Wax and mirrors: Anish Kapoor opens show in Berlin

AP News
Posted: May 17, 2013 8:49 AM
Wax and mirrors: Anish Kapoor opens show in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — Conveyor belts hum quietly, towering over piles of dark red wax. A giant mauve object that looks like a deflating balloon sprawls and sags its way across three rooms. A dark pigment circle creates the illusion of a black hole opening up in the floor. And there are lots of mirrors: convex, concave, twisting and a painted "blood mirror."

British-based artist Anish Kapoor on Friday presented his world of impressions, illusions and color in Berlin, where he has created a show for the city's Martin-Gropius-Bau museum that combines works of art dating back as far as 1988 with new pieces.

Kapoor has filled a floor of the 19th-century building with some 70 works grand and small. At the center, dominating its glass-topped atrium, stands the new "Symphony for a Beloved Sun," in which four conveyor belts protrude from the floor and walls, dumping red wax on the floor in front of a huge red disk.

Kapoor, a winner of the prestigious Turner Prize and one of the creators of the twisting red Orbit Tower that overlooks London's Olympic Stadium, was wary of giving specific meaning to his work. "I've nothing to say," he said, insisting that he has "never made a work which directly points at an overt content."

"Abstract art does have this ability ... to allow content to arise rather than to say, 'this is what it means,'" he told reporters ahead of the show's opening. "It's an interplay between the viewer and the material, the stuff, the object."

Color is a key interest to Kapoor in his work, particularly dark red — a blood-like shade that the artist said has "a visceral reality."

Throughout the show, which opens to the public Saturday and runs through Nov. 24, Kapoor's conveyor belts will drop new blobs of wax and oil paint — changing the exhibit as it goes along, museum director Gereon Sievernich said. The cannon at the center of another major work, "Shooting into the Corner," will continue to spatter one of the building's rooms with balls of red wax.

A sprawling, sagging PVC installation titled "The Death of Leviathan" picks up where the artist left off with "Leviathan," a gigantic balloon that filled Paris' Grand Palais in 2011.

Kapoor said that the melancholy, deflating piece "speaks about, inevitably, the death of the state or the decline of the state" being experienced in Europe and beyond.


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