The Most Expensive Anish Kapoor Art Pieces in Auction

May 21, 2016

Anish Kapoor art is considered to be fascinating all over the world. One of the most important contemporary sculptors, the Indian-British Anish Kapoor is an artist who is no stranger to creating large-scale works that challenge the viewer to shift his point of view. His art defies easy definition, it instead resonates with mystery, reality, and sensibility of mythic proportions. The artist draws inspiration from Indian and Western cultures, he employs the intense hues, he uses the mirrors which distort the perception and utilizes the voids which draw the viewers into a captivating relationship with the sculptures.

Anish Kapoor has often said that he has nothing to say. Coming from a renowned artist, this may seem a bit odd, but the fact that he kept his silence when it comes to his works allows for new meanings and interpretations to develop among his viewers, uninfluenced by the artist’s statements. The artist’s modesty is rooted in his culturally mixed background, and the fact that he is inspired by both Western art movements from the 1960s and the Indian artistic and spiritual concepts, such as that of Swayambhu, which is a term in Sanskrit meaning that which is created in its own accord, rather than by man. Anish Kapoor has been rewarded numerous times for his contributions to art, including the Premio Duemila for his representation of the UK at Venice Biennale, and the Turner Prize in 1991. He was also knighted by the Queen Elizabeth II for his services to visual art in 2013.

Anish Kapoor art is truly amazing, and so we have decided to comprise a list of his most expensive works sold in auctions. Owning an Anish Kapoor piece is the dream, and until that dream becomes a reality for you, get familiar with his 10 priciest artworks.

Num 1, 1997

Num 1 is on the tenth place on our list of most expensive Anish Kapoor art pieces. It is a sculpture made of alabaster in 1997 and it is among Kapoor’s most recognizable works. Maybe it is not as “scandalous” as his other works, but it is nevertheless, among his most beautiful pieces. Anish Kapoor is considered to be the greatest British sculptor since the legendary Henry Moore, and his monumental works have made him into one of the most celebrated contemporary artists. Num 1 carries the symbolism of a new beginning, and may remind one of a light at the end of the tunnel and a beacon of hope in this too dark of a world.

Num 1 was sold at Christie’s New York in 2007 for $1,608,000. Click here to see more details.

Untitled, 1996

In the Untitled sculpture executed in 1996, Kapoor investigates the reflections of the environment and the notions of internal and external depth. With its midnight pigment, the moon-like sculpture reminds of a great abyss or a doorway to an immersive void. This Anish Kapoor art piece invites the viewers to step closer and investigate the inside of the void with its large rim that reaches out from the wall. It invites us to think about the mystery and beauty of its façade. It focuses our gaze on the void, playing with the positive and the negative space. The piece seems as if it is reaching into the distance instead of coming towards us, distorting the surroundings and making our gaze disappear altogether.

This sculpture was sold in 2013 at Phillips London for $1,745,280. See more details here.

Alba, 2003

The large-scale concave sphere entitled Alba, was executed in 2003 and it resonates with the calming and profound warmth that surrounds the viewer and lulls him into the infinite space. The piece was titled after the artist’s daughter, and its hues of scarlet, fuchsia and amethyst come together to create a mesmerizing skin-like surface which reflects the outside world and at the same time draws the viewer into its hypnotic void. Made out of heavy stainless steel, considered an industrial material rather than the artistic one, Anish Kapoor’s art piece fashions the profoundly sensitive light of the material and it seems as if it suspends itself, not depending on the wall it is on. The piece is 203 cm tall, so it creates a personal relationship with its viewer, due to its human-like size.

Alba was sold at Sotheby’s London in 2008 for $1,708,690 and again in 2010 at Sotheby’s New York for $1,426,500. Click here to find out more about the auctions and the piece itself.

Untitled, 2012

Untitled is considered one of Anish Kapoor’s masterpieces due to its radiance and flawless execution. The piece belongs to the artist’s famous series of concave mirrors, and it confronts the viewer with a curved surface of elegant bronze that arcs inwards, shifting the perception and making him think outside the box. The piece reflects light and emits warmth and may remind one of an elegant representation of the sun. This Anish Kapoor art work is so significant and amazing that it even got to be displayed at the prestigious exhibition Bronze at the Royal Academy of Art in London, juxtaposed against some of the greatest works of art cast in bronze.

Untitled was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2014 for $1,805,000. Click here to see more details on the auction and the piece.

Untitled, 2004

The concave sculpture polished to perfection is a piece that mesmerizes the viewer with its spotless surface. The sculpture is over three feet in diameter and it seduces the viewer with its glorious scale and the unique visual experience it provides. The perception changes with each movement or change of light, toying with the negative space, as the surface seems as if it is rippling and changing constantly. This piece is one big optical illusion with a tremendous transformative power that offers the possibility of alternative realities to the viewers. It is almost not physical, it is levitating between the realms of perception, it is almost unreal.

Untitled was sold at Christie’s London in 2015 for $1,839,470. See more details here.

Untitled, 2004

Anish Kapoor uses the power of color in his art. He understands that minimalism is the way to go when it comes to creating something truly powerful. Therefore, his sculpture Untitled executed in 2004 is vibrant and mysterious and it again distorts our sense of perception. The large-scale magenta mirror-like surface that reflects and transmogrifies the world around it and creates an elusive realm of color. The spherical vortex suspended on the wall has a tremendous impact on the space it is placed in and the architecture of the building, inviting the viewer to engulf himself into a mesmerizing effect of rich color.

Untitled was sold at Christie’s London in 2008 for $2,132,370. Find out more about the artwork and the auction here.

Untitled, 1999

Another one of Anish Kapoor’s art pieces executed in alabaster was created in 1999. The rough-looking sculpture with the perfect concave circle in the middle reminding of the celestial void that symbolizes something utterly positive, yet frightening at the same time. The depth of the concave space is almost 32 centimeters, which is quite a scale for the sculpture of this size. The carved alabaster piece is one of Anish Kapoor’s most recognizable art works and it proves his mastery as a sculptor and was exhibited at Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia.

Untitled was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2006 for $2,256,000. Click here for more details.

Turning the World Upside Down #4, 1998

Turning the world upside down is not just a figure of speech for an artist such as Anish Kapoor. Turning the World Upside Down #4 is a large-scale sculpture done in mirror-polished stainless steel, again, an industrial material used for artistic purposes. Executed in 1998, the piece is over 200x200x168 centimeters big, and it is an almost spherical artwork with a concave “side”, the signature of Anish Kapoor art. Once you approach it, everything you know about the laws of physics changes, literally turning your world upside down and making you see things from a completely different perspective. Truly an amazing thought-provoking work of art.

Turning the World Upside Down #4 was sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2009 for $1,874,500, and again in 2011 at Sotheby’s New York for $2,434,500. Click here to see more details.

Untitled, 1999

Anish Kapoor sculpture Untitled executed in 1999 is another one carved in alabaster. The piece begs the question: If you stare at the void, does it stare back at you? Existentialists may argue on this issue for years and years and still find no answers, but Anish Kapoor art might. All you need to do is stare at the honey colored vortex carved into the alabaster piece and find the key to the secrets of the universe, the secrets of life, and the secrets of the eternal emptiness. An existentialist mind may also think that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that there may not even be a tunnel, just a never-ending darkness that will eventually swallow us all. Untitled may offer a peace to the troubled mind.

Untitled was sold in 2007 at Sotheby’s New York for $2,841,000. Find out more about the piece and the auction here.

Untitled, 2003

Untitled was executed in 2003 and embodies Anish Kapoor’s groundbreaking manipulation of both positive and negative space and material. This is the largest of his alabaster works and the first double-concave artwork to appear in auction. In contrast to the marble, two hollows are carved into the piece on each side, creating an echo across the thin alabaster screen that allows the light to glow through each side. The piece has a certain weightlessness to it and enchants the viewers to engage in a total bodily experience when faced with polished and rough surfaces of the sculpture. It is a manifestation of dualities that have become a signature of Kapoor’s oeuvre: Illusion versus infinity, absence versus presence, and intangibility versus solidity.

Untitled was sold in 2008 at Sotheby’s London for $3,880,000. Click here to find out more about the auction and the sculpture.

All images used for illustrative purposes only.

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