We are delighted to be the first gallery in Germany to devote a solo exhibition to Anish Kapoor within the last decades, presenting once more a further comprehensive show in Munich after the major exhibit at Haus der Kunst in 2007. To conclude the gallery’s anniversary year, new works by one of today’s most important artists can be seen in both exhibition spaces.
Anish Kapoor’s work is full of contrasts, or such is the initial impression: highly polished, shining surfaces confront organic imperfection, perfection and vulnerability stand vis-à-vis, the blackest of blacks swallows light while mirrors reflect it. The internal turns towards the outside, the external turns inward. Kapoor shifts perspectives by transfiguring our perception and relationship to the object before us, even our self-perception and sense of location in this world is unsettled in the dialogue his works offer us. One important aspect is always materiality. Reflective forms in interior and external spaces distort their surroundings and thereby pervert the logic of our perception of the world.The truly unfathomable is arrested in a glimpse on a comparatively small surface: the sky lies in a round disc against the earth, the city skyline curves over passers-by like a dome. The world is turned upside down and inside out. Kapoor demands changes to the customary view; in both light and darkness. To what extent can our perception, the materiality of our direct surroundings dissolve, when the light is taken away? Monumental architectural works envelop the viewer, stimulating sensory and visceral experience; an immersion that is at once both sublime, intimate and uncanny. This immersive experience is also felt in the sometimes more intimate pigment works, which – like the mirrored surfaces – make the space of the object mutable and illusive. The exterior merges with the interior, the darkness spreads outwards – an interplay that Kapoor returns to throughout his work. The view beyond things is essential in Kapoor’s work. In the case of many recent works, organic, often deeply red, they are reminiscent of the corporeal, of blood, flesh and membrane. Circulating blood is the fount of all pulsating being. Flesh and fragile organs are covered by a protective outer skin, which – as long as it remains intact – conceals their interior. Kapoor’s works deal with this complex and vital connection between outside and inside.They call upon us to open those boundaries, to rupture the skin, and invite us to confront an unknown yet familiar interior that we all share. Materiality and immateriality, exterior and interior, perfection and vulnerability – duality and the space that exists in-between is a key concept in Kapoor’s work. Its significance does not lie in the narration (although the chosen titles occasionally permit quite concrete associations) but in the sharpening and transformation of existential as well as spiritual perception – of the sky, the earth, the body, and of oneself.