Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor
Sculptor and Artist

ANISHIndia-born British sculptor, Anish Kapoor, known for his use of abstract biomorphic forms and his penchant for rich colours and polished surfaces was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1954. He has lived in London since the early 1970s where he began his distinguished career. Kapoor was born in India to parents of Punjabi and Iraqi- Jewish heritage. He moved to London to study at the Hornsey College of Art (1973–77) and the Chelsea School of Art (1977–78). He was the first living artist to be given a solo show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Over the last 20 years, Kapoor has emerged as one of the most-prolific and respected sculptors in the world. In July 2004, Kapoor unveiled his first-ever site-specific installation in the U.S. with a monumental work that anchors Millennium Park. His early pieces rely on powder pigment to cover the works and the floor around them. This practice was inspired by the mounds of brightly coloured pigment in the markets and temples of India.

The internationally-acclaimed Anish Kapoor has had solo exhibitions of his work in venues such as the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Kunsthalle Basel, Reina Sofia in Madrid and CAPC in Bordeaux. He has also participated internationally in many group shows at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, The Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery in London, Documenta IX in Kassel, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Jeu de Paume and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Public collections of Kapoor’s works are on view at a broad range of international cultural institutions, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; Alrbight-Knox Museum in Buffalo, NY, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Prato, Italy, Musee St. Pierre, Lyon, France, and, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

A British sculptor of Indian birth, he is 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. 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 focussed on qualities of interior balance and well-being.

Anish Kapoor was awarded the “Premio Duemila” at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the Turner Prize Award in 1991 and an Honorary Fellowship at the London Institute in 1997. He is represented by the Lisson Gallery, London, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York and Galleria Massimo Minini, Italy. In 2008, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston exhibited Kapoor’s first U.S. mid-career survey. Kapoor received a Knighthood in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to visual arts. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Oxford in 2014. Increasingly, Kapoor’s recent work blurs the boundaries between architecture and art.