Anish Kapoor (1954 –)
Date of Birth: March 12, 1954
Place of Birth: Bombay, India
Movement: Contemporary Art
Education: The Doon School, Dehra Dun, India; Hornsey College of Art, London; Chelsea School of Art, London
“We live in a fractured world. I've always seen it as my role as an artist to attempt to make wholeness.”
“Sculpture occupies the same space as your body.”
“I think I understand something about space. I think the job of a sculptor is spatial as much as it is to do with form.”
“Red, of course, is the color of the interior of our bodies. In a way it's inside out, red.”
“There's something imminent in the work, but the circle is only completed by the viewer.”
“All ideas grow out of other ideas.”
“I am Indian, and I'm proud of it. Indian life is mythologically rich and powerful.”
“Cloud Gate” (2004)
“Sky Mirror” (2006)
Sir Anish Kapoor is a sculptor and visual artist of Indian origin best known for his free-standing sculptures and installations. Kapoor was granted the knighthood by the British government in 2013 for his contributions to the field of visual arts.
Anish Kapoor was born in the city of Bombay in 1954. His father was Hindu while his mother was of Jewish descent. Kapoor finished his schooling from the reputed Doon School
in Dehradun, India and then left for Israel in 1971 to study engineering. However he encountered difficulty with mathematics and left the course after ten months. It was during this time that Kapoor made up his mind to become an artist. In 1973, Kapoor left for the U.K. to join the Hornsey College of Art. He later also attended the Chelsea School of Art in London.
Kapoor came to the fore in the 1980s when his sculptures made from modest materials such as granite, marble and limestone began to be appreciated. He worked with simple curved and geometric forms, usually in monochrome or with the use of bright colors. Kapoor’s first high-profile show was at the New Sculpture group exhibition at the Hayward Gallery
in London in 1978. In 1982, Kapoor was chosen as an artist in residence by the Walker Art Gallery
Over the 1980s and the 1990s, Kapoor was commended for the interplay of matter and void in his artworks. During this time, he produced free-standing sculptures and larger-than-life installations. In 1987, he started working with stone. Kapoor’s sculptures are said to constantly converse with dualities, variously expressed as encompassing the un-conscious and conscious, invisible and visible, female and male, and the body and mind.
In the mid-1990s, Kapoor started working with highly reflective surfaces such as stainless steel. This allowed him to encapsulate the viewer within an alternate reality. His ambitious works have actively endeavoured to transform the space that they sit within. Kapoor also added wax to his repertoire, evoking the feeling of flesh, blood and the body.
In 2009, Kapoor became the first living artist to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts
in London. That year, he also became the first guest artistic director of the annual Brighton Festival
, England's largest festival dedicated to the arts.
Kapoor has completed various commissions that adorn public spaces in various countries. Among the more famous is the ‘Sky Mirror,’ a large circular concave mirror made of stainless steel facing and reflecting the sky. It was first installed in 2001 outside the Nottingham playhouse, and has since been installed at various locations across the globe, such as the Kensington Gardens
in London, the Rockefeller Center
in New York, and the football stadium in Dallas in the United States.
In 2010, a polished steel structure, titled “Turning the World Upside Down
,” that resembled an hourglass or a two-headed drum, was installed at the Israel Museum
in Jerusalem. In 2012, Kapoor's 376-foot tall sculpture, called “Orbit
”, was installed at the Olympic Park
in Stratford, London. It is the tallest sculpture in the U.K. and represented British art during the London Olympics
Kapoor has exhibited extensively across the globe. He received widespread appreciation when he represented Britain in 1990 at the Venice Biennale
, winning the Premio 2000. He won the Turner Prize in 1991, and showed at the Documenta IX
in 1992. In recent years, Kapoor has held various solo exhibitions at prestigious galleries such as the Tate Modern
and the National Gallery of Modern Art
in New Delhi. He is not formally associated with a gallery and preferring to work independently. Kapoor currently lives and works in London.
March 12, 1954 —
1973 - 77 Hornsey College of Art, London
1977- 78 Chelsea School of Art, London
1990 Premio Duemila, Venice Biennale
1991 Turner Prize
1999 Elected Royal Academician
2011 Praemium Imperiale
2003 Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
2011 French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
2012 Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour.
2015 - Anish Kapoor Versailles, Château de Versailles (forthcoming)
2013 - Kapoor in Berlin, Martin–Gropius–Bau, Berlin
2011 - Leviathan, Monumenta 2011, Grand Palais, Paris
- Anish Kapoor, Delhi Mumbai, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and Mehboob Studios, Mumbai
- Anish Kapoor: Turning the World Upside Down; Kensington Gardens, The Royal Parks and the Serpentine Gallery, London
- Anish Kapoor, Museo Guggenheim de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo, Bilbao
- Anish Kapoor: Shooting into the Corner, MAK, Vienna
- Anish Kapoor, Royal Academy, London
2002-03 - Marsyas, The Unilever Series: Anish Kapoor, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London
1996-97 - Anish Kapoor, Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne
1990 - Anish Kapoor, XLIV Biennale di Venezia, British Pavilion, Venice
1985 - Anish Kapoor, Kunsthalle, Basel
Museums / Collections:
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Tate Modern, London
Israel Museum, Jerusalem