Currently on view at Kamel Mennour’s Paris exhibition space, artist Anish Kapoor has brought a strikingly powerful body of works, mixing styles and forms through a range of pieces to explore a unique and detailed perspective on humanity. Much like previous works for the artist, twisting desire, power and image through rigorous visual systems, the show presents the viewer and work as inextricably linked, bound together through their shared states and momentary acts of convergence.
Kapoor’s work in this exhibition returns to his interest in the body in space, or, perhaps more accurately, bodies in general. His forms run the full expanse of his creative practice here, from gleaming pieces of polished steel to heaping masses of viscerally painted steel and resin. In one room, works like Ritual Dark spin the viewer into a trance-like observation of bodily simulations, associates of blood and organs that seems to always hover just outside of easy referentiality. Elsewhere, Something Like Her invites the viewer into a clear elaboration on the history of painting, particularly the Italian abstractionism of artists like Fontana, but turns the clean conceptualism of that era on its ear, favoring brusque heaps of material.
In another piece, A blackish fluid excavation, Kapoor allows his massive form to move between rooms, almost as if a viewer of the show itself. Like previous works where the actual vectors and implied movements of the work factored into its engagement with space and time, Kapoor’s piece here offers a momentary meditation on the form as “body,” with all of the significations and implications of that word in full play. True enough, the artist’s work in these styles seem to take great care in the act of reference and iconography, a mirroring of the human form that echoes his similar mirroring techniques in his more stripped down steel pieces. The viewer is presented in alternating strokes, as both material and image, and occasionally as both at the same time. If one were to follow the artist’s previously stated interests in the act of transcendence, of moving beyond the perceptual realms of the world around us, this show offers a striking opportunity, one where these quick changes render a human body existing as both simultaneously.
The artist’s work is on view through July 21st.
— D. Creahan
Anish Kapoor at Kamel Mennour [Exhibition Site]