Biography

Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay, India and moved to Britain in 1972. There he studied art first in Hornsey and later in Chelsea. He has lived in Bristol since then, though frequently makes trips back to India, and has acknowledged that his work is inspired by both Western and Eastern culture. Kapoor first became known in the 1980s for his geometric or biomorphic sculptures made using simple—often elemental—materials such as granite, limestone, marble, pigment and plaster. His sculptures extend the formal precepts of minimalism into an intensely spiritual and psychological realm, drawing viewers in with their rich colors, sensuously refined surfaces, and startling optical effects of depth and dimension. Since the mid-1990s he has explored the notion of the void, creating works that seem to—and sometimes do—recede into the distance, disappear into walls or floors, or otherwise destabilize our assumptions about the physical world. They give visceral and immediate impact to abstract dualities such as presence and absence, infinity and illusion, solidity and intangibility. Kapoor's pieces are often simple, curved forms, usually monochrome, and frequently brightly coloured. Powdered pigments sometimes cover the works and sometimes lie on the floor around the works as well. This practice is inspired by the mounds of brightly coloured pigments Kapoor saw on his visits to India. Kapoor represented Britain in the 1990 Venice Biennale, and the following year he won the Turner Prize. Among his major permanent commissions is Cloud Gate for the Millennium Park in Chicago. Major solo exhibitions throughout his career have taken place at MAC Grand-Hornu, Belgium (2004); Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2003); BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (1999); Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples (1999); Hayward Gallery, London (1998); and Fondazione Prada, Milano (1995).