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Considered one of the most influential sculptors of our time, Anish Kapoor’s visionary outlook allowed him to blur the limits between sculpture and architecture. To date, he has been the first living artist to exhibit at the London Academy of Arts. His work stands out for his innovative concepts that combine biomorphic forms with polished surfaces. The Indian British artist is now honoured with his first major retrospective at the Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin, which coincided with the the 59th Venice Biennale. Until October 9, this display will hold some of Kapoor’s most recent works, along with his most outstanding pieces throughout his career.

If you haven't heard his name before, his large-scale sculptural works are known internationally because of how the artist plays with the void, the reflections and perspectives that seem to defy gravity. Among his best-known creations, we find his large installation in Chicago, popularly known as The Bean (2006). Now, for the major exhibition that takes place on Gallerie dell’Accademia, the public will get to see his sculptural prowess and modern vision. In addition to some of his recent works, the artist has worked with carbon nanotechnology.

The principal theme of the exhibition revolves around deeper concepts such as the inner world, a matter that is usually present in Kapoor’s work. “As artists, we have no choice but to look into the darkness. If Plato in the myth of the cave tells of how men evolve by discovering light, Freud instead tells us to look into the depth of the cave, where there is darkness. Darkness, the great intuition of the Viennese psychoanalyst, is the place that the artist must explore today more than ever,” states the artist. And, as Giulio Manieri Elia, the Accademia’s Director mentions, Kapoor’s thorough work creates a stimulating dialogue with Venetian Renaissance master’s art, such as Tintoretto or Bellini, represented in the museum. 

Throughout the exhibition, we get to see some of his iconic works, such as White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers (1982) or the triptych Internal Objects in Three Parts (2013 – 2015), made with silicone paints. The ancestral is also present in some of his works, representing heaven or hell, the earth or the sea, which certainly contrasts with the saturation of colours. However, the strongest piece in the exhibition is Symphony for a Beloved Sun (2013), an installation that symbolises the sun, placed on the top of a red mass made of wax, this installation represents life and death.

But, what stands out most about Anish Kapoor’s work is that he creates his sculptures through processes, where the context or environment has a great influence, creating a unique moment between his work and the public.
Anish Kapoor’s exhibition is now on view at Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin in Venice, Italy, until October 9, 2022.

Alba Fabregat
David Levene & Attilio Maranzano

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