in Collaborations , Videos | 14 JUN 22

Anish Kapoor's Dark Venetian Visions

With dual exhibitions running in parallel with the 59th Venice Biennale, the artist reflects on the city’s ‘dark maternal waters’ and shares his latest Vantablack works

in Collaborations , Videos | 14 JUN 22
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‘The whole tradition of this building is about giving appearance to objects’ says Anish Kapoor of Venice's Gallerie dell’Accademia, where he is exhibiting his own works in dialogue with the building's collection, ‘and I think I'm sort of playing with the idea of the object appearing and its exact opposite: which is the object disappearing.’ In this video, the artist famed for probing the limits and materiality of the visible world, reflects on his dual presentations at both the Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin, as well as his deep personal connection with the city.

Speaking at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Kapoor explains how some works are realised in Vantablack – the so-called ‘blackest material in the world’ – and challenge the idea of looking, suggesting forms that at once appear and disappear, a phenomenon Kapoor relates to ‘our experience of ourselves.’ This interiority also figures in a series of sculptural works created in visceral red materials, suggestive both of ‘blood and guts at one level, and other kinds of interior visions, hopes, spaces, terrors that we carry’, in the artist's words: the same existential themes, he notes, also confronted in Renaissance masterpieces from the Accademia’s collection, such as Titian's final Pietà (1576).

At the 18th-century Palazzo Manfrin, Kapoor presents works which distort the viewer’s sense of landscape, and fundamental sense of upwards and downwards, with pendulous masses that hang from the ceiling, and a whole room transfigured by a sea of pigment. The theme linking both shows, Kapoor say, is the ‘shamanistic’: one apt for a city to which Kapoor attributes 'dark, maternal waters' and ‘something magical about it’.

Anish Kapoor is on view at Gallerie dell'Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin from  20 April to 9 October 2022