The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents a major solo exhibition devoted to the art of Anish Kapoor, one of the most influential sculptors working today. The exhibition, which opened to enormous acclaim at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in fall 2009, is the first large-scale survey of Kapoor’s work to be seen in Spain.
Anish Kapoor rose to prominence in the early 1908s with his explorations of abstract sculptural forms and the use of volume, scale, color, and materiality. Best known for his explorations into the concept of the void, his sculptures, monumental installations, and outdoor public-art projects have expanded the language of Post-Minimalist art. This show features several series that the artist has developed since 1979 using tactile or highly reflective materials: bright, pure pigment, blood-red wax; painted fiberglass; stone; polished stainless steel; and most recently, cement. While materiality and process are central to Kapoor’s works, he uses both as a means to go beyond the solidness of what you see to experience a perceptual and symbolic depth beyond. “Material somehow always leads onto something immaterial,” the artist states.
The exhibition has been organized in close collaboration with the artist, who envisions each gallery as a single experience devoted to one series (the pigment works, the void works, polished stainless steel works, the entropic cement forms), or one large-scale installation. Diverse in material and form, each presentation demonstrates Kapoor’s interest in the principle of the “auto-generated”—objects that originate without a trace of the artist’s hand, seemingly natural and without preconceived thought. A recent and spectacular installation, Shooting into the Corner (2008–09) presents a canon, triggered by an attendant, that shoots enormous wedges of red wax across the gallery space, transforming the museum into a site of violent explosion and its dramatic accumulations.
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