Anish Kapoor Signed Prints & Originals

Biography for Anish Kapoor (Born 1954)

Anish Kapoor is without doubt one of Great Britain's leading sculptors. In terms of scale and popularity probably our greatest living artist. His 150m-long trumpet shaped 'Marsyas' sculpture, which stretched liked flayed skin over a framework that filled the cavernous Turbine Hall in Tate Modern drew record breaking crowds. The slow-moving juggernaut of dirty red wax he sent ploughing through the gilt edged galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts was the most successful exhibition ever staged by a living artist. For the 2012 Olympic Games he will create the tallest ever public artwork and Anish Kapoor has recently unveiled his 50m-high, 2.7 million pound 'Temenos', a gently twisted take on a vast butterfly net soaring over the Midlands, which together with his 'Tees Valley Giants' make up the largest public-art initiative ever. Anish Kapoor's success stretches across to Europe with projects planned for Paris's 13,500sq m Grand Palais and his global recognition has been firmly cemented with a huge sky mirror mounted near the Rockefeller centre in NY and 'Cloud Gate', a 110-tonne shimmering silver "Bean", parachuted into Chicago's Millennium Park.

Anish Kapoor's outstanding contribution to British art has been recognised with awards including the 'Premio Duemila' at the Venice Biennale in 1990,the Turner Prize in 1991, elected a Royal Academician in 1999 and made a commander of the British Empire in 2003.

Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay in 1954 to a Punjabi-Hindu father and a Baghdadi-Jewish mother, he attended the prestigious Doon School in Dehra Dun, India. Anish Kapoor later moved to England in 1972, where he studied art at the Hornsey College of Art and the Chelsea School of Design.He left art school in 1977, rented a studio in Wapping and set to work. However, it wasn't until a visit to India in 1979 that Anish Kapoor hit his stride.

"Then," Anish Kapoor says in an interview with the Guardian, "in early 1979 I went to India ... and I suddenly realised all these things I had been making at art school and in my studio had a relationship to what I saw in India." And this relationship? "It was a certain attitude to the object. I was making objects that were about doing, about ritual. It was that 'doingness', that almost religious doing, that I saw everywhere ... It felt like a huge affirmation."

It was from this idea of ritual that his first significant works sprang: his pigment pieces - bright shapes set on the ground covered in pure pigment. "I would almost ritually lay on the pigment; they are very much performed," he says. "I made them all in three years. It was an incredible time of discovering something new every single day. I really didn't know where they came from; I felt that they had tumbled out into the world."

Such use of pigment characterized Anish Kapoor's first high profile exhibit as part of the New Sculpture exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in 1978.

Anish Kapoor's expert use of richly pigmented colour is much in evident in the etchings and woodcuts he produced between 1988-1991.Anish Kapoor completed 23 etchings and two woodcuts at this time. Each of them is beautiful in its own way, as each seems to have its own particular combination of motion and stillness. Some seem to have currents, pulling all their delicate, spidery lines in the same direction; as in the prints: 'Racine' 1991, signed etching and aquatint with spit bite aquatint printed in sepia and black, edition of 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled (III)' 1988, Colour spit bite aquatint with aquatint, edition of 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled 11' 1990, colour woodcut, edition of 75, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled (2)' 1988, colour aquatint, edition of 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. And '1954 Untitled' 1988, etching and aquatint, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. While other prints are like voids that expel bristling energy; as in the prints: 'Untitled (1)' 1988, colour aquatint, edition size 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled (3)' 1988, colour aquatint, edition size 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled (4)' 1988, spit bite aquatint with aquatint, edition size 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled (12)' 1991, spit bite aquatint, edition size 15, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Door' 1991, spit bite aquatint, edition size 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Untitled 10' 1990, colour woodcut, edition size 75, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Mother of Light' 1991, spit bite aquatint, edition size 15, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor. 'Magnetic Field' 1991, dry point etching, edition size of 15, signed bottom Anish Kapoor. Perhaps it is because he thinks like a sculptor that Anish Kapoor can make these flat shapes seem so palpable: there is a magnetism there that one can almost feel; as beautifully depicted in the print: 'Untitled (5)' 1988, color spit bite aquatint with aquatint, edition size of 20, signed bottom right Anish Kapoor.

Following the success of his first foray into printmaking, in 1995Anish Kapoor went on to create the series '15 Etchings', snapped up by collectors almost before the inks were dry, they are printed on 350 gsm Zerkall paper, done in Spite bite technique using between one andthree copper plates for each print. The titles of these signed etching prints are: '01', 02', '03', 04', '05', 06', '07', 08', '09', '10', '11', '12', '13', '14' '15'. Edition sizes of 30 prints and each signed lower right Anish Kapoor. Like Anish Kapoor's sculptures these images suck you into his voids. As Charlotte Higgins says in her interview with Anish Kapoor 'A Life in art: Anish Kapoor' for the Guardian. 'Kapoor is very interested in negative space, in spaces filled with a nothingness that is, paradoxically, deeply present. He recalls: "I made a work at Documenta [the five-yearly sculpture exhibition at Kassel, Germany] many years ago. You walked inside a building like a bunker, and inside there was a hole in the ground. It was completely dark - so dark that the hole resembled a carpet on the ground. One person was let in at a time. And there was a man who waited for 45 minutes, and when he went in he was absolutely furious. 'I've done many things in the cause of contemporary art,' he said, 'but I have never stood in line for all that time to look at a piece of carpet.' And he took his glasses off and flung them on to the carpet - and, of course, they disappeared down the hole. And then he was truly terrified. That's what I am interested in: the void, the moment when it isn't a hole, it is a space full of what isn't there."

Concentrating on his wondrous sculptural works which included; 'Taratantara' (1999), a 35 meter tall red velvety rubber installation soaring above the Baltic Flour Mills in Gateshead. 'Parabolic Waters' (2000), rapidly rotating coloured water creation exhibited outside the Millennium Dome. And 'Sky Mirror' (2001), a gigantic glistening mirror piece reflecting the sky and surroundings outside the Nottingham Playhouse. It wasn't until 2007 that we were able to feast our eyes on some more of Anish Kapoor's expertly executed prints, but it was worth the wait.

This time the breathtakingly beautiful series '12 Etchings' printed on 300gsm Sommerset Textured Soft White paper. Their bland titles 'Untitled 01', 'Untitled 02' and so on, give no hint of the exquisite beauty that whispers through these prints. 'Untitled 01', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is made up of the rich sienna and flaming amber hues of an Indian sunset. 'Untitled 02', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is made up of earthy tones and a soft hazy light. 'Untitled 03', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a powerful powder puff of cobalt blue pigment. 'Untitled 04', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a glinting haze of a red hot sunrise. 'Untitled 05', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a pigment splash of diffusing coffee and chocolate hues. 'Untitled 06', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a golden glob of fiery light. 'Untitled 07', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a startling splash of vermillion and scarlet. 'Untitled 08', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a deep dark hole surrounded by a blanket of visceral reds.  'Untitled 09', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a rippling pool of rich spiced hues. 'Untitled 10', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a plump cloud of the deepest darkest blue hues. 'Untitled 11', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a diffusing powder puff of brilliant crimson hues. And 'Untitled 12', edition size 40, signed lower right Anish Kapoor, is a spidery array of vivid scarlet, vibrant vermillion and blood red hues.

2007 also saw the publication of the same set of extraordinary beautiful etchings created in a dramatic black and white series; 'History'. These 15 black and white etchings are printed on 300gsm Sommerset Textured Soft White paper. An edition of 30 sets of signed prints, each signed lower right Anish Kapoor.

Anish Kapoor's later works, blurring the boundaries between sculpture and architecture, are made up of solid, quarried stone, many of which are carved apertures and cavities, often alluding to, and playing with, dualities (earth-sky, mater-spirit, lightness-darkness, visible-invisible, conscious-unconscious, male-female and body-mind). Anish Kapoor's most recent works are mirror-like, reflecting or distorting the viewer and surroundings. Anish Kapoor's 'Shadow' series of prints reflect these latter works.

'Shadow' published in 2007 are a dazzling set of 9 etchings prints on 300gsm Sommerset Textured Soft White paper. Again their 'Untitled' titles do nothing to hint at their bejewelled charm. 'Untitled 01', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is vivid red in colour. 'Untitled 02', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is golden yellow in colour. 'Untitled 03', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is brilliant blue in colour. 'Untitled 04', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is glistening grey in colour. 'Untitled 05', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is rich chocolate brown in colour. 'Untitled 06', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is deep amethyst blue in colour. 'Untitled 07', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is crisp apple green in colour. 'Untitled 08', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is juicy plum purple in colour. And 'Untitled 09', edition size 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is gleaming copper in colour.

'Shadow' was followed in 2008 by 'Shadow II' unlike 'Shadow' where each print is adorned in a vertical strip of light, 'Shadow II' prints are created with a circular orb of light penetrating from the centre of the paper. A set of 9 etchings, printed on 300gsm Sommerset Textured Soft White paper, they are: 'Untitled 01', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of aquarium/blue hues. 'Untitled 02', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of gold/yellow hues. 'Untitled 03', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of cobalt/navy hues. 'Untitled 04', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of chocolate brown hues. 'Untitled 05', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of amber/orange hues. 'Untitled 06', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of emerald/turquoise hues. 'Untitled 07', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of grey/white hues. 'Untitled 08', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor is made up of charcoal/black hues. 'Untitled 09', edition of 35, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor is made up of plum/burgundy hues.

The success of these series of prints was followed in 2009 by 'Shadow III'. A series of 9 colour etchings printed on 300gsm Somerset Textured Soft paper. These equally dazzling set of prints follow in the rich vein of 'Shadow' but have a whip of horizontal (as oppose to vertical) light sliced through the centre of each print. 'Untitled 01', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of brilliant crimson hues. 'Untitled 02', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of charcoal grey hues. 'Untitled 03', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of deep scarlet hues. 'Untitled 04', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of vibrant green hues. 'Untitled 05', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor is made up of deep blue hues. 'Untitled 06', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of dark purple hues. 'Untitled 07', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of golden yellow hues. 'Untitled 08', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of earthy brown hues. 'Untitled 09', edition of 39, signed on reverse Anish Kapoor, is made up of plum purple hues.

Anish Kapoor's latest series of etchings was published in 2010 'Horizon Shadows'. A set of 9 etching prints, printed on 300gsm Sommerset Textured Soft White paper, signed Anish Kapoor and numbered on reverse, an edition size of 35. 2010 also saw Anish Kapoor return to India for his first show case in his country of birth. Anish Kapoor's major retrospective was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi and Mumbai's Mehboob Studio. Back in England, an exhibition of his serenely beautiful mirror works reflecting their surroundings of leafy Kensington Gardens are in situ until March 2011.

Anish Kapoor continues to work with his team of 25 from his substantial studios in south London.

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