The first major survey of Anish Kapoor’s work opens tomorrow (16 June) at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It is the first to be held in the UK, outside of London. Flashback is a major series of touring exhibitions from the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre.
Kapoor’s sensual and beguiling sculptures are created using a range of materials including pigment, stone, polished stainless steel and wax. Following on from the critical acclaim of his show at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2009, this Flashback exhibition gives an opportunity to explore Kapoor’s earlier works alongside recent pieces lent directly by the artist. The exhibition includes a selection of major sculptures on loan from UK collections, and from the Arts Council Collection.
Taking as its starting point the Collection’s founding principle of supporting emerging artists through the purchase of their work, the series showcases internationally renowned British artists whose works have been acquired by the Collection. The monographic exhibitions combine works from the Collection with new pieces borrowed directly from the artists, giving a unique insight into the evolution of these key figures in British art. Following on from the success of the first Flashback exhibition of work by Bridget Riley, the second artist in the series of monographic exhibitions is renowned artist and Turner Prize winner, Anish Kapoor.
The show is selected by the artist in close dialogue with the Arts Council Collection and includes works such as White Sand, Red Millet, Many Flowers (1982) which demonstrates Kapoor’s early interest in applying raw pigment to a range of organic forms. The sculpture was acquired by the Arts Council Collection the same year and has been lent to many major institutions as a key example of his early work. Alongside this, the optically illusionary Untitled (1997-98) is a highlypolished stainless steel void embedded into the wall that draws the viewer into a seemingly bottomless reflection and is emblematic of the seamless mirrored forms that have made Kapoor a household name. The exhibition includes the large-scale installation Her Blood (1998) shown for the first time in the UK.
Caroline Douglas, Head of the Arts Council Collection, said: “After launching Flashback with a highly successful show by Bridget Riley, we are proud to be able to follow this with another of the UK’s most important artists. Over more than two decades, Anish Kapoor has established an unassailable international reputation and his work can be found in major institutions and public spaces around the globe. It is testament to both the artist’s generosity and the strength of the works acquired by Arts Council Collection that we are able to bring this substantial overview of his career to museums and galleries in the UK.”
The Arts Council Collection is one of Britain’s foremost national collections of post-war British Art. As a collection ‘without walls’, it has no permanent gallery; it can be seen on long term loan to museums, galleries, schools, hospitals, colleges and charitable associations and in touring exhibitions and displays at home and abroad. It is also, importantly, the most widely circulated and easily accessible collection of its kind, with nearly 8000 works available for loan. It is run by Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England.
Established in 1946 to promote and enrich knowledge of contemporary art, the Collection continues to acquire works by artists, many at an early stage of their career, living and working in Britain and to foster the widest possible access to modern and contemporary across the UK. It includes work by Francis Bacon, Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Anish Kapoor, Henry Moore, Bridget Riley and Wolfgang Tillmans. Recent exhibitions of works from the Collection, created in collaboration with Hayward Touring, include Unpopular Culture: Grayson Perry curates from the Arts Council Collection, and Now Showing I & II. In 2009 the Arts Council Collection launched the Flashback series which showcases worldrenowned British artists whose works were acquired early on by the Collection, including Bridget Riley (2010) and Anish Kapoor (2011). In December 2006 access to the Collection was further enhanced when artscouncilcollection.org.uk was launched.