Kamel Mennour

Anish Kapoor

12 May - 23 Jul 2011

© Anish Kapoor
View of the exhibition « Almost nothing », kamel mennour, Paris, 2011
Untitled, 2008.
Stainless steel,169 x 160,5 x 63 cm.
Acrylic cube, 70 x 70 x 69,5 cm.
Photo. Fabrice Seixas.
Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris.
Almost Nothing
12 May – 23 July 2011

This spring (2011), the British artist Anish Kapoor is overseeing several ambitious projects in Paris. As part of the Monumenta programme, his large sculpture Leviathan will fill the space beneath the glass roof of the Grand Palais (11 May - 23 June). Simultaneously, in the chapel of the Paris École
nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, the artist will be exhibiting a series of his recent sculptures in cement: tall grey towers generated by software and built by a machine (12 May - 11 June).
For his first solo exhibition at galerie kamel mennour, Anish Kapoor is showing a series of works based on the idea of the void and immateriality – concepts that have been recurring since the middle of the 1980s.
Following Pigment Pieces, which brought him to prominence, the artist began to hollow out stone with the aim of lining the interior with dark pigment. He soon realised that the void was not empty: that it opened onto an unfathomable obscurity, full of whatever terror each of us might imagine there.
Each one of the sculptures brought together in this exhibition tackles a specific aspect of Anish Kapoor’s work, which employs a very wide range of techniques and materials: there are works in resin, polished steel, pigments and fibreglass. Some of them are of true historic significance for the turning points they represent in the artist’s career. One such example is The Healing of St Thomas, shown at the Venice Biennale in 1990, where Kapoor represented Great Britain. It was the first of the artist’s works to actually incorporate architecture. It consists of an incision in the wall, a gash whose interior has been lined with red pigment. It constitutes a reference to the Catholic theme of the Incredulity of Saint Thomas: the gaping wound in Christ’s body here becomes a wound in the skin of the building.
Sister (2005) takes the form of a gentle and discreet concavity hollowed out of the wall, which seems as if it were breathing. Evoking a sort of umbilicus mundi (navel of the world), it comes from a series of whitetoned works inspired by the site of Uluru in Australia: pregnant forms that, to be perceived, require the viewer to move around due to their quasi invisibility.
The artist has been creating concave and convex mirrors since the middle of the 1990s. The surface of Untitled (2011) appears at first glance to be empty, but it is full of all the possibilities of a world that it swallows and throws back out again. This inverted gaze constitutes what the artist calls the “modern sublime”.
Born in Bombay in 1954, he has lived in London since the 1970s. His work rapidly gained international recognition and has been awarded numerous prizes, including the famous Turner Prize, which he won in 1991. His career has been the subject of a number of solo exhibitions at the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Louvre, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern, etc. Recently, he has been commissioned to design the key landmark for the forthcoming Olympic Games in London: a 116-metre-high sculpture entitled “Orbit”.

Tags: Anish Kapoor