Spring 2017 Talks: Anish Kapoor

About the Talk

Among the most influential sculptors of his generation, Anish Kapoor works in a wide variety of scales and formats, and in a range of media including pigment, stone, stainless steel, resin, wax, earth, and silicone. Over four decades, he has created a remarkably inventive and resonant body of work layered with artistic, cultural, and personal associations. Kapoor is well known for his site-responsive works, marrying a Modernist sense of pure materiality with a fascination for the manipulation of form and the perception of space. He has created a number of iconic public artworks, Chicago’s Cloud Gate (2004), for example, now a striking symbol for the city. Although the forms of his work are abstract, Kapoor’s public installations have often provoked responses and debates around cultural, social, and political questions. His 2015 exhibition at the Château de Versailles set off a national debate in France when it was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti.

Kapoor’s talk at The New School accompanies Public Art Fund’s upcoming exhibition Descension, the artist’s viscerally arresting new installation. Sited at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, this massive, spiraling funnel of water suggests powerful and unseen forces, at once captivating and foreboding. Kapoor’s talk will focus on his long engagement with public space, reflecting on the creative, cultural and political dimensions of his practice.


Descension will be on view May 3 – September 10, 2017 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

This program is made possible in part by Con Edison and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Anish Kapoor
Cloud Gate, 2004
Stainless steel
10×20.1×12.8 metres
Millennium Park, Chicago
Photo: Peter.J.Schluz
Courtesy of the City of Chicago and Gladstone Gallery
© Anish Kapoor, 2017



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About the Artist

Anish Kapoor(b. 1954, Bombay) lives and works in London. He studied at Hornsey College of Art (1973–77) followed by postgraduate studies at Chelsea School of Art, London (1977–78). Recent major solo exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), Rome (2016); Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City (2016); Château de Versailles, France (2015); The Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow (2015); Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul Museum, Istanbul (2013); Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012); Le Grand Palais, Paris (2011) and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2009). He represented Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale (1990), for which he was awarded the Premio Duemila. and has honorary fellowships from the London Institute and Leeds University (1997), the University of Wolverhampton (1999), the Royal Institute of British Architecture (2001) and the University of Oxford (2014). His major permanent commissions include Cloud Gate (2004) for the Millennium Park in Chicago and Orbit for the London 2012 Olympic Park. In 2013 Ark Nova, the world’s first inflatable concert hall, was launched for the Lucerne Festival in Japan. He won the Turner Prize in 1991, was elected Royal Academician in 1999, awarded the Premium Imperiale in 2011 and the Padma Bhushan in 2012. Kapoor was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013 and in February this year, won the The Genesis Prize, donating the $1 million prize to aid refugees.