Anish Kapoor is indeed one of the most internationally acclaimed artists born in India. He is known to enthrall his viewers with art installation that are larger than life.
In the last 20 years, the Turner Prize winner - Anish’s works have been exhibited in prestigious venues like Royal Academy in London, Haud der Kunst in Munich, Kunsthalle in Basel and at many other prestigious international venues.
And finally India hosts two exhibitions of the artist in Delhi and Mumbai. The exhibition in Mumbai consists of seven large works and opens for public on November 30 and up to January 16. The exhibition is installed in the unusual space of the Mehboob studio in Bandra. Anish says, “I want my art works to engage the space and that has always been a concern. For me the space dictates the show. Mehboob studio long belongs to Mumbai. It is a part of the history of the city right from the film ‘Mother India’. I am interested in the idea of reaching further and wider and this venue is apt.” He adds, “We have been looking at various spaces in the city, many public buildings but then zeroed down on this space.”
All the displayed works have been created in the last 5 to 6 years. Most of the works made in stainless steel will surely appeal not just to art lovers and connoisseurs but also the aam aadmi. As Anish puts it, “The effort is to make an engaging exhibition. And it indeed is.” As none of his works are static, they are all in motion, compelling the viewer to look at it for a long time.
The highlight of this exhibition is a work titled ‘Shooting into the corner’. A canon shoots balls of dark red wax pigment on to the opposite wall and the wax is allowed to take its own form. Wax is shot through the canon manually and this is done every 20 minutes. The work will look entirely different by the end of the exhibition than it appears on day one of the show. Andrea Rose, Director Visual Arts of British Council and co-curator of the show says, “Somebody asked if this work comments on the 26/11 terrorists attacks in India? Well, it indeed is a violent work as it is noisy. But the work is playful like most of Anish’s works are. It is a painting that is continuously evolving. None of his displayed works are static. Anish makes a comment on the very ‘state of being’ through his art works.”
Ask Anish about his experience in India and he replies with a smile, “We have been very ambitious. This is a big scale show and we desired to show the exhibition at spaces where, art shows are not hosted before. It’s been lots of hard work. But we received lots of help and encouragement. So the experience has been wonderful.”
Had he anything specific in mind while designing a show for Indian audience and he asserts, “One has to make good exhibition. I see no reason why people in India should be different from anybody. We all are as sophisticated or unsophisticated. It is difficult to tailor a show for a group of people.”
Anish’s latest commission is to design the new public attraction for London 2010 Olympic park entitled ‘The ArcelorMittal Orbit’. The sculpture will be 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty.