Anish Kapoor exhibition opens at Istanbul's Sabancı Museum

Anish Kapoor exhibition opens at Istanbul's Sabancı Museum

Anish Kapoor exhibition opens at Istanbuls Sabancı Museum

The exhibition, which is being curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, is the first to focus on the artist’s stone sculptures in marble, alabaster and other materials, many of which have not been seen in public before.

Celebrated international artist Anish Kapoor has begun his first solo exhibition in Istanbul with a collection of his sculptures at Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

Sponsored by Akbank, on the occasion of their 65th anniversary, Kapoor’s works will be at SSM until Jan. 5, 2014.

The exhibition, which is being curated by Sir Norman Rosenthal, is the first to focus on the artist’s stone sculptures in marble, alabaster and other materials, many of which have not been seen in public before. The exhibition also includes iconic works such as ‘Sky Mirror and Yellow,’ bringing together sculpture, architecture, engineering and technology. The highly anticipated exhibition will be presented both in the galleries and the gardens of Sakıp Sabancı Museum.

“We are thrilled to host a major exhibition by the great master of contemporary art, Anish Kapoor, at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum. Sometimes mobile, often of startling proportions, Anish Kapoor’s works elicit admiration and astonishment. Anish Kapoor is no stranger to Istanbul, where he has been to many times. Now here he is, bringing to our city stone pieces that he has been working on for years, many of which have never been displayed. Along with the stone pieces, iconic works such as ‘Yellow and Sky Mirror’ are presented in our exhibition,” SSM Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer said.

“We are honored to have Sir Norman Rosenthal, a famous name in art circles all over the world, and a long-standing member of our Museum’s International Advisory Committee, as our exhibition curator,” she said. 

“For years a pathfinder for contemporary art in Europe’s top art institutions, Sir Norman has been the strongest supporter and advocate for this project ever since he and Anish Kapoor visited our museum together back in 2011. But, it’s to the sponsorship of Suzan Sabancı Dinçer, as a visionary patron of the arts that we’re most indebted for this very major project at our museum. Dinçer has for years been providing immense support to the emerging platform for contemporary art in this country. Ever since 2011, when she, as the chairman and the executive board member of Akbank, affirmed her intention to celebrate the bank’s 65th anniversary with an exhibition by Anish Kapoor, she has continued to support us. Its realization is her achievement,” added Ölçer

Ancient traditions

Rosenthal, meanwhile said Kapoor’s abstract stone works were remarkable in that they had their own specific ways of defining infinities and the concepts of time. 

“When one looks at the stone sculptures, executed over the last three decades – works fashioned from marble, onyx, alabaster, granite, sandstone and other ‘rocks’ – many perspectives concerning the realities and philosophies of historical time come to mind. They invite the viewer to reflect three-fold on the mysteries of time buried within their form and substance,” said the curator. 

“Kapoor is one of the only artists who follows the most ancient traditions, of carving or shaping, in order to achieve contemporary forms, each one full of individual and suggestive meaning. Perhaps the most particular aspect of so much of Kapoor’s work, and especially of the stone works, is a sense of agelessness, of hardly being able to guess at their moment of creation,” Rosenthal said.

The artist said he was delighted to be presenting his first major exhibition in Turkey at the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, adding that he was also overjoyed to be collaborating with Rosenthal following their collaboration on a number of other projects over the years.

Dinçer also expressed her happiness at bringing Kapoor’s works to a Turkish audience. “Hosting exhibitions of such leading artists is a source of pride and helps confirm Turkey’s place as a major artistic center. This year is also the 65th anniversary of our bank and has a special meaning and importance to us. We chose to commemorate it through an artist whose work which, just as it has amazed the world, will leave a lasting impression on Istanbul and Turkey,” Sabancı said.

Akbank CEO Hakan Binbaşgil said Turkey had embraced a new vision with its 2023 goals. ”Economic performance is not the lone criteria for these targets. We will achieve our goals through success in different fields of human endeavor including culture, art and sport. We must bear in mind that culture and art constitute the most significant legacy for society’s future. However, as a nation, we have to concentrate and fasten our efforts on those fronts to further progress.”

Binbaşgil said Akbank had levered its strength and resources to invest in Turkey’s future as one of the most valuable firms of the country.

“Culture and arts is one area where we shall continue to persevere,” Binbaşgil said. “We are expanding our projects in those venues to a wider spectrum. Our focus is on the big picture, on a sustainable effort and on things that last. Akbank is again lending its name to an event that brings together those who appreciate art with the unique and enchanting objects of their affection. We commemorate the 65th anniversary of our bank with the exhibition of Anish Kapoor. By supporting an exhibition of one of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists, we believe that we are creating an event that encourages people to step back and view the world from a different angle and to think more creatively. As Akbank, we will continue to support art and artists, and to provide the opportunity for those who love art to partake of world-class artistic events.”

SSM will become the cultural center of Istanbul this fall thanks to the conferences, panel discussions and training programs organized in association with the exhibition. The program was also set to feature the first public lecture by Kapoor in Turkey last night.

SSM will also organize workshops on contemporary art in collaboration with the British Council Istanbul. Children’s training programs and film screenings will also take place throughout the exhibition. 

Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation.

He quickly gained international attention and acclaim for a series of solo exhibitions at venues including the Tate Gallery, London (1990-01); the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2003); Fondazione Prada, Milano (1995); Hayward Gallery, London (1998); the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (1999); Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples (1999); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2003); MAC Grand-Hornu, Belgium (2004); Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004); Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin (2008) MAK, Vienna (2009); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2009); Pinchuk Arts Center, Kiev (2010); and Guggenheim Bilbao (2010). His major solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2010, showcasing a number of new and previously unseen works, was one of the most successful ever presented by a contemporary artist in London. 

He is represented by the Lisson Gallery, London; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Kukje Gallery, Seoul, and Galleria Continua and Galleria Massimo Minini in Italy.