Anish Kapoor

Indian, born 1954

Anish Kapoor is a British sculptor of Indian birth. 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.

Kapoor went on to exhibit internationally at venues such as the Tate Gallery and Royal Academy of Art in London, the Kunsthalle Basel, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the MAK Vienna and the ICA Boston. In 2010 he had his first major exhibition in India, which took place at the NGMA New Delhi and Mehboob Studio in Mumbai. He has been awarded several prizes, including the Turner Prize in 1991, has been made a Royal Academician and was appointed a Commander of the British Empire in 2003.

Anish Kapoor ECHO 1