Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Following our previous story about a labia-like staircase, these images by French photographer Stefan Tuchila illustrate the womb-like orbs created by artist Anish Kapoor in the Grand Palais, Paris.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Formed of three 35 metre-high interconnected balloons, the Leviathan sculpture has a dark purple skin and a translucent red interior.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

From inside, the silhouette of the palace ceiling is visible through the bulbous red rubber.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

The sculpture was designed for the fourth Monumenta exhibition, which closes imminently.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

See our earlier story on the ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor »

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

See more images of this project on the photographer's website.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

The following information is from the press release:


MONUMENTA 2011
Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais
Leviathan from 11th May to 23rd June 2011

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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 ».

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.”

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

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.”

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

The awe-inspiring strength of Anish Kapoor’s work is a fertile ground that favours the democratization of the access to contemporary art.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Through this series and subsequent exhibitions, the French Ministry for Culture and Communication hopes to appeal to the widest possible audiences.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

To exceed the visitor’s expectations, artistic educators, whose knowledge and teaching abilities multiply the possibilities to access and understand the artwork, will be on hand throughout the exhibition to talk to visitors, widening their understanding of contemporary art at no extra cost.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

School groups will have their own special programme developed in collaboration with the French Ministry for National Education.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Multidisciplinary and fun, the programme is designed for young visitors, ranging from nursery school to high school, one highlight being dance workshops in partnership with the Théâtre National de Chaillot.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

There will be learning activities on the internet, making it possible to link the artist's work to school programmes.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Themed cross-generational tours will also create a link with Anish Kapoor’s creation.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

In addition, tours for the disabled will be available, in order to facilitate access to today's heritage.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Finally, throughout the exhibition, an events programme will propose a dialogue between word, music, dance and Anish Kapoor’s work and the creations it shelters, in order to uncover new aspects of his creation.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Jean de Loisy is curator of Monumenta 2011. Independent exhibition curator, he has held among other positions that of creation inspector for the French Ministry for Culture and Communication, Cartier Foundation curator and curator at the Georges Pompidou Centre. He has directed and co-directed a variety of art centres in France. He has organized numerous solo artist exhibitions and memorable exhibitions such as "La Beauté" in Avignon in 2000, or "Traces du sacré" in 2008 at the Pompidou Centre. He has been working for 30 years with Anish Kapoor, for whom he organized numerous exhibitions including the 2009 retrospective at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

The MONUMENTA admission price is 5 Euros, with concessions 2.50 Euros. The cultural programme (free with admission) proposes concerts, performances, readings and ‘encounters’ in connection with Anish Kapoor’s artwork. A bi-lingual highly documented website will help visitors to prepare their visit.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

A fully illustrated album, co-published by the CNAP and the Rmn-GP publishing services, Paris 2011, and monograph, co-published by Flammarion and the CNAP, will be published in connection with this event.

Leviathan by Anish Kapoor

Organised by the French Ministry for Culture and Communication, the exhibition is co-produced by the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP) and the Etablissement public de la Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées (Rmn-GP).

  • Sebastien Agneessens

    A true Jules Verne moment.

  • felix

    Nice scultpure and all, but those art nouveau steel details are sublime.

  • kamil

    epic!

  • ledaich

    This proves how the architecture of L´Ecole de Beaux Arts and XXIst centuny art installations can interact amanzingly.

    another example http://www.proyectoccb.com.ar/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Carcamano/100002441417175 Dave Carcamano

    when the main quality of an artwork is its size.

    • Jordan Squires

      If the work were not as big it would not feel the same to be inside it. Also, if it were smaller, the shadows would be way to dense from the inside. The scale is very important the size is not even the main quality.

  • bob

    that's about the coolest thing i've ever seen not rendered..

  • shridhar

    Most amazing .. spell binding experience!

  • Nino

    Why couldnt we have this for the olympics rather than that 'thing' boris got us…

  • Kerby

    Whilst inside this installation one feels quite repressed, like being in a whales stomach.

    Once released the external view is most refreshing.

  • nils

    Went there during a night filled with thunder and lightning couple of weeks ago.

    Was extremely amazed at the work during a whole of 10 seconds on the inside and about the same outside…. During these few seconds it was among the greatest works of art and architecture ive ever witnessed.

    After these seconds of amazement i understood it, its single statement being “huge blob” and after that it all seemed very flat.

    The surrounding building tho, le grande palais still amazes me. Such greatness, splendid spaces and light.

  • Dezy

    This just can't beat the art nouveau building.

  • http://sisalla.blogspot.com Lauren

    I should so be in Paris right now. Looks absolutely incredible!

  • paperform

    holy mother of blob!
    i love friction created by placing such a modern piece next to that sublime art nouveau architecture.

  • umanbn

    Can't believe I was in Paris last month and didn't know this was on….it looks truly amazing…will it move to another location after??

  • http://taliinteriordesign.blogspot.com/ TaliDesign

    Had the privilege to see it, it is more amazing in person.
    Anish Kapoor is a brilliant artist, can't wait to see more of his work.
    TaliDesign