The homecoming of Anish Kapoor

Written by Garima Pant | Updated: Nov 28 2010, 05:50am hrs
He's the global artist everyone has been waiting with bated breath in India. The wait is over. Anish Kapoor, the celebrated London-based artist, will begin showcasing his works from today at the National Gallery of Modern Art (November 28-February 27, 2011) and Mehboob Film Studios in Mumbai (November 30-January 16, 2011). As many as 25 of his unique works will be put on display in this first-ever showcase of his art works in India. The exhibitions have been organised by the culture ministry, NGMA, British Council and Lisson Gallery, in association with Louis Vuitton.

Kapoor has been based in London since 1973, when he left India to pursue his art education. Born in 1954 in Bombay, Kapoor studied art at Hornsey College of Art (1973-1977) and at Chelsea School of Art (1977-1978). He quickly gained international attention and acclaim for a series of solo exhibitions at museums and galleries across the world. He represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1990, where he was awarded the Premio Duemila. He won the Turner Prize in 1991 and he received the prestigious Unilever Commission for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in 2002, which he realised with the much-acclaimed work, Marsyas. Among his major permanent commissions is Cloud Gate (2004) for the Millennium Park in Chicago, considered to be the most popular public artwork in the world. He was recently awarded the commission with Cecil Balmond for a permanent artwork for the London 2012 Olympic Park, the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

The exhibitions in India are billed as the largest and most ambitious projects ever to be developed on Kapoor's work. These are the first major splash at the NGMA after the Picasso exhibition in 2001, not just in its scale of the actual works, but also in terms of the international stature of the artist, including partnerships amongst various organisations, and its outreach, says Rajeev Lochan, director, NGMA. The exhibitions will feature a selection of sculptures and installations that span the breadth of the artist's career, from his early pigment-based sculptures of the 1980s, right through to his most recent wax installations. Lochan adds that a phenomenal viewership is expected during the exhibition. Extended viewing hours and installation in the open are a few exciting offerings for art lovers to look forward to at the NGMA. The artist has personally supervised each and every detail of the exhibition himself.

The exhibition will coincide with the India Art Summit, which runs from January 20-23, 2011, and is expected to add to the viewership and is the first in the series of many more cultural exchanges to take place between India and the UK, as agreed upon in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport Jeremy Hunt and Jawhar Sircar from the Indian culture ministry during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron in July this year.