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  • Provenance

    Galleria Continua, San Gimignano

  • Catalogue Essay

    “There is a history in the stone and through this simple device of excavating the stone it’s just as if the whole narrative sequence is suddenly there…I’m trying to formulate a notion of a resident narrative. I’m not in the business of setting out to reveal, that doesn’t interest me…at the end of the process…there occurs…a very technical thing and a very strange thing, all at once…It’s the way in which the stone is not a stone, the way the stone becomes something else, becomes light, becomes a proposition, becomes a lens…” (Conversation between Anish Kapoor and Homi K. Bhabba, Anish Kapoor, taken from Haywood Gallery, ed., London/Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1998, pp.27-8.)


    Anish Kapoor is renowned for sculptures that engage the architectural space as well as the viewer psychologically. Combining scale, both gigantic and more modest, with carefully chosen materials from natural to high-tech substances, Kapoor adeptly creates work that possess a sublime wonder, a consciousness of something larger than the physical dimensions of the piece while simultaneously conjuring an awareness of something very small, something within one’s self. Simple geometric forms and their materiality result in dramatic effects and the tension one feels when standing at the edge. His work has been described as “celebrations of the life-force and reassurances of the ancient power of art to transform matter and imbue it with spiritual meaning.” (J. Haldane, “Anish Kapoor, London,” The Burlington Magazine, vol. 140, no. 114, July 1998, pp. 493-494). Out of his process and approach there has arisen contrasting ideas, polarities such as solid/void, lightness/darkness, and place/non-place.

    Kapoor’s remarkable ability to manipulate the chosen material, and even transcend beyond it, is persistent throughout his career. In the 1980s, he was thrust into the international art scene with biomorphic and geometric arrangements using powdered pigment providing a paradox, a non-physical presence that challenges the idea of a sculpture as solid and finite. The expressed notion of a void, a swell of emptiness, is further articulated with his use of deep hues that becomes a point of meeting for the material and immaterial. In the subsequent years he continued to develop these notions. Defying the accepted limits of a space, Kapoor constructed shapes of curving forms and convex surfaces that pierced the planes of floors and walls appearing to be precariously suspended and thus disturbing. Theorist Homi Bhabha describes it “As sudden disappearance of surface in a deep, dark hole literally cuts the ground from under our feet.” (Conversation between Anish Kapoor and Homi K. Bhabba, Anish Kapoor, London/Berkeley/Los Angeles 1998, p. 24, reprinted in Kurt W. Foster “A Word in the Giant’s Ear” Parkett no. 69, 2003, pp. 121-5). Time and space become relative. Kapoor also began using reflective, materials, such as highly polished stainless steel in addition to deeply pigmented surfaces to evoke the unease as seen his chrome plated bronze work Turning the World Inside Out II, 1995.

    In the 1990s Kapoor began to employ dense blocks of alabaster carving recesses or applying a geometric shape of pigment. Again his adeptness at manipulating the materiality effectively and poetically conveys solid vs. void. Rather than the earlier pigment sculptures of color to darkness, the inherent translucency of alabaster when drenched in light demonstrates the illusion of immateriality that is in opposition to a solid stone object. Using quarried stone Kapoor draws upon history, the geological that is linked to human history. Our own organic bodies are born out of the mineral elements of the earth and eventually return to it. A story derives from the material. Kapoor, just as an alchemist, transforms the idea of the hard material into possibilities beyond. The stone is activated surpassing the slab form. “The void is not silent. I have always thought of it as more and more as a transitional space, an in-between space. It’s very much to do with time…” (Conversation between Anish Kapoor and Homi K. Bhabba, Anish Kapoor, taken from Haywood Gallery, ed., London/Berkeley/Los Angeles, 1998, pp. 35-6).

22

Untitled

2003
Alabaster and red pigment.

30 1/8 x 22 3/4 x 12 1/2 in. (76.5 x 57.8 x 31.8 cm); Diameter of aperture: 11 in. (27.9 cm).
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

Estimate
£400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for £445,600

The Marino Golinelli Collection

Collection
13 October 2007, 1pm
London