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February 18, 2014

ANISH KAPOOR-WHO?

Filed under: Anish Kapoor — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 7:26 am

Anish Kapoor for me, is an amazing artist, and I am sure a lot of you have seen his work and maybe don’t know who he is.  So I thought I would introduce you to him.  My pursuit,

with my blog is to bring you artists in all realms.  Whether it is art, music, time periods and their pieces.  Great Chefs and all those that contribute to making culture what it is for us to enjoy!

The Indian-born, London-based sculptor Anish Kapoor has always been a kind of magician, which cuts two ways. Whether with blazingly reflective metal

surfaces or dark, plush, seemingly infinite interiors, his pieces dispense multiple visual thrills and mysteries. But the same effects can make his work appear tricky, decorative and shallow.

It hasn’t helped that they seem to have been concocted by playing fast and slick with the innovations of his Minimalist and Post-Minimalist predecessors.

Mr. Kapoor, who is 54, did not begin life in a Western culture. He was born and grew up in Mumbai when it was still called Bombay, and in 1973 moved to London, where he studied art and

then took up residence. He is a decade or so older than most of the Young British Artists, who took the art world by storm in the early 1990s, and his sensibility is markedly different:

he greatly prefers gentle seduction to shock tactics.

His sculpture is in many ways one long ode to the modernist monochrome and its emphasis on purity and perception, enacted in three-dimensional space. It carves, colors and complicates space in different ways,

adding interactive aspects and pushing that purity back and forth between votive and technological, East and West.

Despite the high degree of abstraction in his art, living form, if only the viewer’s body, is always implied. — Excerpted from “Sculptor as Magician,” by Roberta Smith, The New York Times, May 30, 2008.

Cloud Gate is British artist Anish Kapoor‘s first public outdoor work installed in the United States.


The 110-ton elliptical sculpture is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above.

A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.

Inspired by liquid mercury, the sculpture is among the largest of its kind in the world, measuring 66-feet long by 33-feet high.

Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, aka The Bean, has become a Chicago icon. It is mandatory that all tourists have a picture taken pressed up against it, lying underneath it, or some such other myriad

configuration of tourist and sculpture.

Cloud Gate is a rare success in public art: it is attractive, it is sufficiently art-like, and the people almost uniformly dig it. It is also kind of fawning. If it were a Jeff Koons it would be a puppy dog.

But if anything were a Jeff Koons it would be a puppy dog, so maybe that’s not the best comparison. Perhaps it’s like a Rothko, rooted in the canon of art history, conceptually sound,

imbued with its creator’s spirit, yet makes one helluva pretty postcard.

 

Anish Kapoor "Cloud Gate"Anish Kapoor "Cloud Gate"Anish Kapoor "Cloud Gate"Anish Kapoor "Cloud Gate"

MEMORY

My Daughters and I, caught this exhibit at the Guggenheim, and we were really disturbed by it.

The most startling thing about Memory is that, by virtue of the installation, it is impossible to ever see in its entirety. The room, like the Grinch’s heart, is two sizes too small making

Memory impossible to “take in” and thereby leaving the viewer unsure, unsettled, and, in my case, slightly terrified by the possibilities of the creepily amorphous sculpture living inside the Guggenheim’s twisting tower.

It is difficult to describe the piece because it can only be taken in piecemeal and then reassembled in one’s mind. As a result, every viewer is likely to have a completely different perception of Memory—tricky title, eh?

 

Anish Kapoor “Memory” (NYC)

Of the material, Memory is made of raw oxidized steel. According to the press release 24 tons of it. The red and orange rust giving the mass an organic warmth, but one cut with

the unforgiving corners of raw metal and industrial weight. It is womb-like, or egg-sac-like in its presumed shape, though almost certainly the coming birth will be one of alien origin.

It is a pod descended from above, filled with malignant beings with mouths brimming the sharpest teeth.

A viewer has four angles to work from, and must traverse at least two levels of the museum to do so. One view is down a long corridor, others from the side, and, perhaps most disturbingly, a hole cut into the work’s pitch-black interior.

A fellow patron with whom I shared this view muttered, “I would love to go in.” I thought, “You’ll never come out.” But instead fall into the unknown depths within.

 

Anish Kapoor “Memory” (NYC)

The inability to approach the sculpture in a traditional fashion most raises the question of scale: how big is this  thing? What does it hope to achieve in its undefined immensity? Is it friendly?

The not knowing is what makes this piece, the wily invitation to imagination, surprise and fear. In contrast to the Bean’s happy snapshot secure in time. As Memory attests and Cloud Gate reflects,

truth is ever-pedestrian compared to the fiction of an active mind. Like a good novel, Memory allows the viewer to build on and amplify the story in a way the more static Bean never could. Fiction however, doesn’t make for much of a profile pic.

 

ENJOY!

LOVE,

JAMIE

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