Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

504 West 24th Street, NY 10011, New York, United States
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


Thu 2 Nov 2023 to Fri 22 Dec 2023

504 West 24th Street, NY 10011 Anish Kapoor

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Anish Kapoor

Lisson Gallery presents an exhibition of works by Anish Kapoor, the artist’s first showing in New York since his highly acclaimed dual retrospective at the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Palazzo Manfrin in Venice in 2022. Known for his rigorous experimentation with materials and his ability to conjure uncanny sensory experiences, Kapoor’s practice defies genres by seamlessly blending sculptural and painterly approaches. A cornerstone in the history of British and global contemporary art, Kapoor’s works distort physical space, allegorize the materiality of human flesh, and interrogate the mysterious processes of visual perception.

Installation Views

Installation image for Anish Kapoor, at Lisson Gallery Installation image for Anish Kapoor, at Lisson Gallery Installation image for Anish Kapoor, at Lisson Gallery

This November, across both of Lisson Gallery’s New York locations, Anish Kapoor presents an exhibition of new and recent works, following his highly acclaimed career-spanning survey at the Gallerie dell’Accademia and the Palazzo Manfrin in Venice last year. The exhibition brings together never before seen standalone sculptures and large-scale installations, presenting for the first time in an exhibition in New York the artist’s enigmatic and corporeal paintings and premiering a series of works using the extraordinary Vantablack nano-technology: a substance – so dark that it absorbs 99.8% of visible light. 

Kapoor has gained recent acclaim for his paintings, a long-standing element of his practice that has received new attention over the past decade in museum exhibitions from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shenzhen. At 504 West 24th Street, powerful and explosive large-scale oil paintings churn with expressive brushwork, reverberating between corporal definition and abstraction. Within their seemingly violent energy these paintings contain an intimate and spiritual tension and explore the fundamental functions and poetics of life. One group, titled Ein Sof (2022) refers to the term, in Kabbalah, of the Infinite God – a deity with no static, definable form, one that is hidden and revealed, real and illusory, creator of humankind and humankind's creation. Each vibrant painting reveals the process of bursting out of its own dark shadow with luminous crimson paint, the blood-red material partially defining a figurative object in transformation. 

Equally with no tangible beginning or end is Untitled (2023), an evolved iteration of Kapoor’s iconic 1992 work, When I am Pregnant. In that work, a smaller white bump that only reveals itself when seen in profile, re-contextualized the notion of ‘the white gallery wall’ in the language of contemporary art and architecture. While it was art as absence, it was also art impregnated. This work continues the maternal lexicon while developing it further by introducing a black oval void within the pregnant form: an intangible hole that gives no promise for destination, the evolution of the concept of ‘nothing to see’ – just a blinding white apparition, or infinite darkness. Despite being able to see around the installation and cognitively understand the volumetric confines of the form, the internal cavity defies perception, containing more vastness and frightening depth than its container. 

Beyond this installation is a dedicated presentation of new gouache drawings. In these works the biological and the architectural converge  – in fissures, openings, cracks, windows, passages or conduits which dissolve into impenetrable oblivion. These works on paper are alight with primitive, emotional effusions and yet at their essence bring forth a transcendent radiance, a luminous dawn amongst the bodies.

Next door at Lisson’s 508 West 24th Street space, visitors can experience Kapoor’s sculptures created with Vantablack, a ground-breaking nano-technology material that has extended the artist’s practice into radical new territory, in forms that both appear and disappear before our eyes. Kapoor has been working with Surrey NanoSystems, the company that developed Vantablack, for almost a decade. Like International (Yves) Klein Blue, Vantablack is a method, not a shade of paint or a pigment. It is a microscopic layer of nano rods, so dense that no light that enters can escape. Through these works, Kapoor can transform objects, creating forms which go beyond being. Like the black cube of the Kaaba in Mecca, or Malevich’s Black Square (1915), this is a profound example of the magnetic, mysterious pull of total abstraction and the psychic obliteration that accompanies the transcendence of objects.  

Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. Perhaps most famous for public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering, Kapoor manoeuvres between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work. Immense PVC skins, stretched or deflated; concave or convex mirrors whose reflections attract and swallow the viewer; recesses carved in stone and pigmented so as to disappear: these voids and protrusions summon up deep-felt metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, concealment and revelation. Forms turn themselves inside out, womb-like, and materials are not painted but impregnated with colour, as if to negate the idea of an outer surface, inviting the viewer to the inner reaches of the imagination. Kapoor’s geometric forms from the early 1980s, for example, rise up from the floor and appear to be made of pure pigment, while the viscous, blood-red wax sculptures from the last ten years – kinetic and self-generating – ravage their own surfaces and explode the quiet of the gallery environment. There are resonances with mythologies of the ancient world – Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman – and with modern times.

Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai, India in 1954 and lives and works in London and Venice. He studied at Hornsey College of Art, London, UK (1973–77) followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London, UK (1977–78). Recent solo exhibitions include Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy (2023-24); Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia and Palazzo Manfrin, Venice, Italy (2022); Modern Art Oxford, UK (2021); Museum of Contemporary Art and Urban Planning, Shenzhen, China (2021); Houghton Hall, Norfolk, UK (2020); Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2020); ‘Surge’ at Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2019); Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Imperial Ancestral Temple, Beijing, China (2019); CorpArtes, Santiago, Chile (2019); Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, London, UK (2019); Serralves Museum, Porto, Portugal (2018); ‘Descension’’ at Public Art Fund, Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, New York, NY, USA (2017); Parque de la Memoria, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2017); MAST Foundation, Bologna, Italy (2017); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City, Mexico (2016); Couvent de la Tourette, Eveux, France (2015); Château de Versailles, Versailles, France (2015) and The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia (2015). He represented Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 with Void Field (1989), for which he was awarded the Premio Duemila for Best Young Artist. Kapoor won the Turner Prize in 1991 and has honorary fellowships from the University of Wolverhampton, UK (1999), the Royal Institute of British Architecture, London, UK (2001) and an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK (2014). Anish Kapoor was awarded a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for services to visual arts. Large scale public projects include Cloud Gate (2004) in Millennium Park, Chicago, USA and Orbit (2012) in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, UK and Ark Nova (2013) the world's first inflatable concert hall in Japan.

Installation view, Anish Kapoor at Lisson Gallery, New York, November - December 16, 2023

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