No results found

Waterperry web banner2 f2suhd
What's On, Culture, Art

Painting A Thousand Words

Anish Kapoor Lets His Art Do the Talking

“One hopes that one can trust one's work enough as an artist to let the work speak to people itself”
Anish Kapoor

London-based British-Indian conceptual artist and sculptor, Anish Kapoor is returning to Modern Art Oxford after almost 40 years, with his latest exhibition: Painting. We had the absolute pleasure of catching up with the Turner Prize-winner to talk about his upcoming exhibition, as well as touching on his outlook on art and how it can be useful in exploring yourself, ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October.

How have you found the last 18 months; have they served as a creative time?

I work in my studio every day, but during lockdown I had a studio at home as well, so it’s enabled me to practice, and that’s been quite good in its own way.

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming exhibition?

It’s an exhibition of paintings. I’ve made paintings over the last 20-30 years, but I never felt that they were mature enough, if you like, to put into the world. Over the last three or four years though, I’ve felt more able to do that, so this is an exhibition exploring that body of work. I’m a sculptor I’ve always been a sculptor, but I’ve been one who’s played with colour and the way colour and form are deeply affected by each other. This exhibition seems like a logical extension of that process.

Can you explain the meaning behind this body of work?

Personally, I’m not interested in making commentary about the issues that surround us – and they do surround us, of course. One hopes that one can trust one's work enough as an artist to let the work speak to people itself. If it’s really good, a conversation resonates with what is around us. I hope that the work speaks to people or some part of them.

You've said before that you have ‘nothing to say as an artist’, is that what you mean by that; letting the work speak for you?

Exactly. I'm interested in using the process of making the work to unveil to myself things that I didn't know before.

As this is our words issue, I’d like to ask: what word do you think is the most important to you this year?

Post-capitalism. Because, somehow, we have to overcome this terrible hole which we have got ourselves into in which says: profit, profit, profit – at any human cost or any environmental cost. We have to articulate a new language for our fellow beings in the animal world but of course very much so for our fellow human beings across the world.

I noticed that this exhibition comes quite a while after your last at Modern Art Oxford. Are you looking forward to returning to the Oxford area?

Yes! You know, my family and I now live about 20 miles away from Oxford so I'm kind of a local. It’s a wonderful institution so I'm pleased to come back with this new work.

This work is, in part, about pushing boundaries between sculpture and painting. Do you think within modern art, there should be less of a distinguishment between the mediums and styles in work?

Well, one of the things I’ve come across in making objects over many years, is that they’re just like us. Our bodies are not fully described by their apparent physical realities. All I have to do is close my eyes and I can see this vast space within me. On one level, I'm making paintings that – in a fairly straightforward, traditional way – use paint to give form to objects, but I’ve also been making works with this very dark black material which does the opposite and takes away its form or physicality; it’s as if the object doesn't exist.

Finally, October marks World Mental Health Day. Do you find that your work and your journey through art has been therapeutic?

Art as therapy is a very useful tool, but it’s not really what us artists do it for – at least not consciously. I’m sure there are ways in which being fully occupied is therapeutic; whether it’s art, music or theatre, there can be a place in which we can explore the things that trouble us and therefore they can have that sense of safety, a safe environment.

Anish Kapoor’s ‘Painting’ exhibition will run from 2 October 2021 - 13 February 2022 at Modern Art Oxford.


Mon 1 Jul 2024

Dr Brian Briggs – “Brian is fine” – divides his time between Llanelli’s Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Wetland Centre, where he is senior reserve warden, and his ‘other

nik kershaw
Fri 31 May 2024

Nik Kershaw’s debut album Human Racing came out in 1984 and saw him dominating the singles chart with tracks including Wouldn’t It Be Good, I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Dancing Girls. Swiftly followed by The Riddle, Nik spent 62 weeks in the charts and was one of the musicians to play Live Aid in July 1985.

Nell Mescal pwj9ug
Fri 31 May 2024

For the uninitiated, Nell Mescal (yes, sister of actor Paul) is an Irish singer-songwriter who hit the festival circuit hard last summer, playing (amongst others) The Great Escape, BST Hyde Park, Boardmasters and Live at Leeds. This year, she’s headed to Oxfordshire and Alex James’ Big Feastival for August bank holiday weekend. Eloise Lonsdale caught up with her to find out more about her musical style and her recently launched EP, Can I Miss it For a Minute.

Sea Girls Credit Blacksocks qoafap
Fri 31 May 2024

2024’s Truck line-up looks to be one of its best yet, balancing big names with emerging artists and beloved regulars. As an event, it has come to mark start of the summer holidays for its devoted attendees, but how about the acts? We caught up with Oli Khan, drummer in indie-rock band Sea Girls to get the bands-eye view.