Anish Kapoor

Biography of Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor (born 1954 in Mumbai) is a British sculptor with Indian roots. He is known for his large-scale and spectacular artworks that are displayed both in public spaces and museums where the surrounding environment often directly influences the final production. Over the last three decades, he has demonstrated a fascination with working negative space and voids into his pieces either by incorporating literal holes in his works or through the materials that he uses. A distinguishing feature of Kapoor's work is the use of bright colors and distinctive materials such as steel, fiberglass, cement, alabaster, pigments, or wax.


Anish Kapoor is perhaps most recognized for his piece Cloud Gate (colloquially known as “the Bean”) installed in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Over 20m tall, this sculpture is a giant reflective curved shape that reflects the city’s skyline and was inspired by liquid mercury.He is also known for the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which was commissioned as a permanent artwork for London's Olympic Park, and completed in 2012. At over 115m tall, it is Britain’s largest piece of public art and stands as testament to the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.


Anish Kapoor studied art at the Hornsey College of Art and later at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. In 2013 he received a knighthood and his image features in the British cultural icons section of the 2015 British passport. But this doesn’t mean his career has been completely without controversy. In 2016 the artist made headlines and caused anger in the artistic community when he seized exclusive rights to “Vantablack”—the blackest black pigment ever created.


In addition to sculptures, the artist has produced a variety of multiples in the form of etchings. These etchings initially served as preparatory drawings for his sculptures however he has since developed them further. The use of bright ink in his multiples echoes the characteristic color pigments found in Anish Kapoor’s three-dimensional works. Anish Kapoor employs impasto techniques and subtle color gradations in these etchings resulting in an almost three-dimensional appearance. In doing so, he transfers the wonderment and dynamic energy of his sculptures to two-dimensional media.


Anish Kapoor represented Britain in the 1990 Venice Biennale and contributed to documenta IX in 1992. He also received in the Turner Prize in 1991. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held in the Tate Gallery London (including in 2002 when he was awarded the prestigious Turbine Hall commission), the Hayward Gallery in London, Kunsthalle Basel, Reina Sofia in Madrid and the Guggenheim in New York, Bilbao and Berlin. The artist continues to live and work in London.

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