Sculptor Kapoor brings new stone works to old Istanbul

Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:15am EST
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By Ayla Jean Yackley

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - For his first major show in Turkey, famed Indian-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor brought huge works that have never before been exhibited to a gallery that ripped down walls to accommodate him.

Massive slabs of rough-hewn slate, polished Iranian onyx and rough sandstone, weighing a combined 121 metric tons, dominate the galleries at Istanbul's Sakip Sabanci Museum.

"More than half of this work hasn't been shown before, perhaps because they needed time to gestate," Kapoor told Reuters. "It takes time to allow the language a full voice."

The exhibition, which has attracted almost 100,000 visitors since it opened in September, has been extended into February.

It includes voluptuous abstract pieces carved from Italian marble like "Tongue" (1998), "Mollis" (2000) and "Grace" (2004) that are tributes to human anatomy.

The limestone "Dragon" (1992) was made about the same time as Kapoor's untitled 1991 Turner prize work and features the same rich blue pigment.

Since then, the London-based artist has become a fixture of art in the public sphere, with a host of commissions across the globe, including this year's sensational "Ark Nova," a purple, mobile, inflatable concert hall for tsunami-hit Japan.

"All of the orthodoxies of how art is made and how it should operate are less meaningful than they have been," the Mumbai-born artist said at a press preview. "It is possible to dive into the so-called traditional and find new space."   Continued...

Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor poses in front of his art work 'Symphony for a Beloved Sun" (2013) during a media preview of the exhibtion 'Kapoor in Berlin' at the Martin-Gropius Bau, in Berlin May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer