Lisson Gallery

'Anish Kapoor' at Lisson Gallery, New York reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail

14 December 2023

Anish Kapoor, a groundbreaker of contemporary sculpture, now reveals in New York the viscerality of living bodies through the conventional medium of oil on canvas. Quasi-human figures suspended within vast spaces or boundless crevasses occupy these bewildering paintings. Executed at once impulsively and methodically, the enigmatic imagery of Kapoor collocates our humanity with the terribilità of nature. Upon these arresting canvases the duality of cataclysmic pandemonium and startling concinnity of the cosmic fabric relays impressions of ferocity and sublimity.

Primordiality, the origin of the cosmos, primal scenes, the physiological body, flesh and blood: such are the existential themes of the three groups of intensely expressive paintings, lyrically titled God’s Advice to Adam, Dead Mother in Exile and Ein Sof, all executed in 2022. Kapoor has self-reflectively stated, “My greatest difficulty is the de-schooling of myself. To unlearn what I know. The question then is, how to approach this without illustrating any problem. Because there is no problem, of course. Just the body and the body’s sense that it is so easily lost in the ordinariness of the everyday.” Not surprisingly, Kapoor’s primeval desire to reinvent himself runs parallel to the interrogatory discourse of Maurice Merleau-Ponty: “It is at the same time true that the world is what we see and we must match this vision with knowledge, take possession of it, say what we and what seeing are, act therefore as if we knew nothing about it, as if here we still had everything to learn.”

'Anish Kapoor' continues at both of Lisson Gallery's New York spaces through 22 December 2023.

Read the full review by Raphy Sarkissian via The Brooklyn Rail.

'Anish Kapoor' at Lisson Gallery, New York reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail
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