Anish Kapoor - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Wednesday, November 15, 2023 | Phillips
  • Gleaming in a luminescent royal blue, Anish Kapoor’s Untitled, 2000, is an enthralling example of the artist’s concave mirror works. Untitled epitomizes the elusiveness of Kapoor’s works: from a distance it appears intangible—a perfect, floating orb. As one moves closer, the work reveals itself to be a more concrete, spectacular object suspended from the wall. There is a delicate ethereality to the mirrored surface. Its undisturbed expanse, reminiscent of the ocean and sky, invites contemplation of the infinite.

    “The traditional sublime is the matte surface, deep and absorbing, and [the] shiny might be a modern sublime, which is fully reflective, absolutely present, and returns the gaze.”
    —Anish Kapoor

    Kapoor’s highly recognizable, reflective circular sculptures have become almost synonymous with the Turner Prize-winning artist, with similar pieces now housed in the permanent collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Kapoor began working with geometric shapes in the mid-1990s as an expansion upon his investigation of voids and negative spaces. The artist stresses the conceptual importance of this attribute across his practice, elaborating, “[the] blank face forces us to fill in content and meaning. Emptiness becomes fullness.”His concave works create spaces to be filled, yielding “a new kind of space and a new sublime. A modern sublime, a “now” sublime, a “here” sublime.”ii


    Untitled confronts viewers with a version of themselves that is magnified, stretched and tinged blue. Its concave shape creates proportion-bending reflections that lead viewers to reconsider their relation to their environment. The ever-shifting composition reflected through the colored lens is a spartan meditation on presence and absence.  The seamless, seemingly intangible portal has a magnetic draw that pulls viewers closer. Of this interaction, Kapoor has mused, “one of the things I’ve tumbled into in my process is that kind of uncertainty of what the object is.”iii Defined by an incredible economy of means, Untitled is an exemplar of the artist’s phenomenological interests.

    “I'm not interested in composition. I want to find absolute conditions.”
    —Anish Kapoor

    Untitled invokes the visual language of Minimalism whilst conjuring the experiential qualities of Light and Space works like those by James Turrell. Kapoor builds upon Minimalist legacies established by the likes of Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt, introducing a participatory element with his mirrored surfaces. Advancing the sculptural tradition, the precise execution of Untitled is furthermore made possible with technologies of the Millennium. Color is also crucial to Kapoor’s work and is carefully considered. While figures like Josef Albers have developed ideas regarding color combinations and theory, Kapoor departs from this in a quest for pure color. In this regard Kapoor has a kinship to Turrell as the two artists share an interest in pure color independent of representation. While both carefully consider the experiences of viewers, Turrell creates immersive experiences, while Kapoor creates works intended beyond controlled environments. It is in this way that Untitled truly shines: its profound blue reflection celebrates the constant flux of its surroundings.



    i Anish Kapoor quoted in “Blood and Light. In Conversation with Julia Kristeva,” Anish Kapoor, Paris, 2015 and online.

    ii Anish Kapoor quoted in Donna de Salvo, “Anish Kapoor in Conversation,” Anish Kapoor, London, 2012, p. 403.

    iii Anish Kapoor in  “London,” Art21, 2020, online.

    • Provenance

      Gladstone Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000

    • Exhibited

      Columbus Museum of Art, Visions from India, March 8–October 22, 2017

    • Literature

      Michael McEwan, "The Painter's Eye | 'Untitled' by Anish Kapoor," City Scene, May 22, 2017, online (illustrated)



stainless steel and lacquer
47 1/4x 47 1/4 x 11 in. (120 x 120 x 27.9 cm)
Executed in 2000.

Full Cataloguing

$400,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $508,000

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig 
Specialist, Head of Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279 

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 15 November 2023