Untrue Unreal:
Anish Kapoor at Palazzo Strozzi

Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is currently exhibiting a selection of Anish Kapoor’s early, mid-career, and recent works presenting a comprehensive view of his artistic evolution and exploring the interaction of his contemporary sculpture with the Renaissance architecture of the historic venue.

Within the rational geometries of Palazzo Strozzi, the exhibition melds concepts of empty and full space, absorbing and reflecting surfaces; combining geometric and biomorphic forms. Kapoor transcends the materiality of his works; manipulating them in such a way so as to dissolve the boundary between physical and immaterial. Colour too, in his hands, becomes an immersive phenomenon with its own spatial and illusive dimensions.

The notion of boundaries and the duality between subject and object are central to Kapoor’s mirror works. With their inverted reflections, the specular is thrown into the realm of the illusory in works which seemingly defy the laws of physics. These large-scale sculptures reflect and distort the surrounding space, enlarging, reducing and multiplying it, creating a sense of unreality and destabilisation while drawing the viewer into the indefinite space they emanate.

Anish Kapoor
Anish Kapoor

With Svayambhu the artist is replaced by an invisible motor that moves a monumental block of wax. The malleable mass moves on rails along a nearly twenty-metre path between two halls, shaping the material it is composed of in relation to the architecture it pushes through. Along the journey, with an almost imperceptible movement, the block of wax leaves traces of a deep red passage, suggesting metaphors of birth while also evoking perceptions of death and violence.

Words by Fabzirio Mifsud Soler


Images: photoElaBialkowskaOKNOstudio courtesy of the artist and Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze.

Open until February 4th 2024, Anish Kapoor Untrue Unreal provides visitors with a direct engagement with the artist’s versatile and boundary-defying oeuvre, inviting them to question at once, both sensory perception and what lies beneath the surface.

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