One of Britain’s most celebrated artists, considered to be one of the most influential sculptors of his generation, Sir Anish Kapoor CBE, RA was born in 1954 in Mumbai, India. He came to Britain to study at the Hornsey College of Art (1973-77) and Chelsea School of Art and Design (1977-78), but has continued to draw on the richness, depth and mysteries of Indian history and culture in his work, combining these with other mythologies of the ancient world such as Egyptian, Greek and Roman as well as qualities of modernity.
His early work began with floor-sited, mountain-shaped powder sculptures of pure color. As his work developed, simple shapes were seen to play with concave/convex forming, or with carved-out openings into forms that intimate unexplained secrets to engage the viewer. He has created large colored wax sculptures which make and remake themselves in front of the viewer, and in the last decade, executed monumental outdoor sculptures of polished steel – true engineering feats – which bring earth and sky together in spectacular fashion; most famously, perhaps, in Cloud Gate (popularly known as ‘the Bean’) in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Similarly, his graphic oeuvre has been characterised by his depiction and transformation of the hallucinatory qualities contemplating single, vivid colors, sometimes exploiting pure gradations around simple forms of square and circle, at others, rich and suggestive explorations of animal and vegetable forms, intimate anatomies of plants and humans, the within and without of fissures and eruptions, whose origins and meaning are engaging, but hardly ever literal or obvious.
He has exhibited in many of the world’s leading museums and galleries; in London, New York, Delhi, Paris, Istanbul, Berlin, Ottawa, Madrid, Sydney and more. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Surge’ at Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019); Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Imperial Ancestral Temple, Beijing, China (2019); CorpArtes, Santiago, Chile (2019); Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, London, UK (2019); Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2018); ‘Descension’’ at Public Art Fund, Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, New York, NY, USA (2017); Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); MAST Foundation, Bologna, Italy (2017); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City, Mexico (2016); Couvent de la Tourette, Eveux, France (2015); Château de Versailles, Versailles, France (2015) and The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia (2015). He represented Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 with Void Field (1989), for which he was awarded the Premio Duemila for Best Young Artist. Kapoor won the Turner Prize in 1991 and has honorary fellowships from the University of Wolverhampton, UK (1999), the Royal Institute of British Architecture, London, UK (2001) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK (2014). Anish Kapoor was awarded a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for services to visual arts.