Have you ever been so fascinated by a work of art that you lose yourself completely in its mystery and fascination? If the answer is yes, then you will love the works of Anish Kapoor.
Kapoor’s creations not only enchant visually, but also stimulate deep reflection on many sensory levels. The artist captivates through the use of ambiguity, prompting anyone who comes across them to use all their senses to probe hidden meanings.
Here are the most important works you need to know.
Anish Kapoor’s works: significance and whereabouts
Enigma is at the heart of Anish Kapoor’s work, which plays and surprises with an innate element of everyone’s personality.
We trace the highlights of Kapoor’s career through eight unforgettable works that could change the way you see art forever.
1. MOTHER AS MOUNTAIN, 1985
Anish Kapoor began his artistic journey at a mature age, after settling in London and pursuing academic studies in art.
His first forays into the art world explored the use of pure pigments. An early example is ‘Mother as Mountain’ from 1985, a sculptural assemblage combining geometric shapes painted bright red. This piece appears to be an homage to femininity and seems to evoke the concept of birth.
2. ENDLESS COLUMN, 1992
Over the years Kapoor has turned his gaze to his Indian roots, drawing inspiration from the rich cultural tapestry of Mumbai, where he spent his youth.
With the work ‘Endless Column’ from 1992, the artist goes beyond the physical limits of the exhibition space, creating a cylinder wrapped in red pigment that seems to extend into infinity. This column not only occupies the physical space, but also serves as a bridge between the earthly and the transcendental, with an uninterrupted flow that rises and falls.
3. MARSYAS, 2002
True to his vision, Kapoor continued to push the boundaries of monumental art. ‘Marsyas’ from 2002 is another colossus in red, this time installed in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London.
The installation is a contemporary interpretation of Titian’s work and appears as an artistic invasion of the gallery space.
4. CLOUD GATE, 2004-06
In 2004, Kapoor conquered Chicago’s Millennium Park with ‘Cloud Gate’, a work that quickly became a symbol of the city. After two years of work, this reflective stainless steel sculpture offered a new vision of the city skyline, deforming it through its flowing curves.
In 2014, Kapoor then patented the use of Vantablack, a pigment that absorbs almost all light, temporarily transforming Cloud Gate into an enigmatic abyss.
5. SKY MIRROR, 2006-10
Between 2006 and 2010, Kapoor created ‘Sky Mirror’, a concave lens that reflects and distorts its surroundings. The viewer thus sees a unique version of the world, making the work perpetually mutable.
Versions of this sculpture can be found both in London and at the Rockefeller Center in New York.
6. SHOOTING INTO THE CORNER, 2008-09
In 2008, Kapoor reached a new creative zenith with ‘Shooting into the Corner’, a daring fusion of sculpture and performance. A cannon designed with the help of engineers hurls red wax balls at an immaculate corner.
The gesture is a provocation that invites reflection on historical brutalities and leaves the viewer speechless.
7. LEVIATHAN, 2011
With ‘Leviathan’ in 2011, Kapoor returned to monumental grandeur, invading the Grand Palais in Paris with a 35-metre high structure representing the biblical sea monster Leviathan. The interior of the work is accessible to the public, who can thus lose all spatial reference points.
8. DESCENSION, 2014
One of his most recent works is ‘Descension’, presented in various venues including India, Versailles and the Galleria Continua in San Gimignano. This installation presents a vortex of black water that sinks into the floor, leading the viewer to confront ancestral fears and the unknown.
Anish Kapoor’s works are a journey through the exploration of the senses, reflection on human nature and the deconstruction of spatial and conceptual boundaries.
Have you ever had the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of his creations? If not yet, I invite you to do so: it could be an experience that changes your perception of art and, perhaps, of yourself.