Almost always invoking the existential vertigo of the sublime, Anish Kapoor's art evokes a powerful sense of mysticism. Using almost solely, the seductive and transformative power of colour, Kapoor's sculptures are powerful and persuasive works that appear to heroify or mythologize the world and invest it with a Romantic sense of mystery and meaning. 'Art is illusion.' Kapoor has said, 'it is in that illusion that there may be some deeper reality.' (Anish Kapoor in conversation with Richard Cork, Institute Francais, London, December 12, 2007.)
From his earliest works of the late 1970s when he first used vibrant coloured pigment to bestow enigmatic sculptural forms with a disquieting sense of mystery and ambiguity, Kapoor has been fascinated by the mysterious power of colour to transform and even redefine the way we perceive and understand objects. In Untitled of 2004 Kapoor has extended this fascination into the real world through a large lens-like magenta mirror that reflects and transforms the world around us into a complete and mysterious colour-drenched realm.
Appearing like a spherical coloured vortex on the wall of the room in which it sits, this sculpture, like many of Kapoor's works, also has a strong impact on both the space and the architecture into which it is placed. Drawing the viewer towards itself through the mesmeric effect of its rich colour and its circular form, the work then appears to open up and reveal, through reflection, a new world within -- one that transforms the space of the room and any objects, figures or events that appear, into a strange, almost operatic monochrome drama.
In so transforming the world Kapoor's mirror also emphasizes the illusive nature of all appearances and reveals them as a kind of stage or pantomime. In this respect, existing on the borderline between two realities and in its power of transformation or of revelation, the sculpture, the object itself, appears to transcend the physical realm and gain an aura of magic or mysticism -- what Kapoor calls an 'oneiric' quality -- that he highly prizes.
Like many of the more ambitious works that Kapoor has made in the 21st Century this deceptively simple sculpture demands the physical co-operation and participation of its viewer in order to be fully appreciated. Like Barnett Newman demanding that, in order to receive the full spiritual impact and intention behind his work, the observer should view his work from a specific point, many of Kapoor's latest works also demand a 'performance' from the viewer. 'If you perform they perform' he has wryly observed (ibid).