“Is it my role as an artist to say something, to express, to be expressive? I think it’s my role as an artist to bring to expression, it’s not my role to be expressive. I’ve got nothing particular to say, I don’t have any message to give anyone. But it is my role to bring to expression, let’s say, to define means that allow phenomenological and other perceptions which one might use, one might work with, and then move towards a poetic existence.”
— Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor’s art is beautiful, but he doesn’t set out to make it beautiful. Some pieces smack of spirituality, but he doesn’t set out to make it spiritual. What he does is design a space for the viewer, to allow the viewer to insert themselves into the art. Like with his giant Chicago piece, Cloud Gate: it reflects the sky and the people around it.
I love the generosity of his view: that art is there to draw expression out of the viewer, not to impose the view of the artist.
It’s a reversal typical of Kapoor: his Space as Object looks like a box full of emptiness; Turning the World Inside Out II does exactly what it promises to the viewer’s gaze. And works such as Yellow feature a hollow at the centre that Kapoor repeats and updates over and over. An absence at the centre and yet a place that fixes the gaze and makes us think of infinity and mortality. Another trademark is the deep blood-red found in pieces like Her Blood, with saucers of giant reflective material that look both convex and concave all at once: an over-sized visual illusion brought to life. And also Mother as a Mountain, where shape and colour are impossible to divide.