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The presentation of Anish Kapoor’s sculptures

the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko

Museum of Contemporary Sculpture
October 01,2022 - February 12,2023
Anish Kapoor, Eight Eight, sculpture.

October 1, 2022 February 12, 2023

The presentation of Anish Kapoor’s sculptures at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko will be the first exhibition in Poland introducing one of the masters of contemporary sculpture and will allow  to familiarize the Polish audience with his work.

Anish Kapoor was born on 12 March 1954 in Bombay (now Mumbai) but since the mid-1970s he has worked and lived in London. His work continues the achievements of British sculpture of the second half of the 20th century. The Anglo-Saxon achievements in contemporary sculpture, marked with such names as Henry Moore (1898 – 1986), Tony Cragg (b. 1949) and Anish Kapoor himself, belong to the most prominent in the world. In 2016 and 2018, the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko has presented two of the abovementioned artists.

Anish Kapoor’s most famous artwork is the hundred-ton Cloud Gate of 2006, situated in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Cloud Gate is considered one of the pinnacles of sculptures in the public space, and at the same time it epitomizes the main features of Anish Kapoor’s work: grand scale of the project, technical perfection, technological innovativeness and his interest in optical illusion. Anish Kapoor creates abstract forms produced in various materials: stone, stainless steel, pigment, wood, resins, plastic, cement. He also had an opportunity to work with textile.

Considering the exhibition in Orońsko, the artist has chosen nine stone sculptures for the space of the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture and three objects for the Orangery. This personal choice testifies to the artist’s great kindness for the idea of his exhibition in Poland, as during the preparations for the Polish exhibition, Kapoor was busy working on his prestigious presentation at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, accompanying this year’s Venice Biennale.

The exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture will be comprised of huge, sculpted stone blocks, made of granite, Vigaria marble, Kilkenny limestone, and the honey-coloured and pink Iranian onyx. It is a strictly sculptural presentation – an excellent review of stone sculpture and the extraordinary beauty of natural materials from which it was made. Kapoor belongs to the generation of ‘New British Sculpture’ – sculptors who, in response to minimal art and conceptual art, assumed a more traditional approach to sculptural materials, techniques and themes. Kapoor’s abstract, but also biomorphic forms, reflect his interest in the sensual physicality of fluid and oval surfaces, gaps and voids.

The works exhibited at the Orangery develop the same themes in soft and malleable materials – wax and resins. Kapoor uses a unique hue of rich and vibrant red, bringing to mind the painting of Mark Rothko, blood or Indian spices. This red is Kapoor’s signature, as is his blackest black.  What proved a key project for this series was the exhibition Svayambh in 2007 at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Nantes. A huge block of red wax was mounted on rails and pushed through the historical enfilades of the palace rooms of the museum, marking its way with shreds of matter that had come off. In Sanskrit, the word ‘svayambh’ means ‘born from oneself’ or ‘self-generated’ and from this perspective we can also interpret the installation Push-Pull, exhibited at the Orangery.

The works designated for Orońsko come from the years 1997-2018 so we can follow the transformations in Anish Kapoor’s sculpture till recent years. The arrangement of the presentation, suggested by the artist, allows to showcase his creative capacity with regard to two contrasting materials and two opposing visual narrations, and to fully use the spatial conditions of the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko. In the technical and logistic sense, the exhibition would pose a great challenge for each gallery hosting it, and in Poland only the Centre of Polish Sculpture is able to cope with this task. In Poland, this is the first presentation of one of the masters of contemporary sculpture and will allow Polish audience to get familiar with his work.


Anish Kapoor, photo by George Darrell
Anish Kapoor, photo by George Darrell
Anish Kapoor, Eight Eight, sculpture.
Anish Kapoor, Eight Eight, sculpture.