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Untitled, 1997. Felt, wool, and fiberglass. 54 x 114 x 29 inches (137.16 x 289.56 x 73.66 cm). Collection of the artist.

Anish Kapoor, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Body to Body, 1997 (detail). Wool and fiberglass. 115 x 58 x 9 1⁄2 inches (292.1 x 147.32 x 24.13 cm).
Anish Kapoor, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Body to Body, 1997. Wool and fiberglass. 115 x 58 x 9 1⁄2 inches (292.1 x 147.32 x 24.13 cm).
Untitled, 1997. Felt, wool, and fiberglass. 54 x 114 x 29 inches (137.16 x 289.56 x 73.66 cm). Collection of the artist.
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Anish Kapoor, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Body to Body, 1997 (detail). Wool and fiberglass. 115 x 58 x 9 1⁄2 inches (292.1 x 147.32 x 24.13 cm).
x
Anish Kapoor, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Body to Body, 1997. Wool and fiberglass. 115 x 58 x 9 1⁄2 inches (292.1 x 147.32 x 24.13 cm).
x

Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor collaborated with the FWM to explore the possibilities of felted and woven wool—both handmade and industrially-produced. Although the medium was entirely new to the artist, the resulting series of sculptures shares its overall aesthetic sensibility with the whole of Kapoor’s oeuvre. Color and form are paramount, playing an allegorical role in communicating the sculptures’ meaning. The color red, for example, is primary in Kapoor’s work; through non-verbal cues, it denotes the intimacy of the body through associations with blood, sexuality, birth, and death. As three-dimensional objects, Kapoor’s forms often use illusion to heighten the sense of depth or lend mystery to the piece. Curving, organic, sensuous shapes, the sculptures often evoke the human body, particularly wombs, navels, and phalluses.

Body to Body is formed by the artist’s careful manipulation of layers of woven felt, supported in part by a fiberglass structure, which allows the hanging, bulbous form in the sculpture’s center to hold its shape. The long, sensual drape of deep red felt spills onto the floor, pooled in rippled valleys of cloth. In Untitled, Kapoor transforms a large white square of industrial felt by simple twists, folds and turns, and then imbeds a red wool sphere in this undulating field of white.

The essence of Kapoor’s artistic practice is to evoke a sense of mystery, or the experience of the sublime. In a 2000 interview on BBC radio, Kapoor explained of his work: “As an artist, I suppose that one of the things I’m working with is mystery. I sense also that we all have a deep need to believe. I think that process of wishing to believe is mysterious. It’s one of the things I’m feeling my way towards” (Belief, BBC Radio 3, December 28, 2000).

Bio
British, born India 1954, lives in London
Anish Kapoor was born in Bombay, India, into a family of mixed cultural heritage—his mother is Jewish, his father Hindu. He moved to London in 1973 to study at the Hornsey College of Art and the Chelsea School of Art, from which he graduated in 1978. He has made London his home since that time. One of the leading sculptors to emerge on the British art scene in the 1980s and 1990s, Kapoor is known for his enigmatic forms that engage philosophical opposites— darkness and light, presence and absence, male and female— to evoke a physical and emotional response from the viewer. He deftly responds to his chosen materials, drawing forth essential qualities that heighten the physical presence of his sculpture; Kapoor has been equally at home working with marble, fiberglass, and stainless steel. In 1991, Kapoor won the prestigious Turner Prize, awarded by the Tate Gallery, London, and in 1990, he was selected to represent Great Britian at the Venice Biennale and was honored with the Due Mille Prize. His work has been exhibited internationally at the Hayward Gallery in London (1998), Musée d’art Contemporain de Bordeaux (1998), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1993), and the Tate Gallery, London (1990).