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Anish Kapoor

May 8 – June 25, 2004
515 West 24th Street

Barbara Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by London-based artist Anish Kapoor. Intimate yet grand, the immediacy of Kapoor’s large-scale sculptural works is often said to evoke the sublime. For Kapoor, however, it is the act of viewing, rather than the material, that consummates the work. Kapoor’s materiality is concerned with, in his words, “…issues that lie below the material, with the fact that materials are there to make something else possible… the non-physical things, the intellectual things, the possibilities that are available through the material.”

In this new body of work, Kapoor further explores the illusions of materials and surfaces, articulating his established dialogue between form and void, dynamic and static. This investigation began in the 1980s when Kapoor created abstract forms with powdered pigment, giving the forms undulating, aura-like contours while maintaining a sense of solidity. Though his materials began to vary, with the use of alabaster, fiberglass, stainless steel and so forth, his subsequent “void” sculptures underlined the negative space, a site of both terror and longing, as an “experience that is outside of material concern,” as Kapoor put it. Confronted with the sublime or the uncanny in such exacting works, the viewer is drawn into Kapoor’s spell, an illusion of material and color that eclipses the tension between form and emotion. In this exhibition, Kapoor expands upon his practice, using new treatments for materials to create innovative forms, including a new large-scale stainless steel piece accompanied by other new works, that will transform and reactivate the gallery space. Expanding upon the familiar, while introducing new methods of figuration, these works build upon his signature style while teasing out new directions for Kapoor’s formal investigations.

Recently, Kapoor has stretched the limits of his craft with several monumental sculptures whose materiality and sense of scale not only create new positions for the viewer’s gaze to engage the work, but also manipulate and recontextualize space. Marsyas, his work commissioned for Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, Taratantara, (Naples, 2000), and his commission for the Millennium Park in Chicago all elaborate on Kapoor’s signature use of vibrant color, dynamic material, and organic forms to dominate, astonish, and redefine the relationship between object and viewer, sculpture and space. In this way, Kapoor’s gargantuan proportions and sublime forms become, as Homi Bhabha wrote, a “living tissue, a contingent and relational medium,” binding viewers together in the experience of his sculpture, which encompasses the awe and grandeur of humanity.

Anish Kapoor, born in 1954 in Bombay, India, has lived and worked in London since 1973. Solo exhibitions include Baltic Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; CAPC Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela; Hayward Gallery, London; Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Fondazione Prada, Milan; DePont Foundation, Tilburg; Kunsthaus Bregenz; and Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples. In 1990 he was awarded the Premio Duemila for representing Great Britain at the Venice Biennale, and received the Turner Prize in 1991. Recently commissioned to create the memorial in New York City for British victims of September 11, it is his second major permanent public work in the United States, joining the project for Chicago’s Millennium Park, the city’s largest public sculpture, slated for summer 2004. A fully illustrated catalogue, published by Edizioni Charta, with an essay by Anthony Vidler will accompany this exhibition.