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    Anish Kapoor's Leviathan
    Anish Kapoor's Leviathan @ MONUMENTA

    Anish Kapoor

    The Grand Palais

    February 15 - May 15, 2011

    From Monumenta
    Like the Biblical sea-monster of the same name, Anish Kapoor's Leviathan embodies a sense of extraordinary, dark power. A hideous monster of the deep, crystallising man's primordial, archaic fears, Leviathan has obsessed the human imagination throughout history. At the Grand Palais, Leviathan opens the door to the antichamber of our animal nature, transporting us back to our innermost, timeless selves. Invading the space of the gigantic nave, quite literally swallowing us up, the work's surface and interior touch on our perception of an ancient, primeval world.

    The monster Leviathan appears several times in the Bible, in the Books of Job and Isaiah, and in a number of Psalms. He is described as a beast so terrifying that a man might be 'cast down even at the sight of him' (Job 41, ix). Pictured as a gaping maw through which the souls of the damned enter Hell, or a sea-serpent capable of provoking cataclysmic natural disasters, Leviathan is often assimilated with the Beast of the Apocalypse. The traditional sea-serpent motif dates back to ancient Sumerian iconography of the third millennium BC. Leviathan and his land-based counterpart Behemoth feature in the Jewish tradition as beasts to be vanquished at the moment of the Last Judgement. Christian writings associate Leviathan with the image of the devil; for St Thomas Aquinas, the creature embodies the demon Envy. Above all, Leviathan is emblematic of death by drowning in the depths of the ocean, and a force capable of summoning giant waves and tempests. The great beast became synonymous with political metaphor following the publication of Thomas Hobbes's classic text Leviathan in 1651, presenting the 'war of every man against every man' that inevitably prevails in humankind's primordial 'state of nature' (before the 'state of society').

    From Momenta Press Release
    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 « 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.”

    Great Images from DesignBoom

    More on Anish Kapoor:

    Past Projects:
    Marsyas @ The Tate Modern
    Cloud Gate @ Millennium Park Chicago
    Tall Tree and the Eye @ The Guggenheim Bilbao

    Thu, May 12, 2011  Permanent link

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    gamma     Wed, May 18, 2011  Permanent link
    I see the curvy ways inside a wrinkled cortex and the world in red projected onto it from within.
    syncopath     Thu, Jun 2, 2011  Permanent link
    10x for the detailed info. it seems "Leviathan" aims towards new immersive art-form technologies.