July 3, 2007 - Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes - Anish Kapoor
July 3, 2007

Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor, Svayambh, 2007, synthetic wax, wood, nergalto, metal. Size of the rail : 45m x 3m. Size of the flatcar : 7 m x 3 m x 4,50 m. Copyright : Musée des Beaux-Arts, Ville de Nantes. Photographer : Cécile Clos.

Anish Kapoor
June 1st – September 1st

Curator : Jean de Loisy

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
10 rue Georges-Clemenceau
44000 NANTES
10am-6pm daily
Thursdays until 8am
Closed Tuesdays and public holidays 

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes, in France, is taking part in the Estuaire Nantes Saint Nazaire 2007 project, from 1 June to 1 September.

To mark the occasion, Anish Kapoor has been invited to create a work especially for the Museum.

Anish Kapoor has chosen to show Svayambh, a monumental installation extending across the entire ground floor. This work comprises a gigantic block of red wax transported by a flatcar that gradually crosses the exhibition space on rails set 150 centimetres above the floor. Cumbrously the flatcar makes its way through the arches of the patio, leaving dramatic strips of its wax cargo on the pillars in a painful but inexorable advance that can be read as an allegory of memory and history – two themes central to the museum’s functioning. The fifteen tons of red matter that are slowly worn away by the arches speak to us of the suffering of human beings caught up in the mysterious workings of destiny.

Staying true to his interest in forms produced by forces or stresses that modify an object’s shape, the artist offers a work generated by the architecture of the space. Whence the title Svayambh, a Sanskrit word whose literal meaning – something like “self-engendered, shaped by one’s own energy” – hints at the cosmic connotations underpinning the work of Anish Kapoor. From 12 October-13 January this sculpture will be shown at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Anish Kapoor’s oeuvre is one of the landmarks of the sculpture of the last twenty years. Making its appearance in the context of the new English sculpture in the early 1980s, it at once stood out as dissenting from that of such major sculptors of the same generation as Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon. Where their work is characterised by the use of materials typical of the late industrial period, Kapoor’s has a timeless look that seems to owe its existence to inner processes of maturation. His first sculptures made his reputation with their bright coatings of pigment and the intense spirituality they seemed to radiate; since then he has been undertaking astonishingly monumental projects to which, in terms of ambition and sheer physical effect, we can only compare the achievements of American sculptors of the 70′s. He recently elaborated on an already singular vocabulary in the gigantic Marsyas, presented in the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London: a work whose dimensions, tragic lyricism and plastic innovation left Europe stunned.

Born in Bombay in 1954, Anish Kapoor lives in London. After training at the Chelsea School of Art & Design in 1977-78, he began his career in the early 80′s with an exhibition in Paris and followed up with a host of solo and group shows. He was awarded the Premio Duemila at the 1990 Venice Biennale, then the Turner Prize in 1991. He was given an Honorary Fellowship at the London Institute in 1997 and was named CBE en 2003. His work has been acquired by major collections including the Tate Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
The catalogue
A 72-page catalogue, published by Fage, accompanies the exhibition. Texts: Blandine Chavanne, Jean de Loisy, Olivier Schefer et Gilles Tieberghien
This exhibition has been organised with the backing of Gaz de France and the Société Générale bank.
Anish Kapoor, Svayambh is open every day including Tuesdays.
Press Officer
Véronique Triger
+ 33 (0)2 51 17 45 40

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes
Share - Anish Kapoor
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York