Critics’ Picks

View of “Anish Kapoor,” 2016

View of “Anish Kapoor,” 2016


Anish Kapoor

Lisson Gallery | Milan
Via Zenale 3
May 13–July 22, 2016

Anish Kapoor’s first solo show at this gallery’s Milan location features a group of fourteen sculptures in mirrored steel. Vertical extrusions of flat geometric figures and symbols, from waxing moons to hourglasses, are typical of the artist’s work. Twisting along axes at up to ninety degrees, they represent smaller versions of his monumental “nonobjects,” fluid and reflective sculptural elements that seem to flout our understandings of coordinate geometry and include and dissolve the surrounding space.

The installation is severe, with a grouping of twelve reflective pieces on glazed bases in the main room, all erected on white plinths and arranged in three rows of four. The rigorous precision of the installation heightens the plasticity of the ductile and reverberating steel, and each three-dimensional twist largely disguises the generative two-dimensional shape that forms its cross-sections and becomes evident via its flat top. A similar strategy appears in a parallelepiped with a rectangular base, one meter tall; resting on a low, pale cement foundation, it dominates the garden outside the gallery. Throughout, Kapoor leaves monumentality behind; the intimate quality of these works alters the glance, creating the illusion of a larger space. Through refractions of light and optical illusions, the immaterial and the imaginary play ambivalent roles, giving a sense of body even to the void.

Translated from Italian by Marguerite Shore.