curated by Eduardo Cicelyn| Mario Codognato
25.10.03 | 12.01.04
The Anish Kapoor [Bombay 1954] exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, held as part of the Regione Campania’s Annals of Arts event, marked the first solo exhibition in Italy for this famous Indian artist who trained in Britain. Kapoor represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennial in 1990 and won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1991 and, along with Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon is one of the major exponents of the new sculpture of the Eighties. In 2002 he was awarded the Uniliver Commission for the space in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London.
The exhibition, organised by Eduardo Cicelyn and Mario Codognato, is based on the leitmotiv red, a colour with a strong metaphorical impact which Kapoor rediscovered after a trip to India in 1979. On display are two large installations which were designed and created especially for the museum space: in the first a reddish liquid is pouring out of a tap or wound in the wall and collects in a metal container below; in the second, a round tank full of red liquid rotates and changes shape all the time. The colour of blood, red has always been associated with vitality, passion and desire as well as with concepts embodying opposing values, like violence, destruction and death and, from the early days, red has always been symbolic of authority and power.
Kapoor manages to build a bridge between western rationalism and eastern sensitivity in a highly original way thanks to the subject matter. Red is one of the key elements in his aesthetic research which continually oscillates between opposite poles: immanence and transcendence, negative and positive, concave and convex, male and female. It acquires form in a vacuum as a powder pigment or acquires liquid or solid form as biomorphs which are as abstract as they are natural. The result is the idea of a primordial process of birth and generation, which reechoes in the silence of the metaphysical dimension.