ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)
ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)
ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)
ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)
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PROPERTY FROM A PROMINENT PRIVATE COLLECTION
ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)

Monochrome (Passion Purple)

Details
ANISH KAPOOR (B. 1954)
Monochrome (Passion Purple)
signed and dated ‘anish kapoor 2016’ (on the reverse)
fibreglass and paint
diameter: 35 5/8in. (90.6cm.)
Executed in 2016
Provenance
Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Further Details
© Anish Kapoor. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage.

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Joanna Hattab
Joanna Hattab Associate Specialist

Lot Essay

With its deep purple void spanning almost a metre in diameter, Monochrome (Passion Purple) (2016) is an outstanding example of Anish Kapoor’s concave monochrome works. Standing before the concave surface, the viewer is enveloped into a world of total colour: an apparently infinite abyss whose tonal qualities bend and shift with the changing light. The work belongs to a series of similarly-titled sculptures Kapoor created during the mid-2010s. Each defined by their own distinctive hue, they extend the artist’s lifelong fascination with colour’s abstract experiential properties, forming a dense, pigmented counterpart to his shimmering mirror sculptures. Deep, dark space has always been a theme integral to Kapoor’s art, pushing him towards groundbreaking technical innovations: as part of the 2022 Venice Biennale, he unveiled a new body of void works executed in the ultra-black material Vantablack, which was created using nano-technology.

Throughout his oeuvre, Kapoor has been fascinated by the idea of the void, creating works to that seem to transcend the physical world. Referencing nothing outside the fact of their own existence, they confront the viewer as independent, immaterial entities. Though conversant with Minimalist thought and practice, works such as Monochrome (Passion Purple) ultimately look back further to Romantic notions of the ‘sublime’: the fearful sense of awe that humankind experiences in the face of infinity. Not unlike the transcendent blue monochromes created by Yves Klein, or the numinous ‘colour fields’ of Mark Rothko—artists both similarly concerned with experiences of immateriality—the work’s seemingly boundless depths demand from the viewer a total submission to the unknown.

Since his earliest experiments with raw pigment during the 1980s, Kapoor has been entranced by colour. Over the course of his practice, he has sought to present it as a ‘total condition’ in and of itself: an all-encompassing abstract state, rather than an extension of the representational world. ‘[Colour] changes space, especially very intense monochrome’, he explains. ‘It’s as if it creates more space’. In this regard, he says, it should be experienced like any other physical condition. An object might be ‘red’ in the same way that a shower is ‘wet’ (A. Kapoor, quoted in video for Anish Kapoor: Descension, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, 2015). Like Klein, Rothko and others before him, Kapoor treats colour as a zone of unending, ever-changing potential. Here, deep violet—a mercurial hue between red and blue that holds rich associations of royalty, magic and spirituality—becomes simply a law unto itself: an overwhelming mystery that humankind has yet to solve.

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