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Anish Kapoor
Dark Brother, 2005                                                                                       
Mixed media and pigment
Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donna Regina, Naples
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

The Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia is delighted to announce that Anish Kapoor will be the first British artist to be honoured with a major exhibition at the museum. The exhibition, postponed from 2021 because of the pandemic, will be presented during the Venice International Art Biennale in 2022, opening on 20 April and running until 9 October 2022.  The curator is art historian Taco Dibbits, General Director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The exhibition will be a comprehensive retrospective presenting key moments in Kapoor’s career and exploring the development of his unique visual language. For the first time, ground-breaking new works, created using carbon nanotechnology, will be shown. These new works further develop the language of Kapoor’s seminal sculptures, which explore the condition of what he has termed the ‘non-object’ - works that investigate the liminal space occupied by an object, between physical presence and immateriality, something that is present but absent, empty yet full.

Anish Kapoor
Left: Untitled, 1992, Sandstone and pigment, 230x122x103 cm
Right:Void, 1989, Fibreglass and pigment, 200x200x152.5 cm
Photograph: Michel Zabe
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

The project is part of the Accademia’s long-term programming focused on contemporary art. This reflects the history of the museum, which is also an academy for the training of contemporary artists. It rises to the challenge to open up new opportunities for a dialogue between past and present.

Giulio Manieri Elia, the Accademia’s Director, says: “With the retrospective dedicated to Maestro Anish Kapoor, following the major exhibitions dedicated to Philip Guston in 2017 and Georg Baselitz in 2019, the Gallerie dell'Accademia again opens its doors to contemporary art. In the past, a "pittore pittore", what you might call a painters’ painter, has always been chosen, in the light of their affinity with the museum's collection. Our choice of sculptor might seem a surprise, but Kapoor, because of his original and deep research into colour, light, perspective and space, grows from the roots of venetian Renaissance painting, investigating its essence and interacting intimately on an ideal - we could even say conceptual - level with Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto”.

Kapoor’s works set up a dynamic dialogue with the Medieval and Renaissance art in the collection.  Kapoor’s use of the skin of an object as veil between the inner and outer world echoes the motif of the fold in Renaissance art, where it serves as a boundary between body, skin and being, between the corporeal and the sacred. Such investigations of the embodied subject lead to the modernity of Malevich, Newman and Rothko. Kapoor continues this investigation with sensual and intriguing sculptures that question the status of both matter and being.

Anish Kapoor
Descent into Limbo, 1992
Mixed media and pigment, Dimensions variable
Photograph: Paola Martinez
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

Taco Dibbits said: “All artists, however cutting-edge and contemporary, are in debate with those who have gone before. The Gallerie dell’Accademia is the perfect site for a modern master to explore in contemporary form the themes that have always engaged sculptors and painters. Kapoor’s latest works, using the most advanced nanotechnology, promise to be a revelation.”

Anish Kapoor said: “The light and space of Venice, and the glories of the Accademia’s collection, have long been an inspiration to me. I have come to love this city and its painters, sculptors and architects, and I feel honoured to be invited to engage in a visual dialogue with them. I hope I will be able to add something to the vocabulary of colour and form that has been Venice’s gift to the world.”

Anish Kapoor
Void Pavilion V, 2018
Wood, concrete and pigment
Photograph by Nobutada Omote 
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

Anish Kapoor is considered to be one of the most influential artists working today. Born in Mumbai, India in 1954, he now lives and works in London. His works are permanently exhibited in the most important collections and museums around the world from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Tate in London; at the Prada Foundation in Milan; at the Guggenheim Museums in Venice, Bilbao and Abu Dhabi. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2020); Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum and Imperial Ancestral Temple in Beijing (2019); Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires (2019);  Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemorânea, Porto, Portugal (2018); University Museum of Contemporary Art (MUAC), Mexico City (2016); Château de Versailles, France (2015); Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow (2015); Gropius Bau, Berlin (2013); Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi, Istanbul (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012).

Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor Studio, 2020
Kapoor Black
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

Anish Kapoor represented Great Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 where he was awarded the Premio Duemila Prize. In 1991 he won the Turner Prize and has gone on to receive numerous international awards including the Praemium Imperiale in 2011 and Padma Bhushan in 2012. He received a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for visual arts services.

Also renowned for his architecturally-scaled works, public projects include: Cloud Gate (2004), Millennium Park, Chicago, USA; Leviathan (2011) exhibited at 2011 Monumenta, Paris; Orbit (2012), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; Ark Nova, an inflatable concert hall created for Lucerne Festival, Japan (2013-) and Descension, (2014) most recently installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, USA (2017).

Anish Kapoor
L’Origine du monde, 2004
Concrete and pigment
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art In Kanazawa, Japan
Photograph: Shideo Anzai
©Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved DACS, 2021

The exhibition will be curated by Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, one of the world’s leading experts on Rembrandt's work and seventeenth-century Flemish painting. He was curator, with others, of the "Rembrandt-Caravaggio" exhibition at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2006, and of the "Anish Kapoor and Rembrandt" exhibition also at the Rijksmuseum in 2016.

Anish Kapoor
Photograph: Peter Lindbergh


Venice, February 2021



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