Honored with the likes of ‘Lawrence Prize’ and the ‘Praemium Imperiale’ along with several other honorary fellowships from major top universities in England, Anish Kapoor is an internationally known British sculptor having Indian origin. Presenting a compulsive impression of voids in his works; Kapoor is also known for his colossal public installations with reflective materials and curved moldings. Since establishing his works to the world from the 1980s; Anish Kapoor has been distinguished with Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor in 2012 and Knighthood in 2013 by Queen Elizabeth II. Along with his sculptures and artworks, Anish Kapoor has also presented a considerable contribution in the field of Architecture.

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Here are 15 Iconic Projects by Anish Kapoor:

1. Cloud Gate 

Although this aesthetic marvel feels deserted today, amid the global pandemic crisis we witness! ‘Cloud Gate’ also famously known as ‘The Bean’ still communicates with us through its super reflective stainless-steel body. The most intriguing part of this artwork lies in its quality of reflecting our materialist finite world. It possesses an intense interactive character that any spectator can feel while glooming under it.

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Cloud Gate - Sheet4
Cloud gate ©Paul Gallagher
Cloud Gate - Sheet3
Cloud gate ©Paul Gallagher
Cloud Gate - Sheet2
Cloud gate ©www.paulaparicio.co
Cloud Gate- Sheet1
Cloud gate ©www.groupon.co

2. Void Field

Exhibited at the British Pavilion in 1990; Void Field is amongst the earliest works which showcase Kapoor’s obsession with voids in particular.A true minimalist art-piece which contradicts the immense mass of the sandstone with a small yet impactful void created using black pigment in the middle of those stones. This black dot is a metaphoric representation of any potential dark space within!

Void Field- Sheet3
Void field ©www.britishartstudies.ac.uk
Void Field - Sheet2
Void field ©www.artribune.co
Void Field- Sheet1
Void field ©www.anishkapoor.co

3. Shooting into the Corner

This art piece is nothing but a precise portrayal of a story; Story that defines tension, aggression, and depth. Kapoor has collaborated many times with people from different streams to present his art, and this is just a result of the same. A fully functional cannon made to literally shoot tons of wax colored in red gives the art an emotional intensity. While on the other hand, the cannon works as a silent catalyst to trigger those emotions.

Shooting into the Corner - Sheet4
Shooting into the Corner ©www.anishkapoor.co
Shooting into the Corner- Sheet1
Shooting into the Corner ©www.anishkapoor.co
Shooting into the Corner - Sheet2
Shooting into the Corner ©www.anishkapoor.co
Shooting into the Corner - Sheet3
Shooting into the Corner ©www.anishkapoor.co

4. Series of Sky Mirrors

There are quite a few fascinating sculptures of this series around the globe, coming in different sizes and shapes. Although having the same theme of a tilted, highly polished reflective body looking towards the sky, they all offer something different than its counterpart. While its base property may be its reflection, there is a paradox associated with it.

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What they actually represent is a gateway contrasting with its surrounding that takes the viewer to distant possibilities through the void created by the mirror.

Series of Sky Mirrors - Sheet6
Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.publicartfund.org
Series of Sky Mirrors - Sheet5
Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.designboom.co
Series of Sky Mirrors - Sheet4
Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.anishkapoor.co
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Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.anishkapoor.co
Series of Sky Mirrors - Sheet2
Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.houhtonhall.co
Series of Sky Mirrors - Sheet1
Series of Sky Mirrors ©www.publicartfund.org

5. Dismemberment Site

Till date the ‘Dismemberment Site’ benches as the largest sculpture in the never-ending list of works done by Anish Kapoor, spanning six years of engineering and installation work.

Two equivalents, horizontal and vertical elliptical-shaped openings on either side of the sculpture are entry points to a viewer’s perspective. Placed subtly in correspondence with the landscape of the site; the PVC sheet casing over the sculpture painted in blood-red gives it a visual appeal and different contexts one may associate it with.

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Dismemberment Site- Sheet4
Dismemberment Site ©www.strcutureflex.co
Dismemberment Site- Sheet3
Dismemberment Site ©www.flickr.co
Dismemberment Site - Sheet2
Dismemberment Site ©www.zimmerbitch.wordpress.co
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Dismemberment Site ©Richar Joseph

6. Svayambhu

Evolved from the natural phenomena that certain things in life are created within themselves, ‘Svayambhu’ is a Sanskrit derivation. A moveable sculpture made to present its form of creation; it is carved out of red-pigmented wax. The color that signifies fire, blood, and even love is symbolically related to the vision of any spectator looking at it. The hidden mechanism that runs behind the mobility of this sculpture is a key factor in representing its base concept of self-creation.

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Svayambhu ©www.anishkapoor.co
Svayambhu - Sheet4
Svayambhu ©www.anishkapoor.co
Svayambhu - Sheet3
Svayambhu ©www.anishkapoor.co
Svayambhu - Sheet2
Svayambhu ©www.anishkapoor.co
Svayambhu- Sheet1
Svayambhu ©www.anishkapoor.co

7. Double Vertigo

A reflective stainless-steel material involving two curved surfaces makes up the ‘Double Vertigo’. If we ought to breakdown the literal meaning of this artwork; vertigo signifies the loss of balance and in a binary manner. The sculpture produces an infinite expansion of vision which creates an illusion within, challenging our understanding of the art. It communicates with the viewer more on a conceptual level than visual.

Double Vertigo - Sheet4
Double vertigo ©www.artishockrevista.co
Double Vertigo - Sheet3
Double vertigo ©www.artishockrevista.co
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Double vertigo ©www.batimes.co
Double Vertigo - Sheet1
Double vertigo ©www.anishkapoor.co

8. Building for Void

As the name suggests, the building is an upright superstructure for the void. A leeway for a non-existing space is what it is. The enormous empty room within the structure possesses the strength to soak you in it, immersing fear throughout or even a place to practice solitude; as is the creator of it quoted saying, “Void is really a state within”.

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Building for Void - Sheet3
Building for a void ©www.anishkapoor.co
Building for Void - Sheet2
Building for a void ©www.anishkapoor.co
Building for Void - Sheet1
Building for a void ©www.anishkapoor.co

9. Marsyas

Derived from Greek mythological story, the single-span PVC membrane that runs throughout the enclosed space of the hall is a symbolic portrayal of the live flayed skin of Satyr who dared to contest the God of music, Apollo and lost. Because of its huge scale, the sculpture presents a mystery to any viewer who inclines to find a correlation between our objective body and the metaphysical space that exists.

Marsyas - Sheet4
Marsyas ©www.publicdelivery.org
Marsyas - Sheet3
Marsyas ©www.flickr.co
Marsyas - Sheet2
Marsyas ©in.pinterest.co
Marsyas - Sheet1
Marsyas ©www.publicdelivery.org

10. Descension

Working with any kind of natural phenomenon like water may not be a thing for other sculptors, but Kapoor dared to do that and created a synthetic focal point within the circular swirling water flow. There have been several evolving versions of this art piece since it’s inauguration in 2014. If you do see a conceptual void in this; you aren’t mistaken!

Descension - Sheet4
Descension ©www.demilked.co
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Descension ©www.curiator.co
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Descension ©www.brooklynbridgepark.org
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Descension ©www.publicdelievery.org

11. ArcelorMittal Orbit

Decorated as the highest standing piece of public art in England, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is Kapoor’s most known work in the architecture community. The base purpose of this structure was to serve as a viewing tower for the Summer Olympics of 2012 which it did in quite some style, also inviting critics articulating about its appearance. The spiral staircase is the selling point of this artwork, giving users a sense of stability and loss of balance at the same time

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ArcelorMittal Orbit - Sheet4
ArcelorMittal Orbit ©www.arup.co
ArcelorMittal Orbit - Sheet3
ArcelorMittal Orbit ©en.wikipedia.org
ArcelorMittal Orbit- Sheet2
ArcelorMittal Orbit ©www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk
ArcelorMittal Orbit - Sheet1
ArcelorMittal Orbit ©www.commons.wikimedia.org

12. Tarantara

Kapoor’s site-specific installations have always come with some unique perspectives; Tarantara is just the same. Transferred to reality in 1999 for the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the sculpture reflects an Inside-out building which from the outside seems smaller and once inside showcases its real scale, the shape of this artwork transfers from rectangular to circular in contraction.

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Tarantara ©www.anishkapoor.co
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Tarantara - Sheet3
Tarantara ©www.anishkapoor.co
Tarantara - Sheet2
Tarantara ©www.balticplus.uk
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Tarantara ©www.atelierone.co

13. C-Curve

‘C-Curve’ is yet another example where Kapoor has opted to use a reflective surface to present his vision in an unorthodox manner. This installation reflects using a concave and convex surface on the inner and outer sides respectively, causing an illusion made by the inverted reflection on the inner side of the curve. This upside-down impression challenges the fixed perspective we tend to have about certain things in life.

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C-Curve ©www.anishkapoor.co
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C-Curve ©www.anishkapoor.co
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C-Curve ©www.anishkapoor.co
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C-Curve ©www.anishkapoor.co

14. Ark of Nova

A combined effort along with architect Arata Isozaki, ‘Ark of Nova’ is a mobile theatre catering to at least 500 audiences. Built two years after the horrendous earthquakes that hit japan in 2011; this architecture creation was made to develop hope and symbol of recovery through music and art, rebuilding the culture and spirit. Also, the polyester membrane used as the sole material for its creation breeds a suitable atmosphere within the theatre. The highlight of this project is that it’s portable!

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Ark of Nova - Sheet4
Ark of Nova ©morethangreen.es
Ark of Nova - Sheet3
Ark of Nova ©morethangreen.es
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Ark of Nova ©ark-nova.co
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Ark of Nova ©uk.phaidon.co

15. Dirty Corner 

Quite a few artworks of Anish Kapoor have been the talk of the town in both good and bad ways but ‘Dirty Corner’ can be said as the most controversial one. The 60-meter long tunnel that fabricates the sculpture takes the visitor into a dark space of void, where without any reference of light the visitors need to explore it utterly on his or her senses.

While been subjected to vandalism a couple of times, Kapoor defines this act as the evolution process of art itself where it might have been demanding it in the first place.

This also brings us to the ultimate question; “That should there be any distinguishing line between public interest and artistic liberties one make take?”

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Dirty Corner  - Sheet4
Dirty Corner ©prjctns.wordpress.co
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Dirty Corner ©Fred Romero
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Dirty Corner ©www.constantsd.co
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Dirty Corner ©www.anishkapoor.co

Ar. Omkar has been expressing his love for words and strong liberal views throughout his upbringing; mostly via multi-lingual poetries. Fascinated by 'paradox', grooves it as his writing wit. Time and again impending 'revolutionary questions', If not about everything, at least about architecture!

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