Go See – London: Anish Kapoor at London's Royal Academy through December 11, 2009

October 6th, 2009

Svayambh, Anish Kapoor via The Guardian

Currently on show at London’s Royal Academy is a major solo exhibition of one of the most influential sculptors of our time, Anish Kapoor. The 1991 Turner Prize winner’s work has taken over the main galleries of the Museum and serves as a survey of his entire body of work to date, as well as introducing the viewer to new and previously unseen pieces.

Anish Kapoor via The Royal Academy

Related Links:
Royal Academy Homepage
Anish Kapoor Official Homepage
Anish Kapoor, Royal Academy, London [The Independent]
Anish Kapoor: A very fine mess [Guardian UK]
Kapoor Fires Cannon, Makes Mess at Royal Academy: Interview [Bloomberg]
“Bloody” Anish Kapoor sculptures on show at Royal Academy [M&C]
Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Royal Academy [Times Online]
Anish Kapoor [Guardian UK]
Shooting Into the Academy [The Wall Street Journal]
Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy, London [Financial Times]
Bringing beauty and beast into the drawing room [Economist.com]
Anish Kapoor at the Royal Academy review by Lucy Charkin [fadwebsite.com]

More text and images after the jump…..

Shooting into the Corner, Anish Kapoor via The Royal Academy

A large canon firing Napoleonic wax at regular intervals onto a white wall, named Shooting into the Corner, serves as a centerpiece to this major exhibition. With the relentless repetition of the firing action, the wax will build against the walls and the floor of the gallery throughout the show, and therefore the work is set to evolve throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Anish Kapoor with his sculpture, Yellow via The Guardian

Greyman Cries, Shaman Dies, Billowing Smoke, Beauty Evoked via The Royal Academy

Another highlight is the monumental Svayambh (the title is taken from the Sanskrit word meaning “self-generated”) a large piece of wax that moves imperceptibly on sunken rails throughout the galleries leaving a residue in its wake. This monumental work was first created for the Musee de Beaux Artes, Nantes (France) in 2007, on this occasion Svayambh has been tailored specifically to the architecture of the Royal Academy’s main galleries and therefore reflects Kapoor’s keen exploration of sculptural works that actively participate in their own formation.

Svayambh, Anish Kapoor via The Royal Academy

Further to this is the enormous rusted vessel Hive that is being exhibited for the first time ever and ends the show. This immense sculpture is one that the London Economist have described as so powerful it would be worth the price of admission even if the rest of the gallery were bare.

Hive, Anish Kapoor via daylife.com

Yellow, Anish Kapoor via The Royal Academy


The Record (Bergen County, NJ) August 13, 2001 | VERA LAWLOR, Staff Writer VERA LAWLOR, Staff Writer The Record (Bergen County, NJ) 08-13-2001 GIVING THEM SHELTER By VERA LAWLOR, Staff Writer Date: 08-13-2001, Monday Section: NEWS Edition: All Editions — Two Star B, Two Star P, One Star B Series: NEIGHBORS

The barking and pacing never stops, but attendants at the Bergen County Animal Shelter do not seem to notice.

With more than 200 cats and 145 dogs in residence, as well as rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, rats, and mice, workers have no time to waste. All the animals have to be fed and their cages and kennels cleaned before the doors open to the public at 1 p.m. It’s the same routine every day.

Doris Surkes, a retiree who volunteers at the shelter 12 hours a day, seven days a week, likes starting her mornings by feeding and cleaning up after the small animals in the lobby display units. Then she goes past a maze of cages full of cats to the laundry room, where a mountain of dirty blankets and towels awaits.

“This is my therapy. Instead of going to a shrink I come here to the shelter,” said Surkes, who has worked in animal welfare for 24 years. “I would sleep here with the animals if they’d let me.”

But working at the shelter brings its share of stress and emotion.

About 30 percent of the animals are euthanized either because they are sick or are not adopted.

Surkes and many other longtime staff and volunteers have a special bond with the shelter in Teterboro. They remember going door to door in the early 1970s, collecting 8,000 signatures on a petition for building the county shelter. Back then, just two for-profit pounds serviced homeless animals in Bergen County — in Lodi and Saddle Brook. The Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro opened in June 1978.

It initially operated strictly as an animal pound with little or no emphasis on adoptions or wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Today the shelter, which contracts to 51 towns and responds to animal-related calls from county parks, highways, and the Port Authority, has a staff of 23 and a budget of $680,000. On a recent weekday, Susan Formilan, one of the shelter’s six animal control officers, searched for a bat in a playground, picked up a dead skunk from a street, and rescued a duckling that had wandered up a driveway in Fairview.

Renee Trey, among those who campaigned with Surkes for the shelter, said the first wild animal to be lodged at Teterboro was a coyote. It had been kept illegally as a pet in Lyndhurst. go to web site how to get rid of fleas in your house

Since then, the facility has played host to a variety of animals, including an alligator, a llama, a ram, a boar, and a python. Because the shelter is open seven days a week, it’s become like a “library for animal questions” said Director Mary Ellen Stout.

The phone never stops ringing, with calls coming as late as midnight. Some people want to have wildlife taken from their property, others want to know how to get rid of fleas, and still others ask for a list of breeders because they want to mate their purebred pet.

Friends of the Bergen County Animal Shelter (FOCAS), founded in 1984, is the only volunteer organization authorized to raise funds for the Teterboro shelter. The non-profit group has 105 volunteers and sponsors such programs as spay/neuter, foster care, pet therapy and education, dog obedience classes, socialization of dogs, and controlled feral cat colonies.

“I like to concentrate my attention on cats,” Surkes said. “Each animal is an individual, just like human beings. Some are snappy and some are lovers. This cat here is Oliver — he only loves me, and when I have time, I come in here and sit with him.”

Marge Mullen, supervisor of animal attendants, said volunteers who want to be hands-on with the animals help staff clean cages and kennels, do feedings, check for sick animals, and walk the dogs. Others, she said, prefer to interact with the public, helping with adoptions and paperwork and responding to the shelter’s help line. Two of Mullen’s 10 children work with her at the shelter.

“When I started, I worked at the front desk,” said Mullen, who has been at the shelter for eight years. “I used to get in at 1 p.m. and the place back here was always clean — I had absolutely no idea the hard work it took to get it looking like that.”

Mullen said forming special bonds with the animals helps her and other employees cope with the huge numbers being turned in.

“At least we know we can take good care of them while they’re here,” she said. “I love to go home in the evenings and talk to my kids about the animals. There was one, a Chihuahua-mix called Scrappy, we had a very special bond. He was always so excited to see me. I couldn’t stop crying when he went to his new home because I really missed him.”

Because not all animals are lucky enough to find new homes, volunteers are cautioned not to get too attached.

“It’s very difficult for everyone at the shelter when animals have to be put to sleep,” said Trey, president of FOCAS. “I tell volunteers, `If an animal is not here when you come in, just go on to the next one that needs your attention.’ If they want to help the animals, there’s no point in getting upset over something they can’t control.”

The shelter is required by law to hold strays for seven days, to give owners the chance to reclaim them. After that, the animals become the property of the shelter. Animals are not put to sleep after seven days unless they are extremely aggressive, very sick, or there is absolutely no room, Stout said. And pets are never euthanized while volunteers are at the shelter.

The shelter is full this time of year, so Stout has to make decisions more often than she’d like. Many families are relocating without their pets, she said. A nationwide survey by the Humane Society of the United States found that moving was the primary reason for leaving pets at shelters. To make matters worse, animal adoptions are typically down this time of year because people are away on vacation.

“We don’t have one cage free and it’s discouraging when animals keep coming in,” Stout said. “I’m the one who has to make the final decision on who gets euthanized.” site how to get rid of fleas in your house

There’s no list of pets to be put to sleep, and shelter staff often are hesitant to approach the director when they’ve run out of space.

“I hate to see them coming. I tell them wait until the end of the day because we might have more adoptions,” said Stout, who fosters kittens and baby wildlife in her home.

Stout said shelter staff are constantly on an “emotional roller coaster” and feel hurt when outsiders criticize them for putting animals to sleep. There’s never been a day in the history of the shelter, she said, when animals haven’t been turned in.

“We get animals other shelters turn away or that were adopted from other shelters,” Stout added. “What’s the alternative to euthanasia for non-adoptable animals? We do everything we can here to find them homes.

When we choose an animal for euthanasia, it’s because we feel it’s the kindest thing to do.”

On days when animals have to be put to sleep, Stout takes an elderly dog or cat home.

“I just brought an 11-year-old pug home,” Stout said. “Is this a way of saying forgive me? I don’t know. The ultimate goal for me would be for every pet to have a good home and for me to have to look for a new job.”

Animals scheduled for euthanasia don’t die alone.

“We sedate them and rock them in our arms,” said Formilan, who also fosters animals in her home. “Some people drop their sick or elderly pets here for us to euthanize because they can’t deal with it themselves. We rock those animals, too. It kills us.”

Stout said the shelter has an “open-door policy.”

“We can’t say, `There’s no room; go someplace else,’ Stout said.

“Once inside our door, we have to take the animals.”

Staff and volunteers cope with stress and grief by focusing on the many positives at the shelter, such as Alumni Day, when families come back to visit with the pets they adopted; photo shoots of animals with Santa and Mrs. Claus, The Blessing of the Animals, and the annual dog and cat shows.

One of the first visitors to the shelter on a recent Saturday was a woman dropping off a 14-year-old cat whose elderly owner had died. The scared tabby hissed as a volunteer tagged his crate. Lydia Rutledge, the staffer who signed in the cat, hoped a family member would retrieve him.

“Last week, animal control picked up a cat under similar circumstances and the next day a family came from Atlantic Highlands to claim her,” Rutledge said. “The cat had been willed to them and they were anxious to be reunited with her.”

Next in line, a couple with an out-of-control shepherd mix came to adopt another dog in the hopes it would calm the shepherd. Mullen told the couple that another dog would make their dog even crazier and suggested they sign up their pet for the shelter’s obedience classes.

Once he was under control, she said, they could adopt a companion for him. They followed her advice.

Meanwhile, Rutledge asked a young couple why they were leaving their Jindo (a Korean sporting dog) at the shelter. The man said they had owned the dog for two years but could no longer keep him because they “traveled a lot.”

It was 2:20 p.m. and the lines in the lobby grew longer. The Jindo kept moving toward the exit as Rutledge explained to the owners that not every pet at the shelter finds a new home.

“If he gets sick here or if he’s here a long time, there’s a chance he may have to be euthanized. Do you understand that?” Rutledge asked the couple.

“Yes, I’ve thought about that,” the man said. “We still want to leave him here.”



{BOX} Total at shelter in 2000: 2,373*

{BOX} Reclaimed by owners in 2000: 501

{BOX} Adopted in 2000: 1,002

{BOX} Dogs returned to shelter after adoption in 2000: 196

{BOX} Euthanized** in 2000: 680


{BOX} Total at shelter (including ferals) in 2000: 4,626

{BOX} Cats adopted in 2000: 1,331

{BOX} Reclaimed in 2000: 92

{BOX} Returned after adoption in 2000: 115

{BOX} Euthanized in 2000: 1,678

* Of the total number of dogs and cats at the shelter, about 3,300 were strays; about 2,600 were handed in by owners,; 519 were dead dogs and cats picked up by animal control; 276 were trapped by the rabies task force; and 276 were abandoned outside the shelter.

** Euthanasia figures include at least two elderly or sick pets per week brought by their owners to be put to sleep.


Pedigree dry puppy food

Pedigree canned dog food

Dog biscuits

Iams kitten dry food

Baby food with meat for sick animals

Infant cereal and evaporated milk for infant wildlife

Blankets, sheets and towels

FOCAS currently needs volunteers literate in computer graphics; people to help with adoption counseling; and people to feed the animals and clean cages and kennels in the mornings.

For more information: (201) 943-4019 or www.petfinder.org/shelters/NJ29

Illustrations/Photos: 5 COLOR STAFF PHOTOS BY CHRIS PEDOTA 1 – Shelter Director Mary Ellen Stout — her hand showing a cut that was the result of a dog bite — with a cat suffering from a respiratory illness. 2 – Above, a kitten waiting for adoption. 3 – Left, Mary Ellen Stout in the cat room. The director says working at the shelter is an “emotional roller coaster” because some animals are euthanized. 4 – This baby raccoon, trapped in a garbage pail in Cresskill, was freed by an animal control officer. 4 – Left, caged felines at the Bergen County Animal Shelter in Teterboro checking out the stranger among them, a rooster.

Over the years, the shelter also has housed a coyote, a boar, an alligator, and a ram.3 STAFF PHOTOS BY CHRIS PEDOTA 6 – Denise Pate of Washington Township and her daughters, Chelsea and Taylor, getting acquainted with kittens that are up for adoption. 7 – Veterinarian Lester Morris and shelter Director Mary Ellen Stout giving a dog a free rabies shot, one of the shelter’s many community services. 8 – Volunteer Doris Surkes feeding a kitten. “This is my therapy,” she says. “Instead of going to a shrink, I come here to the shelter.”

VERA LAWLOR, Staff Writer