Anish Kapoor

Lisson gallery
Anish Kapoor
13 May – 22 July 2016
Via Zenale 3, Milan, 20123

For his first exhibition with Lisson Gallery Milan, Anish Kapoor presents a new series of 14 stainless steel sculptures, the forms of which have been twisted through an unspecified number of degrees, never amounting to more than a quarter of a turn, or 90°. Shown together for the first time as an entire group, these small-scale, abstract works nevertheless contain different, recognisable ‘footprints’ – ranging from an L-shape, a W-shape and an oval, to a crescent moon, an equilateral triangle and a figure-eight, among others. These twists (measuring 30cm or one foot in height) are mounted on plinths, sharing space and interacting with one another, but will also be accompanied by one larger twist (100cm, 3.2 feet), located outside on the terrace.
The highly polished surfaces of the twist sculptures create fleeting, fluid reflections that dissipate or disrupt any stable imagery, denying viewers the certainty of either the form’s pre-twisted state – which may also be symbolic, scientific or spiritual in origin – or their own, familiar and fixed likeness beaming back at them. The artist has referred to similar bodies of work as ‘non-objects’, when the internal geometry and perfectly reflective material carry the conditions of their own disappearance.
Many of Kapoor’s best-known mirrored steel pieces, such as the monumental Cloud Gate (2004) in Chicago’s Millennium Park and C-Curve (2007) at the Chateau de Versailles in 2015, have concentrated on the curve – on the sinuous surface, both convex and concave, both enfolding and expanding. The twist, however, relies on the rotational pull around a central, vertical fulcrum to keep its outermost reaches within gravitational orbit. Indeed, every one of the twisted forms seems to be held just at the optimum moment, mid-spin. Kapoor’s contorting forms provide a lens for seeing the universe as it really is, where light is warped on its way through space and our intuition is turned inside out, or in this case, on its side and then vertiginously up or down as if being flung through a chute.

About the artist

Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. Perhaps most famous for public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering, he manoeuvres between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work. Immense PVC skins, stretched or deflated; concave or convex mirrors whose reflections attract and swallow the viewer; recesses carved in stone and pigmented so as to disappear: these voids and protrusions summon up deep-felt metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, concealment and revelation. Forms turn themselves inside out, womb-like, and materials are not painted but impregnated with colour, as if to negate the idea of an outer surface, inviting the viewer to the inner reaches of the imagination. Kapoor’s geometric forms from the early 1980s, for example, rise up from the floor and appear to be made of pure pigment, while the viscous, blood-red wax sculptures from the last ten years – kinetic and self-generating – ravage their own surfaces and explode the quiet of the gallery environment. There are resonances with mythologies of the ancient world – Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman – and with modern times, where 20th century events loom large. Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay, India in 1954 and lives and works in London. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1973–77) followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London (1977–78). Recent major solo exhibitions include ‘Anish Kapoor & Rembrandt’, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2015-16); Chateau de Versailles, Versailles (2015); The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow (2015); Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul (2013) and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin (2013). He represented Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale (1990), for which he was awarded the Premio Duemila. He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and has honorary fellowships from the London Institute and Leeds University (1997), the University of Wolverhampton (1999) and the Royal Institute of British Architecture (2001). He was awarded a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for services to visual arts. Most recently he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford (2014).

About Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery is one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world. Established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail, it pioneered the early careers of important Minimal and Conceptual artists, such as Sol LeWitt and Richard Long, and supports the work of significant British sculptors, from Anish Kapoor and Tony Cragg to a younger generation led by Ryan Gander and Haroon Mirza. With two exhibition spaces in London, one in Milan and a fourth opening under the High Line in New York, in May 2016, Lisson Gallery supports and develops its international roster of artists, including Marina Abramovic, Allora and Calzadilla, Ai Weiwei, Gerard Byrne, Liu Xiaodong, Tatsuo Miyajima, Rashid Rana, Pedro Reyes and Santiago Sierra.

Opening Hours Monday-Friday 10am-6pm. Closed between 1pm-3pm.

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