Anish Kapoor's Works, Thoughts, Experiments in Portugal

July 19, 2018

Regarded as one of the most influential sculptors of his generation, Anish Kapoor has been creating compelling works imbued with the mythical qualities and symbolic relations of the landscape. Crossing borders and changing meanings, these works unite the earth and the sky, the horizon and the dark interior.

In order to understand these sculptures, one simply has to experience them. The public has a unique opportunity to see these magnificent works this summer at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in their Great Annual Exhibition in the Park.

Titled Anish Kapoor: Works, Thoughts, Experiments, the exhibition will bring together large-scale works distributed around Serralves Park, accompanied by a presentation in Serralves Museum which features a sculpture and 56 architectural models conceived over the last forty years.

Oval Transposed Through 90°, 2004, Void Pavilion II, 2016
Left: Anish Kapoor - Oval Transposed Through 90°, 2004. Mixed media (model), 23 x 40 x 60 cm / Right: Anish Kapoor - Void Pavilion II, 2016. Wood, fibreglass and paint, 35 x 55 x 55 cm

A Comprehensive Display

Scattered all across the park are monumental recently conceived sculptures by Anish Kapoor, some of which have never been on view before, including Language of Birds, which present his iconic languages of forms and materials. The artist himself personally selected the works and decided their location in the Park, creating an itinerary that cuts across time and space.

Kapoor's scale models, produced for works and ideas at an architectural scale, are on view in the Museum. These models have always served as an artist's tool for thinking about forms and scale. They reflect emerging ideas about space to which he repeatedly returns, revealing the importance of process and experimentation in his practice.

Landscape Void, 1990, Landscape, 1992
Left: Anish Kapoor - Landscape Void, 1990. Mixed media (model), 45 x 60 x 40 cm / Right: Anish Kapoor - Landscape, 1992. Mixed media (model), 14 x 37.5 x 21 cm

Highlights of the Show

Among highlights of the show is the presentation of Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror in the intimate space of the Rose Garden. Made of polished stainless steel in a concave dish, with the aid of physicists, this large-scale sculpture reflects the environment on its surface, creating a "third space" intertwining the heaven and earth.

Other highlights include Descent into Limbo from 1992, a stand-alone cubic structure which reflects Kapoor’s interests in the formal and metaphoric play between light and darkness, inside and outside, the contained and the infinite; and Sectional Body preparing for Monadic Singularity from 2015, a sculpture with elliptical openings on three sides in which form and material function as a kind of skin or an edge.

We should also mention Whiteout from 2004 presented inside the museum, a white monolithic sculpture which exemplifies Kapor's exploration of the possibilities of sculpture as spatial perceptual.

Dante, 2001, In Out, 2002
Left: Anish Kapoor - Dante, 2001. Mixed media (model), 82 x 76 x 270 / Right: Anish Kapoor - In Out, 2002. Mixed media (model), 40 x 40 x 30

Anish Kapoor at the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum and Serralves Park

Designed in the 1930s by Jacques Gréber, the Serralves Park holds a unique place in Portugal’s landscape heritage. Offering a diversity of harmoniously interconnected spaces spanning across the 18-hectare area, this garden is the privileged stage for the presentation of Kapoor's sculptures.

The exhibition Anish Kapoor: Works, Thoughts, Experiments will be on view at the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum and Serralves Park in Porto, Portugal until January 2019.

Featured image: Anish Kapoor - Flesh, 2002. Mixed media (model), 10 x 66 x 41. All images courtesy of Serralves Contemporary Art Museum and Serralves Park.

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