Spiritual sculpture: Anish Kapoor’s first Korean retrospective – event alert

Firsts abound as Anish Kapoor’s retrospective exhibition opens at the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Korea.

Anish Kapoor’s eponymous retrospective opened on 25 October 2012 and will run until 27 January 2013 at the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art. Featuring work from all of the artist’s major stylistic periods, the show marks the Indian-born British sculptor’s first large-scale solo in East Asia.

Anish Kapoor, 'My Red Homeland', 2003, wax and oil-based paint, steel arm and motor. © Anish Kapoor. Courtesy the artist and Lisson Gallery.

Anish Kapoor” also represents the first time Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art has dedicated its entire exhibition space to a single artist. The show contains eighteen pieces that span the artist’s thirty-year career, from the pigment works of his early years to his recent large-scale sculptural installations.

Excavation, inspiration

Due to the demands of some of the artist’s larger works – Kapoor’s The Earth from his “Void” series necessitates digging a hole in the floor of the museum – the Leeum needed to alter its architecture to accommodate the show, something it has never done before. Visitors will no doubt appreciate the museum’s adaptability, however, as the piece has not been shown since its début in 1991.

The Australian sat down with Kapoor near the opening of his Korean exhibition to discuss the artist’s inspiration. Kapoor believes that the commodification of contemporary art threatens its spiritual roots, roots that he himself often examines in his work. As he explains,

There is something about sculpture in general to do with the body, about how you are made to see it, that is very old, proto-religion. One of the things about abstract art is that it allows you to go back to the beginning, to ask daft questions like, ‘What is consciousness? Who are we? Where are we?’

Orbits and Cloud Gates

Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai, India, but in the early seventies he travelled to England to study, and has lived and worked there ever since. He represented England in the Venice Biennale in 1990, and in 1991 he won the Turner Prize, a prestigious award given to a British artist under the age of fifty.

Kapoor has since participated in many exhibitions worldwide and has been commissioned to create a number of large-scale installation works, including Chicago’s famous Cloud Gate and London’s Orbit, which won a bid to be the permanent monument to the city’s 2012 Olympic Games. Kapoor is currently represented by Lisson Gallery in London and the Gladstone Gallery in New York.


Related Topics: Anish KapoorIndian artistssculpture, museum shows, art in Seoul

Related Posts:

Subscribe to Art Radar for more on Anish Kapoor and Indian contemporary art


Spiritual sculpture: Anish Kapoor’s first Korean retrospective – event alert — 2 Comments

  1. “Thanks for your comment, Andy! Our source was the exhibition introduction on the museum’s website:

    ‘The exhibition is the first to occupy the museum’s entire exhibition space including the outdoor sculpture garden, where his most recent major work Tall Tree and the Eye and iconic stainless steel sculptures are installed.’
    Link: http://leeum.samsungfoundation.org/html_eng/exhibition/main.asp#category=10&id=25

    While they have dedicated their whole interior space to solo shows in the past, this is the first time that the museum’s full exhibition space has been used for an exhibition of a single artist’s work.

  2. ““Anish Kapoor“ also represents the first time Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art has dedicated its entire exhibition space to a single artist. ”

    I’m sorry, but this just isn’t true. The museum has held mid-career retrospectives of other artists in the past (as recently as early 2012 with Suh Do Ho, held in the same exhibition space). I’d be interested to see your source for this statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.