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Artist Anish Kapoor to Create a New Artwork for the Vast Nave of Paris’ Grand Palais

May 6, 2011

File photo of Anish Kapoor standing in front of his work “Shooting into the Corner”. AP Photo/Lilli Strauss.

PARIS.- Each year MONUMENTA invites an internationally-renowned artist to turn their vision to the vast Nave of Paris’ Grand Palais and to create a new artwork especially for this space. MONUMENTA is an artistic interaction on an unparalleled scale, filling 13,500m² and a height of 35m. The first three MONUMENTA exhibitions were hugely successful, drawing in 150,000 visitors over five weeks. In 2007, the first challenge was met by German artist Anselm Kiefer, who resides in France, followed by American artist Richard Serra in 2008 and French artist Christian Boltanski in 2010. For its fourth incarnation, the French Ministry for Culture and Communication has invited Anish Kapoor, one of his generation’s greatest artists, to produce a new work for the Nave’s monumental space, from 11th May  to 23rd June 2011.

Thirty years after his first exhibition in Paris, MONUMENTA marks Anish Kapoor’s return to the French capital. He is considered as one of the most important sculptors of our time. His work has profoundly enlarged the scope of contemporary sculpture, as much by his mastery of monumental scale as by the colourful sensuality and apparent simplicity emanating from his works. All this contributes to the fascination they hold for the public at large, as demonstrated, for example, by the popular success of Cloud Gate in Chicago.

Born in Bombay in 1954, he has lived in London since the 1970s. His work rapidly gained international recognition and has been awarded numerous prizes, including the famous Turner Prize, which he won in 1991. His career has been the subject of a number of solo exhibitions at the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Louvre, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern, etc. Recently, he has been commissioned to design the key landmark for the forthcoming Olympic Games in London: a 116-metre-high sculpture entitled The ArcelorMittal Orbit.

The artist describes the work he is creating for MONUMENTA as follows: “A single object, a single form, a single colour.” “My ambition”, he adds, “is to create a space within a space that responds to the height and luminosity of the Nave at the Grand Palais. Visitors will be invited to walk inside the work, to immerse themselves in colour, and it will, I hope, be a contemplative and poetic experience.” Designed using the most advanced technologies, the work will not merely speak to us visually, but will lead the visitor on a journey of total sensorial and mental discovery. A technical, poetic challenge unparalleled in the history of sculpture, this work questions what we think we know about art, our body, our most intimate experiences and our origins. Spectacular and profound, it responds to what the artist considers to be the crux of his work: namely, “To manage, through strictly physical means, to offer a completely new emotional and philosophical experience.”

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