British Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor is set to reveal a fresh collection of Vantablack paintings at New York’s Lisson Gallery. The exhibition, showcased from November 2 to December 16, will represent the New York City debut of Kapoor’s paintings created with Vantablack nano-technology—a substance that absorbs 99.965% of visible light.
Alongside these paintings, the exhibition will also present unseen pieces, including standalone sculptures and expansive installations.
Speaking about the black substance, Kapoor said, “It’s not just a thing you paint on. It’s a highly technical, complicated physical process, difficult physical process.”
Having worked with it for nearly a decade, he highlighted the limited number of objects created due to the intricate process. He described the material as “the blackest in the universe,” capable of making objects disappear.
Kapoor also said that applying this black transcends the three-dimensional nature of objects, making them seemingly four-dimensional, blurring the lines between fiction and reality, contributing to a poetic narrative.
Over five decades, the London-based artist has crafted innovative sculptures using materials such as wax, steel, and stone, challenging conventional perceptions. Notable works like Cloud Gate (2005), located in the AT&T Plaza in Chicago, delve into optical manipulation. Additionally, his Vantablack paintings push the boundaries of sight, eliciting a sense of awe and unease due to their profound and muted appearance.
Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture (AKA The Bean) in Millennium Park on March 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)Born in Mumbai, India, in 1954, Kapoor has established himself as a prominent artist, dividing his time between studios in London and Venice. According to the Palazzo Strozzi website, he gained his artistic education at Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea College of Art in the mid-seventies.
Kapoor’s artworks are prominently featured in collections and museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate in London, the Prada Foundation in Milan, and the Guggenheim Museums in Venice, Bilbao, and Abu Dhabi.
Additionally, solo exhibitions of his work have been showcased at venues such as Galleria dell’Accademia di Venezia & Palazzo Manfrin in Venice, Italy (2022), Modern Art Oxford in the UK (2021), Houghton Hall in Norfolk, UK (2020), and Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany (2020).
Representing the UK at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990, Kapoor was honoured with the Premio Duemila Prize. He also won the Turner Prize in 1991, and continues to receive various international awards and accolades for his contributions to the art world.
Beyond his sculptures, Kapoor has ventured into architecturally scaled works. His notable public projects include Cloud Gate (2004) in Millennium Park, Chicago, USA; Leviathan (2011) exhibited at Monumenta, Paris, France; Orbit (2012) in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; Ark Nova, an inflatable concert hall created for Lucerne Festival, Japan (2013); and Descension (2014), most recently installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, USA (2017).
He is currently working on the completion of Traiano and Universitá Monte St Angelo Metro Stations in Naples, Italy (2002–2023).