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 is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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