Anish Kapoor was born in India in 1954. He moved to London in 1973 to study. Since the late 1980s his work has often been concerned with interior spaces. He lives and works in London.
‘I have always been drawn to a notion of fear, towards a sensation of vertigo, of falling, of being pulled inwards’, Anish Kapoor has said. Since the late 1980s, he has made a number of large-scale works exploring the theme of the void. By cutting out a cavity in a slab of rock, and lining it with dark pigment, or polishing it to form strange, distorting reflections, he draws attention to the polarities of inside and outside, light and darkness, matter and the immaterial.
In Adam, Kapoor creates an area of pure darkness in a flat face of pinkish sandstone. It is an unsettling work, partly because it is unclear what we are looking at. How deep does the hollow extend? Is it really a three-dimensional space, or a surface of impossibly black paint? While for some, the void may suggest nihilistic absence, for the artist it signifies potential. It might represent the womb, or the moment just before the creation of the universe.
Ghost is a five-tonne block of Kilkenny limestone. The outer edges are rough, like a chunk of mountainside, while the smooth front contains a neatly cut portal into a hollowed space. The interior is highly polished, bouncing reflections off its curved surfaces. At the centre hovers an intangible presence - the ‘ghost’ of the title - with the viewer’s inverted image trapped at its core. The experience is uncanny, like finding the entry-point to another world. As with much of Kapoor’s work, it engages both the physical responses of the body and the inner world of the spirit.