To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the Serpentine Gallery in conjunction with the Royal Parks, commissioned acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor to exhibit his most recent sculptural works within the beautiful confines of Kensington Gardens. To accompany
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the Serpentine Gallery in conjunction with the Royal Parks, commissioned acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor to exhibit his most recent sculptural works within the beautiful confines of Kensington Gardens. To accompany the exhibition, a new book has been published this month which captures the sculptures through the changing seasons and how they work with the surrounding environment. Turning the World Upside Down features images of the works that, quite literally, flip and distort the viewer’s preconceived understanding of how the outside world can be seen, producing something completely inverted.
The four large-scale sculptures Kapoor produced for the exhibition are made from reflective stainless steel and are positioned to carefully emphasise the natural greenery and the nineteenth century sculptures that already live in the Gardens. Their highly polished surfaces allow the surroundings to interact with the landscape by being pulled into the reflection so that they, in turn, become part of the sculpture itself. This bending of space and warping of images tests the possibilities of nature and celebrates the extremities of the earth and sky. C-Curve, 2007, confronts the viewer with their distorted reflection. It’s huge surface area means that one has to look through, beyond and in to the object rather than existing as something to be looked at. This creates a massive symbolic space to contemplate the inverted image and allows the viewer to extend their interaction with the piece by becoming a part of the illusion.
Alongside Kapoor’s work at the Gardens, the book contains pages on his other sculptures worked with mirrored and reflective surfaces. Dating back to 1995, the book illustrates Bombay-born Kapoor’s versatility using this medium, with his polished bronze and stone pieces on a smaller scale. His exhibitions work with shape, material and scale to explore the different understandings of reflection and add a new dimension to the space — indoors or outside.
Anish Kapoor — Turning the World Upside Down, 2010/11 is published by Koenig Books. Turning the World Upside Down is in Kensington Gardens until 13 March 2011.
Text by Felicity Shaw