Sandhini Poddhar in ArtAsiaPacific:
Since the early 1980s, Anish Kapoor’s investigation into notions of scale, volume, color and materiality has redefined contemporary sculpture. From the piles of pigment in his early works to the monumental building-embracing sculptures and installations for which the artist is now known, his focus has always remained on investigating the interaction between the subject and the object. In making his art, Kapoor himself stays hidden, describing his works as resulting from “the fiction of auto-generation.” Kapoor’s term “proto-object”—the object that comes into being before language, before aesthetics, before thought and before conditioning—is a leitmotif in his career. The enigmatic nature of this manifestation attracts viewers to each work, enticing them into a relationship, or even a role, in respect to its completion.
Born in Bombay in 1954, Kapoor moved to England in 1972 to study art at the Hornsey College of Art and later at the Chelsea School of Art and Design. At that time, Kapoor’s creative milieu was dominated by the compositional ideas of abstract sculptor Anthony Caro, known for his assemblages of pre-fabricated metal parts such as I-beams and steel plates. For inspiration, Kapoor turned instead to artists redefining the limits of sculpture through the use of evocative, non-art materials and unconventional presentation, such as Paul Neagu, Joseph Beuys and Paul Thek. Kapoor was also fascinated by another aspect of—in particular—Beuy’s work: a numinous but not ethereal quality that is often qualified as being shamanistic or alchemical.