Experience the effect of light and shadow in two works by Kapoor and Kelly
Ellsworth Kelly was interested in the way a shape interacts with what lies behind it. The flat fan-shape of White Curve 1974 hangs at some distance from the wall so that the shadows it casts form part of the work. Its relationship with its environment changes as the viewer walks around the room.
Anish Kapoor’s Ishi’s Light 2003 takes the curve into three dimensions. The opening in its egg-like shell reveals a glossy red core in which viewers find themselves reflected upside-down, creating a sense of being enveloped within the sculpture. Its curved sides produce a central column of light. Like the wall shadow in Kelly’s work, this light is integral to the sculpture. ‘It’s a physical object’, Kapoor has said, ‘It isn’t simply on the surface.’
In both works, simple shapes are used to create effects of light and shadow highlighting the relationship between the art object, the viewer and the surrounding space.