Anish Kapoor @ Lisson


An exhibition at both Bell Street locations has just been opened to celebrate the Lisson Gallery’s thirtieth birthday and its relationship with Turner Prize winning artist Anish Kapoor. The show seems to me to be particularly raw. The sculptures exhibited are prominently natural; taking from nature, showing rough and smooth and while the forms which they take are not particularly natural in a conventional way, the materials they are made out of are.

Some works among the displays look as though they could be moon rocks or from some kind of volcanic eruption. Large rectangular sculptures with cavities at every angle and highly textured. They seem almost unearthly, as though he took raw materials from Earth, visited Mars for a few days, and presented us with what a different environment did to these objects. The scale of the works are all large, yet seem wholly organic. In one room we are confronted with brown forms sitting on tables and shaped into obscure forms, as if the artist has sculpted out of mud – it is very primitive, exploring the ground, making us of everyday objects to make his sculptures.

Instead of traditional materials like marble and granite, the artist has chosen to use concrete and cement. For the few canvases on display, Kapoor has used copper instead of painter, continuously making use of raw materials. The colours are mostly dull. A large proportion of the exhibition is made up of greys and browns, earthy tones. This all apart from one large room at the bottom of one of the galleries. Here we find large convex fibreglass bowl like forms in bright colours. As if Kapoor has deliberately wanted us to think about the juxtaposition between his more naturalistic sculpture and these very modern, loud forms.

Whether deliberate or not, Anish Kapoor has taken what we wouldn’t think of using in nature, and presented it as art – giving the everyday and unassuming a word which has connotations of beauty, something to be respected and admired, making us think differently about the ground we walk upon.

Anish Kapoor’s work will be on display at the Lisson Gallery until 10 November

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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