at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. It was staged by the director of the opera house, Pierre Audi , and directed by Iván Fischer . The costumes were designed by Christof Hetzer .

In 2018, a visitor to the exhibition in the Portuguese Serralves Museum was injured when he fell into a deep hole in the installation “Descent into Limbo” (“Descent into Limbo ”); he had thought the hole in the middle of a concrete cube was an optical illusion.

Kapoor has secured the exclusive rights for the use of the substance Vantablack in the field of art from the manufacturing company Surrey NanoSystems ; In other areas, the surface coating can still be used freely. Kapoor's exclusive rights to Vantablack are the subject of an ongoing controversy. Among the pronounced critics of Kapoor are the British painters Christian Furr and Stuart Semple .

Prizes and awards

Exhibitions (selection)

  • In 1990 Anish Kapoor took part in the Venice Biennale .
  • In 1992 he took part in Documenta IX in Kassel .
  • In 2003 the Galleria continua in San Gimignano , Province of Siena showed an exhibition entitled Anish Kapoor .
  • From May 30th to September 7th, 2008 the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston presented the exhibition Past, Present, Future, dedicated to Kapoor's work .
  • From January to April 2009, Kapoor's exhibition Shooting into the Corner was on view at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) in Vienna. In the same year the Royal Academy in London devoted an extensive exhibition to the artist's diverse work.
  • In 2011, his Leviathan structure, which weighs 12 tons and is inflated with 72,000 cubic meters of air , was exhibited in the Grand Palais in Paris as part of the annual Monumenta . In the same year Kapoor showed his installation Ascension in the Basilica di San Giorgio at the 54th Venice Art Biennale . “In my work, appearance and reality are often blurred. What I'm particularly interested in about “Ascension” is the idea of ​​immateriality, which becomes an object here: smoke forms into a column. In this work there is also an allusion to Moses following a column of smoke, a ray of light in the desert. ”At the same time, works by Kapoor were on view in Milan at two exhibition locations: in the Rotonda di Via Besana and in the Fabbrica del Vapore.
  • 2013: Aarhus, ARoS: Klein / Byars / Kapoor
  • The artist created the installation Symphony for a Beloved Sun for the atrium of the Martin-Gropius-Bau , where the Kapoor exhibition took place in Berlin in 2013 . Blood-red lumps of wax are lifted several meters up on conveyor belts and then fall in front of a huge, deep-red disk symbolizing the setting sun.
  • The work Dirty Corner (2011–2015), one of six monumental works by Kapoor that are exhibited in the palace gardens of Versailles from June to November 2015, was the second victim of vandalism at the beginning of September after a color attack in June 2015. It was sprayed with anti-Semitic slogans such as “The second desecration of the French nation through Jewish activities”, “Shame, dishonor, deceit Satanism”, “SS blood sacrifice”, “Queen blood sacrifice, a second time” or “Christ is King at Versailles”. Dirty Corner consists of a 50 m long steel tube that ends in an opening about 10 m high, as well as stones around the opening. The press had quoted Kapoor after the exhibition opened with the term "Queen's vagina". Since then, French royalists have understood the work of art to symbolize Marie Antoinette's vagina and see French history as tainted. Kapoor later distanced himself from this representation. The generous, symmetrical layout of the gardens of Versailles should also make an "eternal power" tangible. In response to the invitation to exhibit in these gardens, he accordingly decided to “undermine” the “perfect surface”. This time, Kapoor decided that the work should now remain unchanged and bear the scars of injuries and intolerance - “to remind of the anti-Semitism that we would rather forget”. It is also a violent attack against the human spirit and culture. This now becomes part of the work of art.


  • Anne Schloen: Anish Kapoor: I am a painter who is a sculptur , in: Künstler. Critical Lexicon of Contemporary Art, Edition 50, Issue 14, Munich 2000. ISSN  0934-1730
  • Sandhini Poddar: Anish Kapoor - memory . [Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, November 30, 2008 to February 1, 2009]. Guggenheim Museum Publ., New York 2008. ISBN 978-0-89207-378-8 .
  • Peter Noever (ed.): Anish Kapoor - shooting into the corner [publication appeared on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name, MAK Vienna, January 21 to April 19, 2009]. Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2009. ISBN 978-3-7757-2382-4 .
  • David Anfam : Anish Kapoor . Phaidon, London 2009. ISBN 978-0-7148-4369-8 .


Web links

Commons : Anish Kapoor  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Window to the Self: Anish Kapoor's sculpture Memory in the Guggenheim Museum in New York In: .
  2. Man thinks work of art is an optical illusion - and falls into it. In: August 22, 2018, accessed December 27, 2018 .
  3. a b This black is the dynamite of art , ORF , March 4, 2016
  4. a b Artist feud about super black: Anish Kapoor vs. Stuart Semple , Radio Ö1 Leporello , 11 January 2017
  5. Handbook of Culture Prizes In: ARCult , Volume 4, 2001, page 409.
  6. Honorary Members: Anish Kapoor. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 12, 2019 .
  8. ^ Anish Kapoor - Shooting into the Corner. MAK, 2009, accessed March 10, 2016 .
  9. ^ Tom Lubbock: Anish Kapoor, Royal Academy, London. In: The Independent , September 24, 2009.
  11. Klein / Byars / Kapoor. In: (English).
  12. ^ Kapoor in Berlin. ( Memento of the original from March 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. In: . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. ^ Katrin Schirner: Anish Kapoor in Berlin. In: .
  14. ^ John Lichfield: Anish Kapoor responds to Versailles' vagina 'row -' Did I say that? I don't think so ... ' In: The Independent , June 5, 2015 (English).
  15. Dispute about the “vagina” of Versailles. In: , June 9, 2015.
  16. "Dirty Corner" smeared again. In: n-tv , September 7, 2015.
  17. Anish Kapoor's Dirty Corner sculpture vandalized again. In: BBC News , September 7, 2015.
  18. Valérie Duponchelle: Anish Kapoor: “L'œuvre vandalisée restera telle quelle” In: Le Figaro , September 6, 2015 (French).
  19. Anish Kapoor's Versailles Sculpture Vandalized With Anti-Semitic Slurs . hyperallergic, September 7, 2015