The Guardian reports that Anish Kapoor has won the Genesis Prize—awarded and funded by the Genesis Prize Foundation, the office of the Israeli prime minister, and the Jewish Agency for Israel—and that he intends to use the $1 million in prize funding to help refugees. The prize “recognizes individuals who have attained excellence and international renown in their fields and whose actions and achievements express a commitment to Jewish values, the Jewish community, and the State of Israel.”
The UK-based Kapoor, who was born in Mumbai to an Iraqi-Jewish mother and an Indian father, said in a statement that he had to “speak out against indifference for the suffering of others . . . Jewish identity and history have witnessed recurring conditions of indifference, persecution, and Holocaust. Repeatedly, we have had to repossess ourselves and re-identify our communities. As inheritors and carriers of Jewish values it is unseemly, therefore, for us to ignore the plight of people who are persecuted, who have lost everything and had to flee as refugees in mortal danger.” He added, “There are over sixty million refugees in the world today—whatever the geography of displacement, the refugee crisis is right here on our doorstep.”
Kapoor previously created the Holocaust Memorial for the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London, as well as seventy candles for Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain in 2015, which commemorated the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. His solo show at Gladstone Gallery was reviewed by Ida Panicelli in the September 2016 issue of Artforum.