Anish Kapoor's first exhibition in India

Kapoor's exhibition
Kapoor's exhibition at the Mehboob Film Studios in Mumbai
(Image credit: press)

Anish Kapoor (opens in new tab)'s first ever exhibition in India was never going to be small. The Mumbai-born artist and the Lisson Gallery (opens in new tab) spent 10 years searching for a venue capable of housing his monumental sculptures, without success. Finally, in a typically ambitious move, they decided to take on two - the National Gallery of Modern Art (opens in new tab) in New Delhi and the Mehboob Film Studios (opens in new tab) in Mumbai. With each simultaneously focusing on a different strand of his colourful output, the exhibition features everything from his early pigment pieces to new works fresh from his London studio, round which he recently took Wallpaper* on a tour.

'I believe that to make new art, you need to make new space,' he says of his Mirror series, to which he's added two new works, on show in Delhi and Mumbai. 'These works speak about the area in front of them,' he explains.

The artist has long played with concave, negative forms, which draw the viewer into the sculpture, often to mind-bending effect. 'Much art is very static but Anish, with great persistence, explores the idea where the work does not just look back at you but allows you to see yourself in a new perceptual context,' says Lisson Gallery founder, Nicholas Logsdail.

Of course, Kapoor's work also confronts notions of space simply with its audacious scale - from those vast Cor-Ten steel creations to his wax series, which dominated his recent show at London's Royal Academy (opens in new tab) (the most successful show of a living artist ever held in the city). One of that exhibition's must staggering pieces - 'Shooting into the corner', comprising a canon firing blood-red wax - has been shipped over to Mumbai's Mehboob Film Studios, joined by a new wax piece, titled 'Stack'.

Over in Delhi, the National Gallery of Modern Art had to expand the entrance to its new wing to get some of Kapoor's epic sculptures inside, including his stainless steel 'S-Curve'. It is also playing host to some of his smaller, seminal pigment pieces from the 1980s, which reference piles of powdered pigment found in Indian markets. 'They were an astonishingly innovative outpouring of sculptural ideas that remain a touchstone for his work today,' says Andrea Rose, the shows co-curator and the director of Visual Art at the British Council (opens in new tab), which is mounting the exhibition alongside the Lisson Gallery, with sponsorship from Louis Vuitton (opens in new tab).

The Turner Prize-winning artist (1991) grew up in Mumbai but moved to London in the early 1970s, so this exhibition is something of a homecoming for Kapoor. 'I'm slightly afraid of it, to be perfectly honest,' he says. 'Not because I'm afraid of being judged, but there's something wonderfully mysterious about absence.' Although he has produced vast public sculptures all over the world - and work is just beginning on his ArcelorMittal Orbit (opens in new tab) tower at London's Olympic Park - he has only had one fleeting installation of outdoor work in India. But risk-taking and adventure has always been crucial to Kapoor's work, whether in terms of the scope of the project or the creative process involved. 'As artists, we need to not know what we're doing, otherwise we're always living in the rational world,' he says. 'We have to dare to go further.'

The show in Mumbai

The show in Mumbai features work from the 'wax' series alongside that of his 'mirror' series...

(Image credit: press)

Shooting into the Corner

A view of the 'Shooting into the Corner' piece from the 'wax' series, which dominated his recent show at London's Royal Academy (the most successful show of a living artist ever held in the city).

(Image credit: press)

Shooting into the Corner

One of that exhibition's most staggering pieces - 'Shooting into the Corner', comprising a canon firing blood-red wax...

(Image credit: press)

wax piece

... joined by a new wax piece, titled 'Stack'.

(Image credit: press)

Stack

Kapoor's 'Stack' piece up close

(Image credit: press)

The Turner Prize-winning

The Turner Prize-winning artist (1991) grew up in Mumbai but moved to London in the early 1970s...

(Image credit: press)

homecoming for Kapoor.

... so this exhibition is something of a homecoming for Kapoor.

(Image credit: press)

Mehboob Film Studios in Mumbai

An imposing aerial shot of the exhibition at Mehboob Film Studios in Mumbai

(Image credit: press)

on a tour of his London studio

Kapoor recently took Wallpaper* on a tour of his London studio, where he was busy preparing for his exhibition in India. Walking around the space was a little like walking around a private gallery - albeit a slightly haphazard one - with many of the artworks hung on the walls

(Image credit: press)

My studio's not a factory

'My studio's not a factory - it's a place for experimentation, invention, discovery and excavation,' he says. 'It's where I look for things to put into the world.'

(Image credit: press)

cabinet of ideas

Kapoor's filing cabinet of ideas

(Image credit: press)

Kapoor's works

One of Kapoor's works in progress

(Image credit: press)

Kapoor works in his studio

More finished and incomplete Kapoor works in his studio

(Image credit: press)

'Vertigo' by Anish Kapoor

'Vertigo' by Anish Kapoor, 2006. Photograph by Dave Morgan, courtesy of the artist and the Lisson Gallery

(Image credit: Dave Morgan)

Reflect an Intimate

'To Reflect an Intimate Part of the Red' by Anish Kapoor, 1981.

(Image credit: Andrew Penketh)

Project for Naples Subway

Project for Naples Subway, 1999 - 2002, by Anish Kapoor, in collaboration with Future Systems

(Image credit: Anish Kapoor)

Dismemberment

'Dismemberment, Site I' by Anish Kapoor, 2003-2009, in situ in New Zealand.

(Image credit: Jos Wheeler)

Dismemberment.

'Dismemberment, Site I' by Anish Kapoor, 2003-2009.

(Image credit: Jos Wheeler)

'Shooting into the Corner'

'Shooting into the Corner' by Anish Kapoor, 2008-2009, shown installed at the Royal Academy in 2009.

(Image credit: Dave Morgan)

'Shooting into the Corner'

'Shooting into the Corner' by Anish Kapoor, 2008-2009.

(Image credit: Dave Morgan)

'Sky Mirror'

'Sky Mirror' by Anish Kapoor, 2006.

(Image credit: Tim Mitchell)

Artworks shown installed at the Royal Academy in 2009.

From left to right: 'Non Object (mirror)', 2009; 'Non-Object (Pole)', 2008; 'Non-Object (Door)', 2009; and 'Turning the World Upside Down (gold)', 2009. Artworks shown installed at the Royal Academy in 2009.

(Image credit: Dave Morgan)

Non-Object (Door)

Non-Object (Door), 2008, installed at the Royal Academy of Arts, 2009.

(Image credit: Dave Morgan)

Non-Object (Spire)

Non-Object (Spire), 2008, installed at the Foundation de 11 Lijnen, Beaufort Sculpture Park, Belgium.

(Image credit: Isabelle Artuis)

S-Curve, 2006.

S-Curve, 2006.

(Image credit: Joshua White)

Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers' by Anish Kapoor, 1981.

'As if to Celebrate I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers' by Anish Kapoor, 1981.

(Image credit: The artist and the Tate)