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Anish Kapoor (b. 1954)

Lot 59: f - ANISH KAPOOR


February 10, 2005
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


carved alabaster

Executed in 1997.


69.9 by 125 by 73cm.

27 1/2 by 49 1/4 by 28 3/4 in.


B. 1954


Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York

Acquired directly from the above by the present owner


Emptiness, the physical and mental expression of the void, is central to the work of Anish Kapoor. It is a process that he relates to the contrary yet concurrent forces of disclosure and withdrawal, "drawing in towards a depth that marks and makes a new surface, that keeps open the whole issue of the surface, the surface tension." (Anish Kapoor quoted in Exhibition Catalogue, London, Hayward gallery, Anish Kapoor, 1998, p. 12)

The smooth domed cavity of Untitled pulsates with a geometric clarity and cosmic mystery against the jagged, raw materiality of the Alabaster. Set so deep within the ethereal body of glowing rock, its mysterious purity and resounding depth actively seek to contradict the overwhelming weight and power of the stone in this dramatic juncture of form and void, material and immaterial. Like a celestial eclipse that signals some impending apocalyptic spectacle, the dark sphere of the concave dome seems to hover weightlessly suspended in front of the glistening, dappled surface, drawing our gaze deeper into the cavernous heart of the rock.

The swelling luminosity of the aureole is transitional and temporary, replaced as the viewer approaches with a sense of empty space that challenges the bulk and organic rawness of the virgin Alabaster. Kapoor seeks to freeze this feeling of the transitional in his work, allowing Untitled the time and space to develop its own sense of flux and restlessness so that viewing becomes a central part of the work's evolution.

Anish Kapoor's international reputation has continued to flourish following several recent audacious public commissions, like the monumental Marsyas project of 2002. This enormous PVC and steel construction of over one hundred and fifty metres long filled the vast space of the Tate Modern's turbine hall, dramatically exploding all boundaries of conventional sculpture and enveloping the viewer within the drama of this awe-inspiring play of form and void.

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Contemporary Art, Part 1

February 10, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom

For Sale from Sotheby's