Anish Kapoor Exhibition – Museum of Contemporary Art
Much of what I write here will be taken from the exhibition catalogue for the simple reason that I can’t write anything better than they have published or use words more expressively.
This exhibition was fascinating. Having been subjected to huge installations last year when visiting the Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island I find myself drawn to the expansive expressionism (I’m not sure that is the exact word, according to the dictionary. Perhaps I should be using messages or meanings) that can be shown through large sculptures. Whilst these were not on the same scale they are much larger than anything I have ever produced and I was very drawn to them.
Anish Kapoor is a British sculptor who emerged in the early 1980s . He has created bodies of work that push the boundaries of sculpture through his explorations of the nature of perception in relation to space, form and mass.
Again, this piece was not in the catalogue. Imagine for a moment an enormous halogen light globe – around 2 metres diameter. Picture it on its side facing you, showing all the tiny facets which the light bounces off. Well, that is exactly what this wall piece resembled. I positioned myself in front and held the camera up so that I could capture many, many repeat images of my head and camera. Excellent effect. Can you visualise someone walking past wearing a blue and white horizontal striped jumper?
Many of the works were optical illusions or showed distorted images of other gallery areas. This large mirrored rectangle clearly shows the distorted wall opposite where another work was displayed (shown below). The mirrored floor and ceiling edging adds significantly to the effect.
The piece above left is untitled but has been created with a computer-assisted machine that pumps concrete into a variety of forms and textures. The artist started exploring this technique in the early 2000s. In this series of work he was interested in creating volcanic shapes and textures and these have resulted in organic-like shapes that resemble ancient rock formations.
These bubble away and some spurt out droplets of grey mud which fall to create more texture and ripple patterns.
Memory (2008) is a 24-ton Cor-Ten steel structure which completely fills one of the large-scale galleries. It resembles something between a submarine, a rocket and a solid structure hot air balloon. Photography is allowed in this exhibition and people took advantage of the opportunity to grab some great shots. Not being a particularly good photographer I watched and copied (as much as I was able) some of the other patrons who seemed to know what they were doing.
Pretty happy with these two close-ups of the exhibit.
My Red Homeland (2003) is a monumental wax sculpture that consists of 25 tons of paraffin wax mixed with a deep red pigment. It is a circular sculpture with a large motorised steel blade slowly tracing the circumference , which measures 12 metres in diameter.
Just walking around this exhibit was thrilling, looking closely at the chopped and piled wax around the edge and seeing the patterns and textures within it as well as the differing tones of red where the light reflected off the shine of the wax. How on earth did they get it there, set it up, and how will it be removed? Stunning.
I had a bit of a play with the settings on the camera trying to get a shiny ‘filmy’ blur by using a slow setting and moving the camera a bit – sorry no idea what the technical term is for this but it seems to have worked.
Look at the difference in the colour. It must be because the shutter was open for ages and more light got in from the shine on the wax. The room was also well-lit. It really does look very sparkly and quite orange.
This is just a tiny sample of what I experienced on the day and I have other photos which I’m sure I’ll refer to in the future. A very inspiring visit.
Catalogue – Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Sydney International Art Series. Anish Kapoor – 20 December 2012 – 1 April 2013