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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection


stainless steel and lacquer
86 5/8 x 86 5/8 x 19 5/16 in. (220 x 220 x 49 cm.)
Executed in 2008, this work is unique
Lisson Gallery, London.
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 2010.
Seattle, Pivot Art + Culture, Color & Pattern, April-July 2017.
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Max Carter
Max Carter Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas

Lot Essay

A celebration of blue made even more alluring by its gracious shell-like curves, Anish Kapoor’s Untitled is like a portal into a universe of unbridled color and expressiveness. The subject of a major retrospective at this year’s Venice Biennale, Kapoor has changed the way we think about color and matter altogether, using hues and forms that evoke the natural world, but are nevertheless the product of human innovation. With a circumference of seven feet, Untitled has its own gravitational pull, like a planet that pulls us into the cosmos or, to quote writer Rebecca Mead, “like pieces of sky that [have] fallen to earth” (R. Mead, “Anish Kapoor’s Material Values,” The New Yorker, August 15, 2022, One of Kapoor’s most enthralling works, Untitled is a rich and textural sculpture that both reflects and absorbs as it asks necessary questions about perception and vision.

Untitled radiates outward like an evening star, reminiscent of the personified suns and moons of medieval painting. The blue of night suggests both impending dusk and the possibility of renewal, with the sculpture’s roundness evoking the cyclicality of life. A spiritual quality is manifest in the contemplative vectors of Untitled. As Kapoor observes, “Blue is the godly part of red,” which makes clear the interconnectedness of color in his sculptures, just as he attempts to connect to the viewer and the cosmos (A. Meer, “Anish Kapoor by Ameena Meer,” BOMB Magazine, January 1, 1990, The present work is an invitation to look upward and inward, to consider art’s possibility to transcend daily experience.

In Untitled, Kapoor builds on the tradition of blue in the history of art, from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Especially given the artist’s resonance with pre-modern art, one might look to medieval and Renaissance artists using blue, often associated with luxury, holiness, and royalty. Exemplary is the blue expanse of Giotto’s 1305 fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua or the ultramarine of Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne (1522-23). It could be argued that Untitled is not a void, but rather a site of fecundity, like Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus (1485-6). Untitled is therefore resolutely contemporary even as it brings the past forward to us with the blue lines that spring forth from its infinite center.

Born in Mumbai and raised in Britain, Kapoor has become one of the most celebrated artists of our time. His work is represented in numerous museum collections and he has been the subject of a number of solo exhibitions, most recently at Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK, earlier this year. Winner of the Turner Prize and a recipient of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Kapoor has changed the landscape of contemporary art. He has also completed ambitious public art projects, like Cloud Gate (2006) in Chicago and ArcelorMittal Orbit (2012) in London’s Olympic Park. Kapoor has also frequently worked with celebrated writers and philosophers, including Homi K. Bhabha and Julia Kristeva.

Untitled is a reflection and distillation of Kapoor’s storied career, which has harnessed color not only as an expressive force, but also as a raw material. We are thus reminded of the duality of our own bodies, which necessarily oscillate among flesh, intellect, and emotion. Untitled is not emptiness, but rather a generative entity, creating and destroying like the Big Bang. Even in Kapoor’s most monumental works, there is still a tenderness, something intimate that brings the questions of the universe close to us.

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