Anish Kapoor (b. 1954)
fiberglass and paint
90½ x 90½ x 18½ in. (229.9 x 229.9 x 47 cm.)
Executed in 2004.
Gladstone Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner

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Robert Manley
Robert Manley

Lot Essay

From his earliest works of the late 1970s when he used vibrant colored pigment to bestow enigmatic sculptural forms with a disquieting sense of mystery and ambiguity, Anish Kapoor has been fascinated by the mysterious power of color to transform and even redefine the way we perceive and understand objects. Taking the form of a giant convex form over two meters in diameter, Untitled at first appears like a spherical red vortex within the space of the room in which it sits. In this respect the sculpture, like many of Kapoor's works, has a strong impact on both the space and the architecture into which it is placed. Drawing the viewer towards itself through the mesmerizing effect of its rich color and its circular form, the work then appears to open up a new world within itself, transforming the space of the room and any objects, figures or events that appear behind it into a strange, almost operatic melodrama all rendered in a field of red.

Red - an iconic color for Kapoor - the invigorating color of life and death - bestows the scene with a vibrant, vital but also strongly visceral atmosphere - a quality that in recent years has grown increasingly pronounced in Kapoor's work. In transforming the world reflected in its red aperture, Untitled also emphasizes the illusive nature of all appearances and revealing at the same time the world as a stage or pantomime. In this respect, existing on the in the frisson of between two realities and in its power of transformation or revelation, the sculpture, the object itself appears to transcend the physical realm embodying an aura of magic or mysticism - what Kapoor has called an "oneiric" quality that he highly prizes.

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