Artist with an expressive use of color….

Anish Kapoor

I am very much inspired by the works of Anish Kapoor. His works actually drives me into the experience, and that is what I like the most about his works and his expression through colors and different materials.

Anish Kapoor was born in 1954 in Mumbai, India, and moved to London 
in the early 1970s. He studied at Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea College of Art & Design, and since then he has lived and worked in Britain. He is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation due to his ambitiously scaled works that engage not only with gallery and museum spaces but also with the public realm..

Alchemy is the art of turning stone into gold. Anish Kapoor is an alchemist, turning chunks of granite into metaphorical caves, their hollow blue centers echoing with the black secrets of the unconscious.

A broad range of materials including pigment, stainless steel, plaster, fibreglass, wax and oil-based paint are included in this distinctive group of works.

Kapoor’s art provokes and challenges our notion of sculpture; he continues 
to ask the questions, ‘What is sculpture? And how do we, the viewer, engage with it?’ The diverse range of materials he employs invites the viewer to contemplate
 the sculptures, which sometimes use thick concentrated colour and sometimes delicate pigments.

So how do Kapoor’s sculptures affect the viewer? He makes us feel the physicality of materials, recalling our earliest experiences and the psychological states associated with them. It is as if Kapoor wants to lead us out of the gallery, lifting us from the confines of the space to connect us to the fundamental elements of life itself: smell, sound, colour, light and dark, all of which evoke
a physical response. He also invites us to dream, to think back, to remember,
to consider our own materiality and then return anew to his sculptures. Every work exists in its own place and space, but we complete each one with our 
own response. The works are nothing without the engagement of the 
human senses.

One of my favorite work is 1000 Names, 1979–80. Being from India I could well emotionally relate to the pieces of the work… The pieces made in pigments with these very extraordinary exotic shapes drives one to them..They are sort of source of wonder, very very luscious, very very beautiful, very sensual, very delicious. Those early pieces were unlik anything ever seen…

Perhaps the most important influence on Kapoor is his early life in India, where he saw colour used in unique ways. Visitors to India will likely have been conscious of the importance of colour and how it permeates everyday life. Holi, or the Festival of Colours, is a unique and popular Indian Hindu festival held every March. During the festival, people celebrate by throwing coloured powder and water at each other. In India, the changes in the weather during the spring season are believed to cause viral fever and colds. It is therefore thought that the playful throwing of natural coloured powders can have curative powers: the colours are traditionally made from medicinal herbs such as bilva, haldi, kumkum and neem.

The use of pigments is fundamental in art: they are the basis of all colours. Kapoor’s group of sculptures 1000 Names is covered with coloured pigments, which gives it a delicate and fragile, yet dense and luminous nature. The use of
red is prominent throughout the exhibition, but the red pigment used in 1000 Names is very different to those that are mixed with wax and oil-based paint in his other sculptures. The early works by Kapoor use pigments based on cadmium reds, whereas the recent sculptures are more linked to alizarin crimson and blood red.

 Here is a short and very interesting video of Anish Kapoor talking about colors, as he says “color is stuff not just a surface“.

‘Red is a colour I’ve felt very strongly about. Maybe red is a very Indian colour, maybe it’s one of those things that I grew up with and recognise at some other level. Of course, it is the colour of the interior of our bodies. Red is the centre.’

anish kapoor in conversation with john tusa, 2003

Yellow, 1999:  Kapoor is fascinated with the way colour and painting work in a spatial and sculptural sense. In Yellow, Kapoor has produced a hybrid between painting and sculpture; it lies in between the two worlds of each art form. The installation of this piece is complex, as it is a huge six square-metre work. It is made from fibreglass and pigment, yet its construction and materials are difficult to understand, as it hovers on the wall, drawing us nearer.

Kapoor delights in making us stop and become fixated by a colour. Yellow plays with our perceptions, optically and physically, as the colour yellow has a deep-rooted effect on us. We are taken outside of the gallery, we remember the sun, but this sun is not dangerous to look at. It is a sun that we can get close to and by it, we feel warm.


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