Absolut Kapoor

Aaina Bhargava of Saffronart on Absolut’s latest collaboration with Anish Kapoor and his reinvention of the BOTTLE.                              

 London: Artists and Vodka? Certainly not a surprising association, but one that has constantly been given new meaning for the past 27 years by Sweedish vodka company Absolut.  In 1986 Andy Warhol started a long association between Absolut and the arts community by painting their vodka bottle, more recently, this year they have announced Anish Kapoor as the artist who will continue this tradition by creating a unique installation, his interpretation of the absolut bottle.  The work is to be made using Kapoor’s trademark engagement of the viewer with space.  The creation of the bottle will be made with ‘negative’ space employing a sculpting technique that has commonly been featured in many of Kapoor’s previous works, as well as his use of metals and the colour red.  The artist elaborates on this opportunity by stating,

           “Absolut has a long history with artists, from Warhol to many of my great colleagues. The idea of somehow encapsulating whatever it is that one does in a single moment….and kind of making it an Absolut Kapoor. It is a strange notion, but one that I felt I could at least go in pursuit of” –Anish Kapoor.”

Kapoor’s bottle will be one of the latest in the collection including the work of countless established contemporary artists such as Rosemarie Trockel and Louise Bourgeiouse who have contrinbuted through their interpretations of the bottle and it’s meaning [See images below].

Louise Bourgeouis, Andy Warhol, Rosemarie Trockel for Absolut

Louise Bourgeouis, Andy Warhol, Rosemarie Trockel for Absolut. Image Credit: http://images.idiva.com/media/content/2011/Feb/absolut_art_collection_more.jpg

Closer to home, Indian designer Manish Arora designed a bottle in 2009, and soon after Subodh Gupta (in 2011), Bharti Kher (in 2012), and most recently early this year, author Vikram Seth have all participated in this artistic alliance [see images below].

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 Collaboration between brands and the arts community is a common enough occurrence.  For istance you have internationally renowned artists such as Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama who have both worked with large brands like Louis Vuitton, and more recently you have up coming artists like Thukral and Tagra who designed handbags for the Italian brand Etro.  With Absolut you can physically trace this history, starting with Warhol in 1986.  Warhol’s legacy is characterized by the genre of Pop Art, through deconstructing this term, it is evident that he essentially fused the worlds of popular culture and art together, making it more accessible or appealing to a wider audience.  Often these partnerships are accussed of having commercial overtones, or being marketing gimmicks for both the brands and the arists involved, but ultimately what they achieve is greater recognition for the artist and their works, thus providing audiences with an opportunity to discover what contemporary art is, therefore reaching a wider audience.  This focus on the audience and their experience with the work is what makes Anish Kapoor so apt and simultaneously unique as a choice to interpret the Absolut bottle. His works are conceived on the premise of viewers engagement with the space and the artwork – which is this case is the bottle – an object they have probably come across at least a couple of times.  The experience of viewing the installation encapsulates not only a very academic notion the engagement of audiences and space, but the mesh of popular culture and art as well which is extremely reflective of and imperative to the contemporary art scene.  Anish Kapoor himself reflects on this aspect of how an artwork functions (in relation to the audience) and what it can accomplish,        

 

Art is really all about transformation; it’s about taking a piece of metal, a lump of clay, a bit of cement, or whatever else and turning it into something that it isn’t. That fundamental transformation is truly mysterious; it is something that is in a way is wondrous. That moment of wonder is something that is deeply attractive and we are instinctively drawn to it, it is as if the work is saying come here, come and be part of this wonder, this thing that is happening. And I feel that intimacy with the viewer is something special, something we have to hold on to.” – Anish Kapoor.

The transformation of the bottle is what we are looking forward to, and have great expectations for. 

 For more information click here.

Ark Nova: a Collaboration between Anish Kapoor & Arata Isozaki

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart shares a note on Ark Nova, the latest creation of Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki

London: On October 14 the world’s first inflatable concert hall was erected in the coastal town of Matsushima, Japan.

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki. Image credit: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/26/ark-nova-by-arata-isozaki-and-anish-kapoor-completes/

Ark Nova which was modelled on Kapoor’s Leviathan sculptures, will tour across the areas affected by the 2011 earthquake. This mobile structure, a balloon made of coated polyester material, has room for 500 people and it has been designed to stage different kinds of performances ranging from dance and art to orchestras and jazz.

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki. Image Credit: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/26/ark-nova-by-arata-isozaki-and-anish-kapoor-completes/

Kapoor and Isozaki said about the hall: “We named the Project Ark Nova, or ‘new ark’, with the hope that it will become a symbol of recovery immediately after the great earthquake disaster. Ark Nova obviously can’t carry people and animals to escape from disaster, but we conceived the ark to travel packed with music and various arts, from the perspective of long-term rebuilding of culture and spirit.”

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki. Image Credit: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/09/ark-nova/

The hall was inaugurated by the acclaimed Lucerne Festival of music.

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki

Ark Nova by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki. Image Credit: http://www.dezeen.com/2013/09/26/ark-nova-by-arata-isozaki-and-anish-kapoor-completes/

 

Anish Kapoor in Istanbul

Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart shares news about Anish Kapoor’s first solo exhibition in Turkey. 

Anish Kapoor in Istanbul

Anish Kapoor in Istanbul

New York: September 10th through January 5th the first major exhibition in Turkey by Anish Kapoor will take place. The solo exhibition “Anish Kapoor in Istanbul” will be hosted by the Sakip Sabanci Museum in collaboration with Akbank. The show will display the artist’s stone sculptures using a variety of mediums including alabaster and marble. The show will consist primarily of previously undisclosed pieces in contrast with his most iconic internationally known pieces such as Sky Mirror and Yellow.

"Yellow" by Anish Kapoor

“Yellow” by Anish Kapoor

The exhibition will utilize both the indoor and outdoor spaces of the Sakip Sabanci museum. The gardens of the museum, on the picturesque shores of Bosphorus will be the ideal location for Kapoor’s abstract stonework. The quality of his craft balances both a contemporary viewpoint with a respect for the natural beauty of the stone medium. This quality is one element of why he is known as a king of the Contemporary art world on a global scale.

"Sky Mirror" by Anish Kapoor at Rockefeller Center.

“Sky Mirror” by Anish Kapoor at Rockefeller Center.

Although he was born in Bombay, Kapoor has lived and worked in London since the early 1970’s. His work has been shown in solo shows all over the world including the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Fabricca del Vappore in Milan and at NGMA in Delhi. Showing a Contemporary artist of this caliber worldwide will surely highlight Turkey as an international art destination. The administration from the museum is enthusiastic to bring Kapoor’s work to Istanbul under the curatorial eye of Sir Norman Rosenthal.  This exhibition is the ideal event for any enthusiast of Anish Kapoor’s work who hopes to see some never before seen pieces.

For more information please visit the museum’s microsite for the exhibition.

Anish Kapoor at Berlin’s Martin Gropius-Bau Museum

Elizabeth Prendiville of Saffronart introduces Anish Kapoor’s visceral Berlin Exhibition.

Indian artist Anish Kapoor in front of his work “Hexagon Mirror”. Now on display at the Martin Gropius-Bau in Berlin.  Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/anish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html#slide=2465776

Indian artist Anish Kapoor in front of his work “Hexagon Mirror”. Now on display at the Martin Gropius-Bau in Berlin.
Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/anish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html#slide=2465776

New York: On May 18, artist Anish Kapoor opened his exhibition “Kapoor in Berlin” at the majestic Martin Gropius-Bau museum in the city. This retrospective includes around seventy works that were created over the course of his career. Although the show displays works of varying sizes, striking representations of black holes, oversized deflated balloons and distorted mirrors make it a visually gripping presentation.

Martin Gropous-Bau museum’s main hall featuring “A Beloved Sun” by Anish Kapoor.  Image credit: http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F05%2F17%2Fanish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGM0emT3uYkXuK16bDauYLCBJ211g

Martin Gropous-Bau museum’s main hall featuring “A Beloved Sun” by Anish Kapoor.
Image credit: www.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F05%2F17%2Fanish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGM0emT3uYkXuK16bDauYLCBJ211g

Continuing his reputation for captivating large-scale installations, Kapoor has created “Symphony For a Beloved Sun” in the center of his Berlin exhibition. This piece consists of four conveyer belts emerging from the surrounding walls, depositing a red wax substance on the floor. The contrast between the luxurious architecture of Martin Gropius-Bau’s main hall and this dark and industrial installation is alluringly macabre. The deep, blood red color is a key iconographic element throughout the show and the artist says it has a “visceral reality”.

“Shooting Into The Corner” by Anish Kapoor at the Martin-Groous-Bau museum in Berlin.  Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/anish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html#slide=2465776

“Shooting Into The Corner” by Anish Kapoor at the Martin-Groous-Bau museum in Berlin.
Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/17/anish-kapoor-exhibit-arti_n_3292170.html#slide=2465776

Large-scale pieces such as “Symphony for a Beloved Sun” and “Shooting into The Corner”, which involves a cannon shooting red wax at a wall, will be fully functional during the exhibition’s visiting hours. The performativity of these pieces make the exhibition ever changing and evolving for viewers.

Although the works inspire a strong emotional reaction, the artist is quick to assure that his work does not harbor an explicit meaning. Even with strong imagery such as “Shooting into The Corner”, Kapoor claims: “I’ve nothing to say” and that his work does not address any specific subject matter. The artist insists this disconnect is what qualifies as abstract art, never an overt explanation. He creates his works with the desire of creating a dialogue between visitors and the piece, rather than defining a specific interpretation.

Kapoor’s work continues to be an enthralling, full-sensory experience for visitors. “Kapoor in Berlin” will be open through November 24, 2013, and visitors to Berlin are encouraged to take in this unique exhibition.

Anish Kapoor’s works travel to Australia for the summer

Elisabetta Marabotto of Saffronart introduces Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition

London: The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney is paying homage to the great Indian born-British artist Anish Kapoor through his first major exhibition in Australia as part of the Sydney International Art Series. The exhibition is on display until the beginning of April, and includes a various array of works belonging both to the past and present of the artist’s oeuvre.

Through his body of work, Kapoor explores and tries to understand the meaning of being human. His quest leads him to negotiations between different shapes, media, and optical illusions which increase the uncertainty about reality and fantasy. However, even though Kapoor’s works might not resolve our doubts on existence and life, they certainly lead us to reflect and think more upon what surrounds us.

I highly recommend a walk through his work at the MCA in Sydney, but if you are not lucky enough to be there at the right time you can enjoy a selection of his works below.

More information on the show and on events related to it can be found here.

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