Anish Kapoor - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale Hong Kong Saturday, November 24, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gladstone Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Sensual, poetic, yet unsettling, Anish Kapoor’s Untitled (Tangerine) offers a multi-sensory experience, enticing the viewer as a gilded portal to another dimension. Since the late-1990s, Kapoor has created a body of concave mirrors that iterate upon the artist’s long-term investigations into both the phenomenological structure of experience and minimalist notions of the noncompositional. Viewed from a distance, the lacquered bronze and exquisitely fine-tuned surface of Untitled (Tangerine) projects a luscious golden reflection of the work’s immediate environment that is flipped upside down, distorted, and liquified. Despite the spiritual and meditative intonations of this work, the crimson backside of the reflective mirror and resulting reddish halo projected behind the piece, point to the artist’s ongoing exploration of the colour red indexical to the bodily realm. Like his iconic Cloud Gate in Chicago and Sky Mirror in Kensington Gardens, the present lot is at once intimate and imposing, implicating viewers as they become participants within the work’s undulating landscape.

    Throughout his diverse and ambitious practice, Kapoor’s works continuously pose nuanced questions concerning the viewer’s relationship to space, “one of the only truly abstract entities,” according to the artist. (Anish Kapoor in “Mythologies in the Making: Anish Kapoor in Conversation with Nicholas Baume,” exh. cat. Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 2006, p. 52.) The concavity and mirror-effects of Untitled (Tangerine) employ concepts regarding infinity and void, spaces that the artist considers “transitional” and that “seem to be very active, to be in various states of becoming.” (Ibid.) It is this constant state of change that beckons viewers. As one approaches the work, the reflected image enlarges, playing with the viewer’s innate desire to fully take in or visually capture the complete image at a glance. As one crosses a certain focal threshold, however, the image suddenly implodes as the reflected objects deconstruct and become indecipherable. Drawing on the association of the mirror as a window into self-discovery and self-knowledge, Untitled (Tangerine) describes the competing forces between the centralised pull of the concave form and the outward expression of the mirrored surface. Kapoor explains, “what happens with concave surfaces is in my view, completely beguiling.” The artist clarifies that these surfaces “cease to be physical and it is that ceasing to be physical that I’m after.” (Ibid, p. 53.) Untitled (Tangerine) exists at a constant tipping point, rejecting a prescriptive idea of overt symbolism as a means of creating an environment within which viewers themselves can consider meaning.

    As an international artist born in India and educated at art schools in London during the late 1970s, Kapoor draws on the strategies of non-composition that strive for self-erasure popularised in Western cultures by Minimalist and Conceptual art. The meticulously polished mirror works demonstrates Kapoor’s commitment to eradicating all evidence of the artist’s hand through the work’s strict, geometric fabrication akin to minimalist tendencies. Kapoor’s auto-generative sculptures share an aversion to art as a process of self-expression with not only minimal art but also the Indian concept of self-manifestation. Untitled (Tangerine) references Svayambhu, a Sanskrit term describing that which is created of its own accord rather than by the hand of man. Kapoor affirms, “when the work leads the artist, the process is one of discovery… if I allow myself to excavate, to research, the process leads to meanings that could never have been logically imagined.” (Ibid, p. 39-40.) Nevertheless, Nicholas Baume elucidates that “noncompositional strategies never truly erase the artist, but rather elaborate the creative process as a complex interaction between subjective and nonsubjective elements.” (Nicholas Baume, “Floating in the Most Peculiar Way,” exh. cat. Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 2006, p. 24-25.) In doing so, the work regards the myth of the self-made object as a crucial fiction while underpinning the creation of meaning as a fundamentally social act involving both artist and viewer.

    Considering the concurrent growth of Kapoor’s career and the advent of the internet and cyberspace, the experience of Untitled (Tangerine) furthermore captures aspects of the visual language of the digital era. Kapoor asks, “where does the internet reside? Where is that space? I suggest that it is an intermediary space that is between all sorts of things, residing seemingly nowhere, and it exists somewhere.” The uncertain status of the present work, as it morphs from one state to another, seamlessly warping and altering our surroundings, is deeply resonant with the contemporary language of digital representation. Based on neither the deep pictorial space of Renaissance perspective nor the empirical flatness of modernist abstraction, the space of Untitled (Tangerine) hovers in front of the object. David Joselit describes this as “the epistemology of the hyperlink: a displaced or virtual depth that is composed of multiplied surfaces.” (David Joselit quoted by Nicholas Baume, “Floating in the Most Peculiar Way,” exh. cat. Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, 2006, p. 26.) Ceaselessly innovating and negotiating our position within space, Kapoor continues to create internationally acclaimed work today while inviting viewers to self-reflect and participate in shiny, astonishing, alternate worlds.

Property of a Canadian Collector



signed, inscribed and dated 'Anish Kapoor 2014 Anish Kapoor 2014' on the reverse
bronze and lacquer
134.3 x 134.3 x 21.9 cm. (52 7/8 x 52 7/8 x 8 5/8 in.)
Executed in 2014.

HK$4,500,000 - 5,500,000 

Sold for HK$4,300,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department
+852 2318 2011

Sandy Ma
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+852 2318 2025

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2018