Bombay, India-born sculptor Anish Kapoor burst onto the art scene in the 1980’s with his striking geometric or biomorphic sculptures created from simple materials including plaster, granite, limestone and marble. Perhaps best known locally for his Cloud Gate (2006)sculpture, better known as “The Bean” in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Kapoor has worked primarily with polished stainless steel since 1995.
Often recognized for his explorations of matter and non-matter, Kapoor’s designs use negative space and diverse materials to create the illusion that they are fading into the distance, sinking into the floor or distorting the space around them. According to Kapoor, “That’s what I’m interested in: the void, the moment when it isn’t a hole. It is a space full of what isn’t there.”
World-renowned and often celebrated, he was the first Guest Artistic Director of the UK’s Brighton Festival and the first living artist to have a solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of the Arts. A resident of London, Kapoor’s works are held in collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London and more.
His first major body of work, called From 1000 Names to signify the objects’ infinite interconnectivity, features deeply pigmented powder works that sit on the floor or project from a wall, defining the surfaces they interact with and appearing to be partially submerged.
Untitled from 1000 Names, (1984), imbued with a deep kumkuma red, captures the complexities and compelling contradictions of Kapoor’s seminal sculptural series. From a head-on vantage point, the work appears superficially floral but morphs into a vital feminine physicality when viewed at length. In profile, the work protrudes from or penetrates into the wall, cleverly opposing the enveloping front angle while the piece’s curved contours convey the motion and carriage of a drill bit. An artistic interpretation of powerful male and female properties, the piece speaks to the notion of godliness, demonstrating the possibility of omnipotence – the state of being all things at once. Simultaneously demanding reverence and invoking a sense of magic, the piece seems to levitate in a bold defiance of the physical world in which is resides.
Untitled from 1000 Names (1984) by Anish Kapoor is available in Hindman’s upcoming Post War and Contemporary Art sale. The sale will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 10 a.m. CST at Hindman’s Chicago headquarters.