It has been a truly turbulent week for one of the greatest sculptors of our time. Anish Kapoor, the British-Indian artist, recognized and celebrated internationally for his revolutionary sculptural practice, seems to be the subjects of controversies more than often. Earlier this year his Dirty Corner sculpture, later known as the “vagina sculpture” exhibited at Château de Versailles was disputed by many as the offensive piece, and this week Anish Kapoor was once again the center of attention, as the plagiarism of his legendary Cloud Gate was discovered in China. While the public and Kapoor’s admirers eagerly await to see how this chain of events will unfold, we have decided to feature Anish Kapoor as our Artist of the Week, not only because of the controversies which follow his art, but for all the admirable works he has been showcasing lately. So scroll down and read more about Anish Kapoor’s recent artistic engagements, as well as his comments on the Cloud Gate forgery and further steps in the fight for the authorship rights.
The winner of the Turner Prize, Anish Kapoor has changed the way we think about space and matter throughout the series of monumental sculptures and installations. Although he is widely known to general public for his commission works and stainless steel public installations, to art connoisseurs his oeuvre is the paradigm of modernism, masterful manipulation of form and matter, art which transgresses the limits of time and physical space. Over thirty years of his career are assembled in one place at Château de Versailles, where the retrospective exhibition of his artistry is taking place through November 1st, 2015. Some of the most representative sculptures and installations are displayed from his controversial Dirty Corner Sculpture to his C-Curve and Sky Mirror. Another exhibit of Anish Kapoor’s work is currently on view in Italy. Until September 5th, the visitors of Galleria Continua will have the opportunity to enjoy the Discension piece, a remarkable example of Kapoor’s exploration of the concept of void along with his sculptures in alabaster, stainless steel and fiberglass works. Other good news for Anish Kapoor admirers is that he launched his Instagram account this week, conveniently named @dirty_corner, featuring his photographic work, never exhibited before.
Also known as The Bean, Cloud Gate was one of the first public art pieces of Anish Kapoor. It was revealed in 2006 and since then became the most recognizable landmarks in Chicago, a tourist attraction, and artistic inspiration. The significance of the artwork for the identity of the city is indisputable, and the recently announced program for Expo Chicago 2015 only confirms it. This year’s In/Situ program which will focus on the presentation of site-specific works is inspired by the particular piece. The suspended works exhibited at Expo Chicago will explore subject matter, atmospheric and climate conditions with Kapoor’s iconic work as an exemplar. And while contemporary artists in Chicago honor the work of Anish Kapoor with their creativity, there are those who prefer to do it in a not so innovative way. As recently reported, a plagiarized Cloud Gate sculpture appeared in the city of Karamay in northern China and British sculptor is outraged by the sculpture itself and the ways in which Chinese authorities deal with the copyright infringement issues. The British artist is currently asking for the support of Chicago Mayor in taking legal actions, although the recent comments on the subject from the city official seem to be pretty mild. Although Anish Kapoor speaks on behalf of all artists dealing with the same problems, for the time being it seems that he is alone in this fight, but we sure hope he stays persistent and succeeds in protecting his legacy and rights of other artists who are victims of the unauthorized use of their creativity.
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Anish Kapoor inside his 1st Body sculpture. Photograph by: Markus Schreiber, AP
Other images copyright Anish Kapoor
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The upcoming exhibition of Anish Kapoor in China will be presented in two exhibition spaces and will be the first survey of the artist in this country.
Crossing borders and changing meanings, the magnificent sculptures by Anish Kapoor are currently on view at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art.