L'Origine du monde
© Anish KAPOOR
About the Artwork
In the darkened space, a concrete wall rises at a slant from our feet to the ceiling, for the breadth of the room. In the middle is a black oval. It is hard to distinguish the oval, which appears sometimes like a deep cavity, sometimes like a round prominence, and sometimes like a flat period. As long as we stand looking at it, we remain confused by the optical illusion before us. The oval is in fact a large hole, its interior covered with blue pigment, and the large space is itself the artwork. The title, L'Origine du monde, refers to a work of the same title by the 19th-century French painter, Gustave Courbet, who famously said, “I cannot paint an angel, because I have never seen one.”
About the Artist
Born in Mumbai in 1954. Lives and works in London.
After spending his youth in India, Anish Kapoor moved to England at the age of 17 and began producing artworks in the 1970s. In his early career, Kapoor produced numerous three-dimensional forms covered with colored pigments. He later came to produce sculptural works suggestive of caves and ground fissures, by carving holes and apertures in solid stone and covering their interiors with pigments. Kapoor undertakes artworks employing wide-ranging media, including stainless steel, lacquer, and even steam. Those works, which compel us to question our visual understanding of the world and everyday awareness, engender a mysterious world of a different dimension.
Production year: 2004
Size: (length along oval’s major axis) 700 cm